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The Loudest Duck. Moving Beyond Diversity while Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 1240826
  • Book
  • December 2009
  • 192 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd

Diversity in the workplace is a wonderful thing - but it also challenges many of today's business leaders. For managers and team-members alike, it can be difficult to navigate in a truly diverse workplace made up of people of different cultures, races, creeds, body types, hobbies, genders, religions, styles, and sexual orientations. But understanding our cultural and social differences is a major key to a high-performing, merit-based work environment.

The Loudest Duck is a business guide that explores workplace diversity and presents new ideas for getting the most business and organizational benefit from it. In the Chinese children's parable, the loudest duck is the one that gets shot. In America, we like to say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Comparing the two, it's easy to see that our different cultures teach us different sets of values, and those values often translate into different ways of doing business that may subtly advantage one culture at work and disadvantage another.

In the global marketplace, it's more important than ever that we understand and are conscious of our differences to work together effectively. It is not enough to create Noah's Ark, bringing in two of each kind. We all bring our unconscious beliefs and personal narratives about who we are and who others are with us to work and, with diversity in place, we can no longer ignore them. Truly effective leaders can't pretend that we're all the same or that our preferences and preconceptions don't exist. The Loudest Duck offers a way to move beyond traditional diversity efforts that ignore our differences and toward modern diversity practices that embrace those differences - and profit from them.

Diverse organizations require more sophisticated leadership, conscious awareness of diversity issues, new behavioral patterns, and effective tools for reaping the benefits of true diversity. This book will help you develop the skills you need and the tools you can use to go beyond what Grandma taught you to make diversity work in your business.

More than just an enlightening tale about diversity, The Loudest Duck is a powerful resource for any manager, business owner, team leader, or employee who wants to meet the challenges of the modern heterogeneous workplace. It's not simply about accepting others - it's about ensuring a level playing field for everyone and building an organization that gets the best from all its people.
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Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xv

Chapter 1 Beware of Noah’s Ark 1

Objections to Diversity 26

Chapter 2 The Elephant and the Mouse 31

Combining Forces 41

Point of View 46

Chapter 3 Tell Your Grandma to Go Home 49

Necessary but Not Sufficient 52

Preconceived Notions Have Roots 54

Chapter 4 What’s Easy for You is Hard for Me and How to Navigate the Differences 65

Getting Noticed in Noah’s Ark 67

Getting Out of Your Own Comfort Zone 72

Critical Feedback 83

Who Apologizes and Who Interrupts 91

Mentoring 94

Chapter 5 Unwritten Rules 99

Subtle Inequities 103

Chapter 6 We Hire for Difference and Fire Because They are Not the Same 113

The Danger of Unconscious Thinking, Speaking, and Acting 113

Chapter 7 The Tools in Your Toolbox 135

Think about the People on Your Team 139

Learn to Recognize Other People’s “Grandmas” 140

Fair and Equal with Access, Knowledge, and Feedback 142

Be Careful with Your Words, and How You Interpret the Words of Others 144

The Silent Have Something to Say 146

Results Should Be the Determinant 147

Conclusion 148

References 151

Index 157

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Laura A. Liswood
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown