I think we’ve all found ourselves in situations where we have been forced to interact with people we find to be “difficult”. I must admit that I don’t like deal with challenging people but how we handle these situations can prove to be the difference between success and failure in both business and in life. David Brown in, The Art and Science of Dealing with Difficult People , pinpoints the seven principles of relationship building that are crucial to creating a successful working environment. He also describes several types of difficult people and how their behaviors serve to irritate others: perfectionists, control freaks, creative people, shapers, aggressive or defensive people, and submissive people. Michael, I agree with your final premise, “…the more leaders and other employees are aware of one another on a human level, the better the interaction will be between people and the more efficiently the mission will be accomplished.” Specifically, my reading led me to believe there are two advantages to managing diversity. First, multicultural organizations have an advantage in attracting and retaining the best available talent. The exceptional capabilities of women and minorities offer a rich labor pool for organizations to tap. When organizations attract, retain and promote maximum utilization of people from diverse cultural backgrounds, they gain competitive advantage and sustain the highest quality of human resources. The diverse organization, for example, has a better understanding of foreign employees (Adler, 1991). Second, multicultural organizations can understand and penetrate wider and enhanced markets. Not only does the multicultural organization embrace a diverse workforce internally, it is better suited to serve a diverse external clientele. The diverse organization has an increased understanding of the political, social, legal, economic and cultural environment of foreign countries (Cox & Blake, 1991)
Adler, N.J. (1991 ). International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior . Boston: PWS-Kent Publishing Company.
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