Can Diversity Harmonize with Similarity?

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  • Posted by: Deepa

Collaboration and trust between employees have become crucial as companies mobilize on increasingly complex issues faster than ever before Suzanne Bell, a prominent team researcher working on NASA’s Mars project, states “A mission team—like any team, anywhere—needs competent people who work well together. In our models, we assume that astronauts are intelligent, that they’re experts in their technical areas, and that they have at least some teamwork skills. What’s tricky is how well individuals combine.”

The first checkbox of building a winning team is ticked when the best talent is brought on board; the second is ticked when you have a mix of personalities who contribute with different strengths. However, the team doesn’t seem to be on the same wavelength as anticipated. Innovation can take a backseat because most employees often find the need to feel confident that their teammates will support their new ideas, or at the very least not criticize them, before they may feel free to propose them. 

This can be easily fixed through professional interventions to help your team navigate unsurfaced similarities to connect in a better way. For instance, during one of our sessions with a skincare brand, we were able to bring out the below aspects which helped them bond together in a progressive way:

 1. Curiosity: As the activity takes place, the participants get a sneak peek into what their peers are selecting. This helps to foster a common sense of eureka moments across the room, through which they discover hidden features that are often similar to themselves. This enables most of the participants to look at what their teammates have selected, opening doors to familiarity and new conversations as they get to know each other.

 2. Cognitive assessment: We acquire opinions about other people by extrapolating from the data we have So when we discover that someone shares a trait with us, it makes us feel good about that person because it makes us feel good about ourselves. Then, we think that the other person shares some of our other admirable traits, which makes us accept the other person as one of our own through similarities.

 3. Validation: Humans are by nature sociable beings. Since we flourish in communities, we have a strong desire to be a part of them and look to them for approval. Therefore, during the activity when the participants realize their gut feeling about certain individuals is spot on, they become alert when sensitive situations arise because they now know the other person’s perspective. Though they may not always agree, they are now much more equipped to communicate better.

Do you carry the burden of cultivating a cohesive team? Assimilate the Jigsaw Discovery Tool in your strategy to gain more effective results. Get in touch with us at to know more.

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