A team meeting about diversity

Listen to a team meeting about diversity to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcript

Nina: As you know, our team has grown a lot in the past year and we feel we need to address the diversity in the team.

Brenda: How do you mean, 'address the diversity'?

Nina: Well, we all know that diversity in teams is a good thing, but it can also be a challenge for some people to respect and value people's differences. We've got a really diverse team here – people of different nationalities, backgrounds, religions, ages … and sometimes I don't feel we make the most of this.

Stefano: Yes, and even if it isn't specifically challenging, many people are simply unaware of the isolation that some team members may feel because they are different.

Brenda: So, what does this mean? What are we going to do?

Nina: Well, we need to create a workplace charter. You know, one that promotes equality, diversity and inclusion.

Brenda: That sounds like a good idea. But will people just see it as something the management team has created? Maybe they won't even pay attention to it.

Nina: I know. That's why we're going to involve everyone in creating it.

Stefano: That's a good idea. We could run some workshops and get ideas from the employees about how we can create a more inclusive workplace.

Nina: Exactly. I was thinking that before that we could run some team-building sessions so they can experience the value of diversity for themselves.

Brenda: Yes, I like that. Many people see diversity as something negative, often because there are different opinions or ways of doing things.

Nina: Yes, I know, but if there's no diversity, then the risk is that we all work in the same way, think the same and see the world the same. This makes it hard to be creative and to innovate.

Stefano: I completely agree, Nina. OK. So, what do you want us to do?

Nina: Stefano, can you look for a successful trainer who specialises in running workshops and team-building sessions on diversity and inclusion?

Stefano: Sure. I'll be happy to.

Nina: And Brenda, can you find a fun venue? Somewhere that is quite diverse itself. Something that's not the usual seminar-style environment?

Brenda: Sure. That'll be fun.

Nina: And I'm going to do some further research into how other organisations are benefiting from their diversity. I can share this with the whole team.

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Discussion

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Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by mamalirezaenglish on Mon, 08/08/2022 - 18:17

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Diversity is one of the most crucial concepts in human resource management. Diversity in a workplace, leads to creativity and makes different ideas involve in solving different problems.

Submitted by Oughli87 on Sat, 23/07/2022 - 16:51

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Actually, you couldn't find diversity everywhere in your home country, but if you live out that will sure realize the diversity whether in your work or your college.
In my work there are lot of diversity from nationalities, backgrounds, religions.. and languages.
This diversity allowed me to develop my second language and see how people think of doing things.

Submitted by AngDor on Thu, 16/06/2022 - 03:54

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Well, at my workplace I'm the only foreigner, I'm venezuelan and I work for a chilean company, the rest of the team are all chileans, as a team we manage to create a workplace where we try to help each other in everything we can.

Submitted by Jeedapa on Sat, 11/06/2022 - 18:31

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People at my workplace have the same nationality. However, I've experienced a diversity of thought and ideas. Anyway, I think diversity has pros and cons. Even though diversity can lead to a conflict, it can show us another perspective.

Submitted by Mm1111 on Wed, 01/06/2022 - 16:40

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In my present job I think that is diversity because my colleagues are the diferent religions and cultures. They are men an women and they have different ages. They provide many ideas and this is amazing!

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Submitted by Magedelabd on Thu, 05/05/2022 - 17:41

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I really find what they tell about diversity is very important . they said that without diversity we have no creativity and we all are thinking the same way.

Submitted by Moses Habarugira on Tue, 03/05/2022 - 19:31

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Mister Giaiaiaiai other members good evening from Burundi.
Dear Giaiaiaiai, i believe that thought above is absolutely wrong.but i appreciate how you express your suggestions in intelligent way which has got us being courageous to comment as it was said by the core team.

So i worked in somalia few years ago when i got chance to work in diverse company.
I mean AFRICAN MISSION IN SOMALIA (Amisom)
Truly it's real diversity because of color, religion, culture, work, languages and experience.
So it was lucky period to live in such condition.it was the best time for me to acquire divers knowledge.

Now,I work in my company of course but because i backed in my country I'm working the same way but not acquiring the same experience as the time.
Why? I'm with my colleagues,same kind of people, culture, language and nearly the same perspective.

Thanks.

Submitted by thomasBonavicina on Thu, 21/04/2022 - 15:06

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In this moment i work in a place where there are people of the same nationality, and for me is not a good thing, because by my experience, i’m more happy when i work or when i talk with people from different place on earth or with different culture, because it’s most interesing for me talk with people that have different point of view that are conditionated from the place where they live. The diversity of persons are very important for development of fresh and functionality ideas.

Submitted by younes01 on Tue, 19/04/2022 - 21:01

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diversity is an important thing when you talk about a big team even if it has some cons like a lot of ideas that you have to choose one of them and that take so much time.
On the other hand, diversity has pros more than cons like having ideas from different cultures and a team that is stone and has the capability of talking with a lot of languages

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 19/04/2022 - 07:19

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unfortunately there aren't divers nationality in our country. the culture of cities are divers but again unfortunately people often people don't migrate to another city to live and work. people try to have their work in their own city.

Submitted by Laxsus on Thu, 10/03/2022 - 00:37

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I'll talk about my college years, We were divided into groups of 6 average to work on researching and doing reports and presentations, we were all the same religion and nationality however, we had some kind of diversity as everyone of us had his/her own thoughts, And it helped us much to get creative ideas obviously .

Submitted by mihai_dragomirescu on Thu, 24/02/2022 - 14:54

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At my current workplace we have a lot of diversity , as we are currently working on project for an English company i have collogues from all around the world ( Britain , Romania , India , Poland , Holland , China and South Korea ) . We all benefit because we can compare ideas and also learn from each other a lot , one of my mentors is from South Korea and they work completely different from my previous Romanian mentor . This is not only about the amount of knowledge he has , but more on the way they think to solve a problem and how they react when we encounter issues .

I think about me that i am a lucky person , because i can see how different people from around the world think each day and how they solve problems at work. We also have each month 2 sessions of free talking about our lives and what we have done outside work. I find this important because you get to know your team better. We live in a beautiful world and we all have to work to make it better

Submitted by Giaiaiaiai on Sat, 29/01/2022 - 10:22

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I used this listening exercise for a student of mine. We listened to this and read the transcript together.

Although my student found this very useful, few days later I pause and read again the transcript. I think that its implied message (but not that "implied" though), refers to something wrong.

We have three characters talking about how to make a teamwork more diverse, inclusive and equal. In fact Nina claims that they need to "address to diversity". Based on what Nina says, a teamwork or a workplace, in order to be more creative and innovative, has to be more diverse.

Not necessarily. A creative personality brings you to do something creative, regardless your "nationality, background, religion, age..." Apparently, this fictional team is already diverse and the problem is to make people more aware about other people's realities by creating a workplace charter. I can respect you as a person, regardless your background, and I'm already well aware about it, but that has nothing to do with efficiency in a work place.

If a teamwork has people with a multi-colored background, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are more creative or that their workplace is better. What do they mean by "creating a workplace charter that promotes diversity, inclusion and equality"? How do you promote those? Is not clear, it's open to interpretations. Generally you can't, unless you are talking to a child, but in this context there is the risk that some people, apparently, could descriminate others just because they are different.

But, again, it's not clear. Diversity doesn't necessarily bring you to an upper level of production. The risk is that if you forcibly create a multi-colored team (excluding those who don't want to respect the workplace charter) you could have the reverse effect. Why not following the workplace charter?

Because if someone is unkind with me on the workplace, I have all the rights to respond in kind, regardless his/her different background. But then there is the charter that reminds me that I should pay respect to some categories.

In my opinion, the key problem is that, if someone feels excluded by his/her colleagues beacuse of his/her background, then you should bring out that problem and solve it between those interested parties, without creating a piece of paper. Otherwise, if you ride the wave of political correctness, it will bring you only to ambiguous situations.

Hello Giaiaiaiai,

Thank you for the comment and the thoughtful way you express your point of view.

I think the connection between diversity and creativity in a team is real in the sense that very homogeneous teams can suffer because of a certain narrowness of experience and modes of thinking.

I can give you an example from my own experience. A couple of years ago I worked with a museum to create a guide for people visiting the building for the first time. We decided to make the team diverse by including people with physical (a wheelchair user) and neurological issues (a man on the autistic spectrum) and their comments were incredibly helpful to us in creating the guide. They helped us to see things from a different perspective, to select more thoughtfully what information to include, and to present the information in a more accessible and less confusing way. This is a concrete example of how promoting diversity increased the creativity of the team.

I think promoting diversity does not only mean selecting people. It also means establishing an environment where different points of view are encouraged and not marginalised, so even when a team is diverse there is work to be done in terms of ensuring that this is not simply a superficial nod to 'political correctness' (I'll use the term here though I really dislike it and have never seen it adequately defined).

Of course, within any structure we have individuals and they may be helpful, creative and beneficial to the team, or they may not be. Your point on this is well taken, but I think making the workplace diverse and the working environment welcoming does not change this point: you can still assess the contribution of individuals within a workplace which values and promotes diversity; it is not an either/or question.

Once again, thank you for the comment. Thoughtful discussion is great and perhaps your comment will encourage other users to offer their points of view.

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by PeterG on Wed, 12/01/2022 - 14:42

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In my university, we have a lot of diversity because there are different religions, ages, genders, nationalities, etc.

Submitted by Miguelitorico1996 on Mon, 10/01/2022 - 20:15

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My workplace is a little bit diversed due to the company has four venues in four differente cities, Ibagué, Villavicencio, Neiva and Bogotá, so we have some things in common and we also have different customs, maybe the isolation because of the seniority at work is the main problem.

Submitted by misty on Sat, 08/01/2022 - 20:29

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In every country we have different races, religions, beliefs, and traditions. This makes every person unique from everyone. In my previous workplace, theres a lot of diversity. We respect each others norms, especially that we are dealing with patients and relatives. Being in a healthcare, makes us broad minded in terms of other peoples beliefs and traditions. Furthermore, we build rapport with our patient and relatives by respecting what they believe. I therefore conclude that diversity is quite important in treating our patient.

Submitted by ANOUAR on Wed, 29/12/2021 - 13:39

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Diversity in the team is a very important thing beacuse it help improve the vreativity of the team and boost productivity.

Submitted by jmajo on Tue, 21/12/2021 - 12:47

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The workplace I work nowadays is a bit diverse, although almost all the people is from the same nationality, we're all from different places and have different ages and ways of thinking, so I think it's quite diverse. We don't have a charter to guide us but we use our common sense and when we have a new member in our team in the workplace we always try to avoid the possibly isolation feelings promoting inclusion and organizing reunions in friendly venues as social clubs or parties. It could be important to pay attention to the little differences that makes us different each other but make the team stronger at the same time.

Thanks for the lesson.
Great site!

Submitted by vuhoap on Mon, 15/11/2021 - 14:13

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In my workplace, everyone is from different countries such as Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Japan. Although we are diverse in culture and customs, we all work towards the same goal, pay attention to promote our product and achieve the biggest revenue for the company.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Thu, 07/10/2021 - 15:24

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Yes, diversity is challenging things there are lots of diverse people live in India. They have different ideas, different ways to doing things.

Submitted by plyas on Wed, 06/10/2021 - 18:10

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advocacy is also a workplace with diversity. Many specialists, many versatile tasks ...

Submitted by Rolabaik on Thu, 30/09/2021 - 15:53

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I am working in a more workplace diverse than any other workplace. It's a Hospital.

Submitted by Ruben Murillo on Wed, 01/09/2021 - 03:30

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in Mexico it has been difficult to carry out inclusion because many people don't accept the different ways of thinking and sometimes they seem rediculous.

Submitted by Elías Amitai on Tue, 31/08/2021 - 19:11

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My current work-team is no that diverse. However, I completely agree with Brenda, I think that when there is not diversity, there are not new ideas, new ways of working and of course there is a lack of improvement. So to summarize, In my opinion, diversity is really necessary, especially in a work team, it is useful for finding new ways of solving problems, different points of view and so on. All this, In order to do our best as a team work and in this case, for the company.
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Submitted by iEdd on Thu, 01/07/2021 - 21:59

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My work place is so diverse, since I live in the second largest city of my country and so many people come here to study, work or for pleasure. We have the opportunity to know several cultures, accents, as well as moods. Being open mind, you have the chance to increase your empathy as the other are doing so at the same time.

Submitted by GiulianaAndy on Sat, 19/06/2021 - 19:05

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Actually I don't work. I'm just a student of University. Nevertheless, my university includes people from different parts of the world and for that reason in my opinion when students (included me) have to do a group job I work with people who have different ideas, religions, believes, etc. And I already know how it is called "diversity", and sometimes it is a little difficult because we cannot be agreed. Nevertheless, at the end we always find a solution to do the homework. If you ask me about how it benefits my team I could say that diversity in my team is like a breath of fresh air.

Submitted by fontan on Mon, 03/05/2021 - 03:03

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If an organisation has diversity, I think the people who work for the organisation feel like how they are. It is very important for a peaceful working environment. In this way everybody will consider about themselves and their colleagues that If I have freedom to be myself, and everybody has the same thing, I should respect this system and our work space.

Submitted by hninhninayekyu on Fri, 23/04/2021 - 04:40

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There are many people of different positions, educational backgrounds, ages, etc in my workplace. We always conduct small meetings to get different ideas and suggestions from every staff. But sometimes it is very difficult to get a consensus because of huge diversity in their opinions.

Submitted by Morrow on Mon, 19/04/2021 - 09:29

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In my workplace, there are people with different backgrounds (poor, rich,..), and personalities. And in my opinion, diversity can make us more mature, knowledgeable.

Submitted by jeison0894 on Mon, 05/04/2021 - 15:41

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In my workplace there are diverse people from many countries. We are a digital agency that works around the world providing our clients with solutions around business and development.

Submitted by Frank Cuello on Fri, 26/03/2021 - 02:54

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I think that diversity can help in a workplace in the creative aspect, especially when a team is looking for new approaches or ideas.

Submitted by In on Mon, 15/03/2021 - 07:35

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My workplace isn't diverse because I work by myself. I think that diversity creates rich team works and makes them more strong because of that.

Submitted by SoNSKrill on Fri, 26/02/2021 - 14:47

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In my case, my workplace is in a good instance, we have reach a feeling of inclusion and harmony, and that's the most important, respect the others, get the good things of each one and make a good job.

Submitted by Cesar Silva Gajardo on Tue, 23/02/2021 - 17:29

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I think that diversity in work teams is an interesting topic. I understand that a more diverse team with fluid communication creates greater trust and this will increase respect and tolerance for differences.

Submitted by Santes on Sun, 21/02/2021 - 11:25

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To be an innovative organization team is looking for diverse and inclusive people into the organization. To avoid like minded people organization required diverse and inclusive people in all aspects. Team of three are planning to motivate the people on diverse and inclusive aspects.

Submitted by German on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 01:35

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Actually my team isn't diversity because I generally work alone. But I like to find diversity teams an I think that the best way to obtain great results is conforming a great team.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Sun, 07/02/2021 - 23:32

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My work place consists of different diverse people. Diversity helps our team as the range of languages benefits our diverse customers.

Submitted by nancyvirginiare on Fri, 05/02/2021 - 19:29

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My workplace have a lot of diversity, we have people from different countries and it is so useful to have different visions and it helps to build a big picture of the situations.

Submitted by Alessandro893 on Fri, 05/02/2021 - 03:19

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In my opinion, diversity is good to be able to reach everyone, a global vision is beneficial for our society

Submitted by Aroooma on Sun, 24/01/2021 - 01:46

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In my opinion,diversty is good for the teams.It is full of benifets like make a special ideas ,more creative and see the beautiful colour s in our deffrint.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 16:44

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In many workplaces of my country, especially in the local administrations of the public bodies, there's no diversity, because the majority of people originate from the same background, but the increasing participation in the EU projects is going to promote the knowledge of other contexts and the exchange of ideas and methods; all that will foster the reciprocal unterstanding.

Submitted by Beytullah on Wed, 20/01/2021 - 13:50

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I think diversity provides to don't stuck only one thought.On the other hand it teachs us be tolerance,helpfull and polite human.

Submitted by Aleksandar Babic on Sun, 17/01/2021 - 11:50

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In my opinion is diversity in garmany on the high level. But so many people can't speak english on traditional workplace. I know, what I mine is we respect differnt people and we try to talk to earlier. Some people mine in garmany is a racism a big problem, but it is not. I wish for the future that more garmany guys can speak english and that it would be promoted.

Submitted by Ailicec on Fri, 15/01/2021 - 18:52

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I think the diversity Is not only diferent form of think, diferent color of skin, or religión. Diversity is also people with differents qualitys and capacites. This kind of people can teach us a lot of thinks that You don’t learn in the university, Like the true love.
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Submitted by El Cuy Mágico on Tue, 12/01/2021 - 20:31

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So nice reading all these experiences! Now I’m a student and in the university there is an interesting diversity environment. There are people from other regions. For example I have partners from the Andes, from the coast and from the jungle. In my country this mean they all have a quite different background. I feel I have improve as a person because I have been listening different ideas and i had different experiences whit these guys and i have new thoughts. Also I guess this environment has helped them as well. I mean now I feel they are more compressive and more friendlier may be cause they also have changed their way of thinking.

Submitted by marlio96 on Fri, 08/01/2021 - 16:59

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Due to the pandemic, my workplace is my home but I think that diversity is very important in a team, this is because every different person has a different point of view and this makes rich a team and brings it successfully.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 04:08

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In workplace,diversity is most important thing diversity is essential for growth community. When there is no diversity people have no incentive to hard work. In this community development is stop. In my place, diversity is enough. In India diversity is most features of their communities. There is a lot of languages, culture, traditions and festival. But all celebrate together with diversified experience. When there exists diversity then people have different openions. If there is equality in ideas then no work incentive. Diversity promotes invention.

Submitted by Elham Barakat on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 16:14

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In my workplace, we have little team diversity. Although we can't deal well with diversity in languages and traditions. You differ from me, I will sarcasm you. So it leads to many conflicts. From a positive point of view, team diversity is important for teamwork. It's created more innovation and creativity. The life we positively use team diversity, we would reach to new ideas and make the team think creatively. When we use it negatively, it leads to division, problems and conflicts. We have many different cultures, religions, thoughts. Everyone looks at life from a different point of view. This issue may be positive, that many different ideas we will share. It may be negative if everyone insists on his opinion and refuses to deal with changes or refuses to adapt with other different people and their different ways of thinking.

Submitted by Shahad2O on Tue, 29/12/2020 - 10:52

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In our group at the college, we have a lot of diverse in our thoughts and we have got created great ideas together.