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Employability Skills: Recognise and utilise diverse perspectives

Recognise and Utilise Diverse Perspectives

When dealing with people you need to understand that not everyone will hold the same beliefs, understandings, and perspectives as you. People are all unique in their own ways. When in a workplace you will encounter a large range of people with their own backgrounds, history, biases, and assumptions. 

Visit the ECU CareerHub for more information, resources and support on career options and how to work with diverse perspectives.

Being able to interact with others is also being able to accept their diverse perspectives and work with them to get the job done. This is the ability to:

Recognise different perspectives

  • Understand that others bring a unique combination of values, beliefs, knowledge, understandings and perspectives to work
  • Challenge situations if required to ensure that diversity is respected

Respond to and utilise diverse perspectives

  • Communicate and explore your own and others’ values, beliefs and assumptions to help identify drivers and barriers to change, develop new ideas, address problems and make decisions
  • Adapt your personal communication style to respect the values, beliefs and cultural expectations of others
  • Promote a safe space in which others feel comfortable to identify, explore and build on a variety of perspectives 

Manage conflict

  • Recognise the potential for conflict and take steps to stop an issue from escalating
  • Seek to create a safe space where both people can clarify and share the real needs and issues
  • Confront problems quickly and directly to reach agreement that satisfies the needs and interests of all

Diversity in a workplace can be a range of different things. Here are some ways that people can be diverse, and some links to how ECU acknowledge and provide insight into these diverse views:

There are a few things that you can do to begin exploring inclusiveness both for yourself and for others. 

  • Assess your own self and cultural beliefs and features. 
    • Understanding your own held beliefs and biases will allow you to recognise how they may influence your interaction with others of different backgrounds or beliefs.
  • Be aware and accepting of differences and values of others
  • Be willing to discuss and clarify conflicts or disagreements that may stem from differences in diverse viewpoints. 
    • Different viewpoints will come with their own biases, etiquette, communication styles, values, and approaches to issues. These may come in conflict when working in an environment with a diverse workforce. 
  • Learn more about other cultures, especially of those of the people working around you
    • Understanding the history, values, and perspectives of the people around you will help you understand how they interact with others in the workplace. 
  • Adapt systems or processes to be inclusive of diverse sensitivities, values, or needs. 

References and Further Reading

Alliant International University. (n.d.) What are the 4 types of diversity? [Blog].

Deloitte. (2011). Only skin deep? Re-examining the business case for diversity.

Cross, T.L., Bazron, B.J.,Dennis, K.W., & Isaacs, M.R. (1989, March). Towards a culturally competent system of care.

Government of Western Australia, Public Sector Commission. (2020). Workforce diversification and inclusion strategy for WA public sector employment 2020-2025.

Philips, K.W. (2014, October 1). How diversity makes us smarter. Scientific American.

Smith, P.M. (2013). Beyond diversity: Moving towards inclusive work environments. In K. Blessinger & P. Hrycaj (Eds.), Workplace culture in academic libraries: The early 21st century (pp.99-110). Chandos Publishing. 

Victoria State Government, Premier and Cabinet. (2019). Diversity and inclusion strategy 2019-2020.