A diverse group of people mixed within the workplace is bound to stir up some interesting issues. Creating a workplace where there is a positive culture of tolerance is the key to harnessing the competitive edge a diverse workforce gives the business.
What is Tolerance in the Workplace?
Tolerance is a very important skill your employees need to master within their workspace. Joshua Loth Liebman summed it up as “Tolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another’s beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them.”
It basically means that employees can perform their job without negatively impacting both their and their co-workers’ output and quality levels when they perform their duties because they respect each other’s differences.
When we talk about differences it can include sexual orientation, age, religion, nationality, and can revolve around certain beliefs which can also refer to political beliefs. It also means having respect and appreciation for differences in people in terms of their culture and lifestyle, or the type of food they prefer, certain habits or practices they adopt, the way they dress, the language they speak, or any customs they might have, no matter how foreign they might seem to you.
10 Tips to practice tolerance
“Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself” said Robert Green Ingersoll. Like any other soft (life) skill, tolerance is a skill that can be learned. Here are a few tips:
- Lead by example. Practice what you want to see in others.
- Try avoiding stereotyping, respect individuality and accept that each person has their own personality.
- Try to practice being kind to others. Have compassion and understanding towards others.
- Appreciate and celebrate that people are different and try including people of all walks of life.
- Think before you talk. Be sensitive to the tone, language etc. you decide to use.
- Avoid potentially hurtful or sarcastic jokes and being funny. It might be funny to you, but others might view it as offensive.
- Change your focus! Rather concentrate on what you have in common with other people rather than your differences.
- Be brave and courageous enough to stand up for others when they are being treated unkindly and unfairly.
- Help your co-workers understand each other through establishing open communication. Encourage them to learn as much as they can about one another and to also share with one another.
- You have one thing in common…the same workplace. Create a culture of tolerance and level the playing field. This way your workforce will know that each of them matters.
Building and establishing tolerance in the workplace plays an integral part in ensuring that workers get along in order to fuel their creativity, innovation, cooperation, and the dynamics between them. When there is tolerance, respect and appreciation for one another, there is trust and loyalty which promotes productivity.
The Mindspa Institute offers a variety of courses but also a practical, motivational workshop called, Embrace Diversity that will equip your team with the knowledge and practical skills they will need to understand, embrace and manage diversity in your workplace. The workshop will not be just an information session but will mix theoretical knowledge with practical application, so that diversity becomes part of the DNA of your teams. Visit https://themindspa.co.za/understanding-and-managing-diversity/ for more information on this course and how to book it for your team.