A team meeting about diversity

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

Instructions

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.

Discussion

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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.