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What's Your Comfort Zone?

Most of us agree that having a diverse and inclusive culture is good for our business. But do we really know what that looks like and/or even what it means? The older I get, the more I realize getting out of my comfort zone isn’t really what I thought it was.

I’ve worked with many managers who tend to hire individuals who share philosophies or have characteristics that the manager is used to working with. It amuses me that they then tend to run into the same issues over and over, not realizing that their short-sightedness may be the root cause. But I do understand that we get so caught up in our roles that it’s tempting to look for what seems like the easy solution. Following the same path, even when we know there are roadblocks in the way, can still seem like the easiest thing to do in our busy lives.

But think about the limitations! If we continue to follow along with our “normal” hiring practices and go down the same roads, what beautiful views are we missing?

Certainly, it’s important to understand the needed skills/experiences for a position and look for individuals who have the technical training and/or background necessary to be successful in the position. But rethink what you mean by success. Do you want someone to do things the same way they’ve been done in the past? Probably not. So, what are you doing differently to encourage diversity?

Rethink your hiring/recruiting/interviewing strategies. Try at least one new source for recruiting (recruiting sites, networking groups, different universities, referral bonuses); something you’re not consistently doing now. Bring in someone new from your team/company to interview (who maybe hasn’t been an interviewer for your group in the past), use team interviews (if you’ve always done one-on-one) or conduct a reverse interview (i.e., have the candidate come in with the expectation that they’re interviewing you). Shake things up!

Get excited about opportunities and differences. Adapt your comfort zone to be less predictable. Will this bring along diversity or inclusiveness? Hopefully, but at the very least, it may bring new viewpoints and possibilities!

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