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Diversity comes in numerous forms such as gender, race, age, sexual orientation, cultural, and a lot more. The Army’s definition of diversity is the different attributes, experiences, and backgrounds of our Soldiers, civilians and family members that further enhance our global capabilities and contribute to an adaptive, culturally astute Army. It is important to understand how diversity plays a key factor in being effective in our day to day activities, specifically in the workplace; which is why I am writing this essay on the importance of diversity.
First, let me tell you what diversity means to me. Diversity by itself can mean multiple things, but for the purpose of this essay it means understanding that each individual is unique in most aspects and we should recognize how our differences can enhance the efficiency of an organization. The U. S. military is known to be one of the most diverse organization and is dedicated to providing opportunities for both men and women of every race. According to a Department of Defense (DoD) report, the military links diversity to its overall readiness and mission accomplishment because its initiatives aids leaders to recruit and retain Service members from a wide-ranging group, allowing strategic agility. Specifically in the military, having a wide range of demographics and background can offer a selection of different skills, talent, and experiences that can add further improvement to an organization. For example, a deployed unit operating in a foreign country can come across several obstacles due to language barriers and cultural differences. From my past experience, not all units get assigned an interpreter; so having an individual that is fluent in that specific language will help achieve the unit’s task.
Problem solving. As stated in the last paragraph, a professional organization with high standards such as the military is not always perfect; there’s constant hurdles that we have to overcome. In order to overcome these issues that arises, members need to come together as every individual brings their personal way of thinking and solving problems. Everyone has their own way of viewing an issue, which is formed through an experience that they have probably lived through. From my standpoint, I would rather receive various interpretations and methods when trying to solve an issue, rather than just one. One person will not always have the best solution but others may, this is why we need diversity when tackling an issue; being able to receive others point of view will produce productivity and solutions in the workplace. So up until now, I have discussed the advantages of diversity; now let’s talk about the disadvantages.
What’s the opposite of diversity? It is similarity/uniformity. As a follower or leader, we have distinguish that effective listening is crucial and the driving factor for success. The lack of communication can directly affect efficiency due to the lack of cohesiveness. Acceptance and respect can be an issue when there is a lack of acceptance of others culture and beliefs; this can lead to unnecessary tension which can affect everyone in the workplace. Furthermore, people often feel confused or threatened when an individual with views and backgrounds are very different from their own. Diversity doesn’t just apply at work but also in your everyday life, outside of work. Being able to interact with other people on a regular basis will allow you to absorb the abilities to connect and learn concepts that you are not familiar with. Also, hearing another individuals past experience will give you a new standpoint in a life that is different from yours; allowing you to recognize that we all grew up with a different lifestyle and experience different struggles in life.
In conclusion, achieving effective communication and understanding diverse knowledge will help us promote commitment to what we are required to live by, which is the Army Values. Throughout my cycle in the Basic Leader Course (BLC), I have come to comprehend what a leader does and that we are essential in a soldier’s military career. We should always maintain an inclusive working environment for them; recognizing an individual’s uniqueness will inspire them to work to their full potential.
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