Every person is an amalgamation of different identities, learning preferences, and work styles.
Taking those elements into consideration, people are pretty complex and multi-faceted individuals – and that’s before accounting for personality. While this an affords opportunity for attraction, collaboration, and learning, it can also pose challenges.
Regardless of the environment, there exists the possibility of cognitive, interpersonal, and cooperative (including supervisory) issues when we fail to recognize or navigate these differences.
Complications can arise in a number of ways. Without considering learning style, facilitated communication of information can be ineffective in reaching or being understood by the intended audience. Different work styles can create anxiety or confusion around expectations and timing for a collaborative project if one person likes to work ahead of deadlines and another utilizes every minute until the deadline to complete a task.
Failure to account for identities and perspectives can lead to, at best, missed opportunities for engagement or effectiveness and, at worst, instances of bias, exclusion, and inequity.
While it may seem daunting to overcome all these possible issues, there are steps we can take to minimize, avoid, or prepare for them. To start, you can learn more about how people operate.