By Dr. Mike Ghouse
Each one of us tunes into a radio station called WIFM: “What’s In For Me.” What is Pluralism in business and what is the need for it? How does it benefit you or your organization?
First of all, Pluralism is simply developing an attitude of respecting the otherness of others, it does not mean you have to pander, but it means you make efforts for people to see other’s point of view and make it work. Every organization is made up of people who are loyal and committed to the prosperity and profitability of an organization. While a majority a of the board members, associates and employees stick to the guidelines for a smooth sail, a few don’t and pull down the productivity of the entire group.
The old-fashioned way was to ‘get rid’ of those who were a drag on the company, However, over the years, we have learned that it is expensive to deal with such issues and not good for the attitudinal health of the business.
The diversity of attitudes, culture, social, racial-ethnic and religious is inherent in most organizations. Indeed, if we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the uniqueness of each one of us, conflicts fade and solutions emerge. I believe knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to the appreciation of a different point of view, and different way of expressing things. This attitude of inclusion will mitigate if not remove the conflicts within and nurtures the goodwill.
This week, I read three wonderful articles at Harvard Business Review, namely; ‘Why Diversity Programs Fail’, ‘Designing a Bias-Free Organization’ and ‘We Just Can’t Handle Diversity’.
Let me add another enduring dimension to it, and that is building cohesive workplaces.
By the end of 2020, there will not be a major city in America, and perhaps in the world, where you will not find people of different faiths, cultures, ethnicities, races, nationalities and social backgrounds working, eating, playing, interacting, marrying, and doing things together.
This is bound to create social and personal conflicts harming the smooth functioning of the corporations. We need to prepare ourselves for those eventualities to prevent possible conflicts and lay a good foundation for nurturing goodwill and effective functioning of the societies.
Exclusive workplaces will become a thing of the past. If you live amidst others, you must also respect the otherness of others, as you expect them to do the same for you.
You are who you are, and I am who I am. As long as we don’t mess with each other’s space, sustenance and nurturance, and mind our own business, we all will do well.
I will be sharing many examples, and one among them is looking at our own example of the cohesive functioning of our body.
Our body is made of billions of cells, forget about it, it is beyond comprehension, let’s focus on a dozen organs –brain, eyes, nose, hearing, chest, lungs, heart, stomach, liver, intestines, kidneys and Anus. All these have to work together, coordinate with each other for the cohesive functioning of the human body.
One day a fight broke out between the organs, the Brain said, he is the most important part of the human body, Heart laid down its own legitimate claim to its importance… and at the very end, and the Anus claimed he is the most important organ. All organs laughed and ridiculed him, the Anus was not going to take the abuse and told them boldly – let me show you guys who is important here and shuts down. Have you ever had constipation? Well, the pain spread out to everyone including the brain with headaches, the organs could not take it anymore and said, ok, Sir Anus, AH, you are the most important organ, are you happy? The Anus retorted I don’t need anyone to patronize me, just say, I am equally important to the human body to function it effectively!
I will be sharing many examples some of them will be live skits to make the point of respecting the diversity. One of them would be the dining example and another one the restroom.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, newsmaker, Interfaith Wedding Officiant, and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, terrorism, human rights, motivation, and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.
Mike has appeared in over 300 TV shows including 100 plus on Sean Hannity and Stuart Varney at Fox News. He has written over 3000 articles, and a third of them on Pluralism and Co-existence. He has done over 700 hours of Talk show radio on understanding the essence of religions and diversity and conducted many workshops on building cohesive workplaces and societies. Two books are on the horizon – Standing up for others and a Pluralistic America. All his work is encapsulated in 65 links at www.MikeGhouse.net
By Dr. Mike Ghouse