The Brain on Diversity: Building Trust Across Borders and Boundaries


An organization that capitalizes on differences is likely one that also fuels innovation. Is your organization on the move? Do you welcome original approaches that fit an innovative era, or is business mired in practices for one gender, one culture or one set of beliefs?

Check out key areas that expand an organization’s benefits from differences it engages:

A brain business on diversity sees people as capital, and capital as more broadly achievable. In diverse workplaces:

  1. Curiosity converts into creative approaches through strategies that draw from differences.  In contrast, the one-way-only-trend comes from habits formed in brains, and is shaped by choices to exclude certain talents in an effort to cling to the norm.
  2. Work areas sport employee differences through art, icons, and inspirations.  Environment counts, and diverse settings help different people to transform problems into solutions that an entire organization can salute.
  3. Communication welcomes all, remains consistent and prevents cynicism in its ranks, in favor of well being and support across cultures. Healthy interactions come partially from and are fueled by serotonin chemical hormones.
  4. Calm predominates over conflicts, because people build goodwill with those who disagree. In contrast, anger, and frustration come from exclusion, and fuel dangerous cortisol chemicals.
  5. More  solutions than problems grow evident when wider groups offer insights for  innovative practices. Venting, on the other hand,  is bad for the brain and creates new neuron pathways to much more of the same.
  6. Change is sustainable and expected, especially when workers can all speak and feel heard. Since dendrite brain cells use the outside world to take shape, they grow and diversify based on what you do daily.
  7. Music helps you focus on variations at work, and growth is inevitable when people listen to different  rhythms. Tunes that change brain wave speeds. Why not survey the entire organization to ensure music selections impact moods positively, and alter productivity.
  8. Actively engaged knowledge comes with reasonable demands, and is implemented by the same people who contribute to it. In contrast, lectures and talks work against listeners’ brains and benefit speakers’ intelligence more than listeners.
  9. Tenure is never used as an excuse to stop learning or to stomp on growth for any population group. Hebbian workers require diverse strategies to rewire complacent brains.  Otherwise, stagnators  will kill incentives, limit focus or even shrink brains across an organization.
  10. Leadership comes from all backgrounds and beliefs with access opportunities at top  levels. Unfortunately, traditional diversity training commonly works  against these benefits, partly because of its deficit mental model.
  11. Incentives and variety exists for both exercise and quiet reflection at work.  Brain waves can bring either sleep or peak performance to any task, based on how you activate them.
  12. Knowledge appears relevant to all or most before being adopted at work. Hook even difficult facts onto one thing a person already knows and learning increases in less time.
  13. Invention comes forward constantly – while  ruts and rigid routines appear rarely. Basal ganglias store facts and create ruts, working memory holds few facts and leads change.
  14. Multiple approaches are encouraged daily as diverse people reach for shared standards from many approaches. Multiple intelligences common to all, are valued and developed wherever they exist.
  15. Peer pressure expands creativity,  innovation is common while cynicism is rare. Sadly, cynical mindsets literally block creativity, impact talent, and stomp out innovation.
  16. Learning approaches come from grass roots and are easily dropped when ineffective. Memory can be outsourced to help people remember, and to free the mind for focus.
  17. Senior workers teach all yet daily learn from novices. Plasticity enables people to rewire the human brain in ways that keep it younger, smarter, and alive through interactive learning.
  18. A spirit of support supersedes discontent, and team building raises profitability for all.  Encouragement  changes the chemistry of a brain through raised serotonin, criticism tears down all through spreading cortisol chemicals.
  19. Trust is evident across silos, when transparency defines communications and actions. Meta messages, on the other hand, destroy diversity in relationships through implications different from what is said.
  20. Brainpowered exchanges build agreement across traditional silos and different departments pull together for the greater good. It often takes an integration of  hard and soft skills to solve problems with the brain in mind.
  21. Positive tone predominates where different people  take risks together to achieve new heights. Stress literally shrinks the brain, and tone in communication acts as a silent killer, or offers a positive fuel forward.
  22. Leaders know  people by name, and use people’s Jane Henry frequently. Greet a person through speaking that person’s name, for a spike in personal awareness, research tells us.
  23. Creativity and invention get shared rather than squashed, through teaching others at the same time people learn. People retain 90% more through teaching others at the same time they learn a thing. So wisdom and invention spreads and grows in this way.
  24. Curiosity is consistently cultivated by diverse workplaces pulling together on pretty much a daily basis. How so? You create new neuron pathways each time you add a solution to any problem you encounter. The opposite is also true – as focus on problems leads to more of the same.
  25. High value goes to both women and men at all leadership levels.  Women and men’s brain differ biologically and intellectually in ways that few optimize, yet when both genders contribute – innovations jettison forward.

What brain based strategy would convert your organization into innovation that sparks sustainable growth and profitability?

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3 thoughts on “The Brain on Diversity: Building Trust Across Borders and Boundaries

  1. Pingback: Creativity – Risk or Regret? – Brain Leaders and Learners

  2. Ellen Weber

    Thanks and I agree Stu – It takes many cultures to come to mind-bending conclusions that can lead us in a new era. It’s why MITA is built on many cultures, and why I have chosen to live and work with leaders in many parts of the world.

    How is your own work coming on that note? Any new developments? Ellen

  3. Stuart

    Hi Ellen as always great info in your posts…..the only aspect I would like to add is that of “Building trust across cultural borders and boundaries” which gives another overlay to any situation, but one that pushes diversity and allows the brain based organisations to grow in a more holistic way.


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