In a previous article, we tackled the circle of peace that a person lives in with others, it is based on being aware of the common principles of humanity which unites all human beings, along with understanding the meaning of diversity and pluralism, which is one of the most important pillars of peace Egypt has ever known throughout its long history. Diversity is significant to people’s life and building societies. Recent researches have revealed the benefit and importance of diversity. Let’s take “business” domain as a model for applying diversity.
Based on the results of a Harvard Business Review study, teams with diverse knowledge and perspectives were able to overcome challenges and complete their tasks faster than teams with less diversity; as fulfilling the tasks took them a long time, or even caused them to withdraw! Overall, research findings indicate that teams with diversity are more intelligent, as working with people who are different than you helps your mind to move beyond traditional ways of thinking. Hence, your brain performance and capabilities improve.
Diverse teams focus more on gathering facts on a larger scale and with more influence than the non-diverse homogeneous teams. In an American study published by Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers distributed 200 people among mock juries, some of which included only white members, while others included white and black. Then a video clip was displayed to the juries, showing the trial of a black accused man who offended white victims, then the juries were asked to provide an opinion, whether the accused is guilty or not. The results of the experiment were as follows: The diversified committees collected the largest amount of facts about the case, committing few errors during the discussion of the evidence they had, and having a great opportunity to correct these errors during dialogues, compared to the non-diverse committees. Thus, it was found that diverse groups tend greatly towards reviewing and verifying facts in order to maintain objectivity, and that theyare more aware and realizing of any kind of bias or rigidity in thinking that may hinder their pursuit of information, or causes more errors during decision-making.
Diversity also leads to diversity of searching, not only for information, but rather it is concerned with its accuracy, as the different ways of thinking stimulate the realization of the mind in a more comprehensive, accurate and deeper manner. The researchers have also found that increasing cultural diversity leads to innovation. Businesses led by culturally diverse management teams were better able to develop new products, when compared to culturally homogenous leadership.
An opinion may claim that diversity causes the society to lose itsunity. However, unity of the people can be possible attained through coexistence which leads man to understand and perceive the other, a thing which enables man to handle others properly. Dialogue is considered one of the most important channels for rapprochement among people and spreading the culture of accepting others. Undoubtedly, encouraging the dialogue increases the breadth of the horizon, and trying to understand the other by explaining points of view, in order to understand the other’s way of thinking, then finding a common ground to bridge the points of view.
Among the important things about diversity:
- Finding ways to bring groups together, in a way that everyone feels they have a valued opinion.
- Emphasizing self-confidence and encouraging individuals to excel in performing their roles.
- Emphasizing the importance of cooperation in order to reach the best results. All religions emphasize on cooperation: In the Quran:“Cooperate with one another in goodness and righteousness, and do not cooperate in sin and transgression.” while in the Bible, we read: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up… And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Popular culture provides us with sayings about cooperation: “It takes two to tango” and “Many hands make light work”.
On the other hand, we must avoid the causes of conflicts, among which… Stories in beautiful Egypt never end!
The General Bishop
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center13 January 2021