Most of us have heard this idiom at some time in our lives, “Great minds think alike.” This statement is often used when several people have come up with a similar idea that creates an improved path towards a common goal.

However, great minds that think too much alike lose some ability in seeing the bigger picture. Albert Einstein said, “Problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them.” This is why diversity in the workplace is key.

I recall a story of a colleague that attended a workshop on improving counseling skills. The instructor took a red circle and taped it to the wall and asked the class to tell her what they saw. Having watched the instructor place the red circle, nearly all of the class reported they saw a red circle. The instructor said, is that all you see? Then a student said, there is a framed picture on the wall too. Yes, said the instructor, what else? Then everyone started to report their findings like a wall, a blue painted wall, a light switch, a thumbtack, and even some cobwebs in the corner.

The instructor said, that red circle is like a label we put on people and because a person of authority put it there you all accepted that was all you were supposed to find. As a team, once you opened your view, you realized, there was much more going on. And, how many of you, including me, never noticed the cobwebs in the corner? Sometimes only one person may notice something that can benefit us all. So every voice is valuable.

Next, she placed a cardboard box in the center of the room and asked everyone to write down their findings. When the time was up, she asked, raise your hand if you see a cardboard box in the center of the room. All hands went up. She then approached a student on one side of the room and asked her to describe the box to her colleges. The student said I see a box with a big smiley face. The instructor then crossed to the opposite side of the room and asked another student if she sees the same thing? The student replied no, I see a box with a sad face. The instructor went to another student at a 90-degree angle and asked, do you agree with the findings of the other two and he said, no. I see a box with nothing.

The instructor said we are all in agreement that there was a box but we are in disagreement with the details of the findings. So, she approached another student and asked him to turn the box 180 degrees. Now, it was clear to the students why there were opposing viewpoints. Each side of the box was different.

The lesson being, how quickly are we in society to accept a label that someone has placed on another person? How quickly are we to discredit the perspectives of another person before we know all the facts? Everyone in that class had a piece of the puzzle and everyone was correct in their initial findings, but it took the entire team to put it all together in a way that brought greater understanding to the whole.

BPO Centers recognizes the value of diversity is beyond skin color, age, religious beliefs, cultural backgrounds, what one wears, or who one loves. Diversity matters because with many points of view comes greater understanding, greater possibilities, and greater success.

Let our diverse team of professionals help you to think outside the box with better solutions for your Business Process Outsourcing needs. For more information visit www.bpocenters.com

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