“Are You a Threat or a Help?”

“Are you a threat or a help?” Can I trust you?

When you encounter a stranger, this is the first thought that crosses your mind, often subconscious. We are wired to check if people around us are trustworthy, almost continuously. This helped us, human species, to survive and prosper through million years of evolution. And if I trust you, will you help me achieve my goals?

Simplified, the question has always been:  “Are you one of us?”

Regardless of your background, within seconds you will experience a bias towards people who look, talk, and walk like you. This is normal; do not be shy to admit that. Trying to change this innate reaction is akin to performing a lobotomy on a person with mental disorder. What is worse, forced diversity leads to fruitless alliances on a personal level and to dysfunctional teams at work. 

If we claim to be the smartest species on the planet, we should realize that “being one of us” has evolved as well. Gone are the days when the purely physical perception guided our choice. As human society advances, our focus has shifted from the conservation values of safety and conformity – to self-enhancement, towards eventual self-transcendence.

The actual challenge today is to distinguish the genuine “oneness” with a potential soulmate through the haze of fake diversity and inclusion, and make sure you are not bound by legal or social constraints to collaborate with talking wax figures that look “correct,” effectively committing oneself to a miserable existence.

To achieve true harmony and to build an environment conducive to high employee engagement and productivity, you must forget about race, gender, age, sex, and, to a certain limit, professional credentials. You need to make sure you have a meaningful Mission/Vision/Purpose, and that your team supports and shares it.

You can achieve this with the Collectiver Culture Compass tool. It takes minutes to have the Q7 form completed and to have your team mapped, without checking your color, age, gender, or political affiliation. It takes virtually no effort to have the Q7 form completed within a minute or two. The individual responses remain confidential. If your team decides to disclose their locations on the Q7 Map, it is a good indication of the team’s performance potential. It is up to the team members to disclose them – or wait till the necessary level of Trust has been achieved inside the team.

Of course, no tool is 100% perfect. However, it helps start the CONVERSATION about the shared Values and Purpose of your business. Through this conversation (then cascaded to subordinate teams), you improve Trust and Communication – the cornerstones of employee engagement and effectiveness.