How to Work with and Lead People not Like You: Practical Solutions for Today's Diverse Workplace

  • 2h 16m
  • Kelly McDonald
  • John Wiley & Sons (US)
  • 2017

If you're in a diverse team, you know employee differences can cause miscommunication, lower trust, and hurt productivity. . . It doesn't have to be this way!

The people you work with may be from a different generation, different culture, different race, different gender, or just a different philosophy toward work and life in general, but you need to work together toward a common goal. How to Work With and Lead People Not Like You explains how to dial down the differences, smooth out the friction, and play upon each other's strengths to become more effective, more productive, and less stressed. The keys are to find the common ground and identify hidden conflicts that are hurting productivity.

Many people shudder at the prospect of working with diverse groups of people, but they can't voice their fear or anxiety. At work, it's not OK or politically correct to say, 'I'm uncomfortable with this person.' In fact, if you do say something along those lines, your job may be at risk. Your company may terminate you for not being on the 'diversity bandwagon.' So you keep quiet and you keep your thoughts to yourself. But deep down, you are uncomfortable.

If you feel like this, it doesn't mean you're racist, sexist, ageist, homophobic, or any other negative label. It means you're struggling.

You're struggling to understand people, cultures, or values that are unfamiliar to you. You're struggling to do your job with teammates and coworkers who may have very different viewpoints or different approaches to communication than you have. You're struggling to overcome differences and pull together to achieve high performance at work.

Whether you're leading a diverse team, working in a challenging cross-cultural environment, or simply working with people who are 'not like you,' you need to be able to get along with everyone as a team, to get the work done. This book explains the skills you need to communicate, motivate, and inspire people to collaborate—even if they have very different values, lifestyles, or priorities.

  • Learn key steps that bring cohesion to diversity
  • How to have a constructive conversation about working alongside people who are different
  • The four magic words that make this easier and smooth over friction
  • What not to say—and why
  • Learn to set aside differences and get things done
  • Learn how to handle a racist, sexist, homophobic or offensive remark in a professional way
  • Retain your sanity when colleagues drive you crazy

The changing demographics of today's workforce bring conflicting viewpoints, perspectives, approaches, skills, habits, and personalities together in one place; whether that leads to synergy or catastrophe is up to you. How to Work With and Lead People Not Like You helps you turn a hurdle into an advantage so you or your team can do more, achieve more, and enjoy the ride.

About the Author

What does a blond haired, blue-eyed Irish girl know about diversity?

Kelly McDonald is a marketing and communications expert who specializes in multicultural and diversity marketing. But Kelly's definition of diversity goes way beyond racial and ethnic diversity. Her philosophy is that any way you can be different from another person is "diversity". In fact, what makes us different from each other usually has very little to do with race, age, gender or any of the other demographic criteria that marketers traditionally use. Kelly's premise is that when you market to people's values, you reach their heart, mind and wallet.

Kelly speaks to organizations of every size about how to grow business with effective marketing techniques and how to connect with others to form relationships that are constructive and effective in business.

  • She was named one of the "Top 26 Hottest Speakers" by Successful Meetings magazine
  • She's been featured on CNBC, in BusinessWeek, on and on Sirius/XM Radio
  • Her company, McDonald Marketing, has twice been named one of the top ad agencies in the U.S. by Advertising Age
  • Inc Magazine has twice ranked her company one of the fastest-growing, independently owned companies in the U.S.
  • She is a nationally recognized expert on changing demographics, generational differences, multicultural marketing and Hispanic marketing

In addition to her writing and speaking, Kelly is president of McDonald Marketing, a marketing and advertising firm in Dallas, TX.

In this Book

  • "I Used to Just Be Able to Do My Job—Now I Have to Be Politically Correct"
  • How to Break the Ice, Show Respect, and Build Trust with People Not Like You
  • How Do We Talk about Real Differences in People and Groups That Create Conflict or Hurt Productivity—Without Stereotyping or Offending?
  • Working with People Who Don't Speak English
  • Dealing with People, Groups, or Values You Don't Like: How to Get Along and Work Together Anyway
  • How to Break the Ice and Build Trust in Diverse Work Groups
  • The Leader's Role: Educating and Setting the Example
  • Dealing with Conflict and Prejudice and Having Hard Conversations about Differences
  • Don't Just Hire People Who Are Like You—But Avoid Tokenism
  • Navigating the Waters of Promotions and Professional Development
  • Making Accommodations for Employees—Do You Have To?


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