There are a lot of groups out there that are full of diverse people working toward the same goal. This diversity and breadth of perspective is sought-after, however in practice can make for difficulty when collaborating. After all, different perspectives mean different approaches, priorities, communication styles, and potentially values.
Last week I was in Medellín, Colombia for the United Nations IPBES conference on science and policy on biodiversity and ecosystem services. I had the pleasure to graphic facilitate visioning sessions with the IPBES Fellows, a group of 49 next generation researchers from 37 countries seeking to use their scientific training to influence policy to protect biodiversity.
What blew me away the most was how well this group functioned as a team while working together. Here’s what I noticed them doing during the sessions that contributed to a successful global team that was able to go above and beyond with the impact they are making because of their strength in differences.
- It was clear they had been cultivating an environment where it was okay to disagree, change your mind, or question an idea.
- They listened to each other seeking to understand.
- They valued each other’s rich and diverse background informed by culture and field of study.
Next time you’re working with a group of people with different perspectives, think about how you could support and benefit from these differences to make your strategy, product, or paper that much stronger.
Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.
Ready to build a collaborative strategy? Let’s make it the best it can be with all the perspectives on your team.
Where in the World is ConverSketch?
Medellín: While it’s history has been fraught with violence, today Medellín is a vibrant city full of the most welcoming and generous people, known as Paisas. While riding a cable car to an eco-park just outside the city, I met Marleni and her family, who were born and raised on small farms inside the park. They invited me to come see their home and treated me to some farm-fresh meals! I made a small painting of their farmhouse, Finca Juliana as a thank you. It never ceases to amaze me how good people are, and what can happen when you say “yes”!