Managing Diversity Through Self-Awareness and Personal Motivation

Topics: Management, Leadership, Skill Pages: 5 (1319 words) Published: November 28, 2010
Managing Diversity through Self-Awareness and Personal Motivation Managing diversity has the potential to be one of the most challenging issues for healthcare management. Healthcare organizational growth requires an increase in workforce, and workforce is becoming more multicultural and diverse. In order for one to manage diversity effectively, one must be self-aware and personally motivated. One’s self-awareness and behavior have the potential to be influenced by different factors such as culture, belief, and values. The motivation behind a manager’s leadership also should be considered. Healthcare managers may be result focused on specific outcomes therefore, missing an opportunity for personal motivation in all areas of managerial work. The definition of diversity also needs scrutiny as various factors may be included and considered. Managerial competence and skill in understanding the factors of diversity present the potential for impacting managing diversity. Finally, motivation from a personal basis opens the avenue of exploration of personal acceptance of diversity because of the inclusion of personal beliefs and values, creating a need for ethical consideration. Peer-reviewed article research has revealed answers to these questions in the exploration personal motivation and self-awareness.

Various factors have a potential impact in the formulation of one’s self-awareness and behavior. Edwards and Daniel (2009) define values as “general beliefs about the importance of normatively desirable behaviors and actions” (p. 655). This introduces the concept of belief into the equation. Organizational value systems are also present in a manager’s world, working to indicate how members should respond (Edwards & Daniel, 2009). The opportunity for a difference in values becomes a logical possibility. Value congruence, or agreement between personal and organizational values, becomes a consideration for managers, as Edwards and Daniel (2009) point out managers use interview tactics to assess value congruence, and use managerial strategies to mold new employees in the direction of the organizational value system. The impact of improving value congruence itself may not be as successful a strategy as focusing on the resultants of value congruence (Edwards & Daniel, 2009). Value congruence then carries over into the actions of the manager, emphasizing the importance of the beliefs and values the manager brings forward, and the formulation of his or her behavior.

Following behavior formulation, exploring leadership motivation in the context of diversity management identifies another opportunity for the manager to improve leadership. Hunt (2007) indicates effective leadership inspires, motivates, develops, and retains staff, while meeting organizational requirements. Focusing on specific outcomes, though, may be a detriment, as Hunt (2007) also states a tie between poor leadership, poor diversity management, and poor care provision in the healthcare setting. Attention to the various aspects of diversity management increases workforce motivation and decreases the turnover rate of employees (Gill, 1996). The manager then must have the motivation to manage the diversity effectively. After exploring definitions of diversity, it will become apparent personal beliefs and values factor into the definition, creating the necessity for personal motivation.

Konrad (2006) defines diversity in the workplace as “the set of individual, group and cultural differences people bring to the organization” (p. 1). This definition moves away from categorizing diversity strictly in ethnic terms, providing the opportunity for those of similar heritage to bring various aspects of diversity to the table. Individual differences include different skill sets, historical experiences, and levels of commitment (Konrad, 2006). As mentioned previously, introducing individuality provides opportunity for difference. Friedman and Davidson (2001) identify diversity...
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