Yesterday I explained my one simple rule for finding good guilds in online games — join guilds with girls. I’d say that the rule works elsewhere as well. Diverse teams make better teams. Today I thought I’d take a stab at explaining why I think that is the case.
When people are surrounded with people they consider to be like themselves based on stereotypes (rather than actually knowing all of the people present somewhat intimately), they form a false sense of security that enables them to be more insensitive to others. Chances are in a group of any size there will be a great diversity of opinion, but if everyone in the group looks the same, people in the group will underestimate that diversity of opinion.
Put a group of obviously different people together, and everyone but the biggest boors will be more sensitive to the fact that others in the group may not appreciate their “being themselves.” Everyone involved will conduct themselves in a more thoughtful manner, and the group will benefit.
On a slightly separate note, I think that the theme of this blog for 2007 will be the benefits of thoughtfulness and living deliberately. (I kind of got started in this in my post on email signoffs, but I have a lot further to go.)