The modern project team is likely to contain an incredibly diverse range of individuals, and this can bring some challenges for the project manager. Whether you have recently gained your project management qualifications or have been in the role for a number of years, there are a few things that you will need to consider when managing a diverse team.

Managing a diverse team can be challenging

With any team that you manage you are likely to come across all kinds of individuals. Many of these are not only from different backgrounds but who also vary significantly in experience. There will be individuals who have worked on a wide range of project teams over the years, both large and small, and even those teams that are not all based in the same workspace. There will also be those who are inexperienced of working on a team or have only ever worked on a very small team before and who might find being on a larger team daunting.

You are also likely to see a wide range of ages, races, both men and women. Your team may include those individuals who are from different cultures, have different political stances, different religions, different sexual orientations and even different physical abilities. The diversities that you have seen on a previous project team may not always be the ones you find before you with a new team. It is important to remember that it is this diversity that could make or break your team. Everyone will have different opinions and suggestions and it is important to use your project management skills in order to make sure that every voice is heard.

Gaps in diversity

Sometimes there can be gaps in the diversity of your team. Whilst you should be able to identify them it is important to remember that your own bias may prevent you from seeing them all. If you have firm beliefs towards a particular thinking it can be easy to see whether your team contains that particular diversity or if it is missing. However, it might be harder to see those imbalances that exist for those diversities that you are less invested in.

As a project manager, it is important that you are not only responsible for ensuring you ae aware of these diversity gaps but that also you know how to move successfully through the workplace. This is where some of those soft skills come into play. You will need to be an aware leader, someone who is supportive and can help to promote diversity within the team. This way, you can ensure that your project team work well together. It will also allow them to thrive, be healthier and develop as a group.

Ensure that you have outlets for team members to be able to feedback. This is particularly important when everyone has differing opinions. Having a structure in place for this will make people more accountable. It will also allow you to know when there are issues so that you can work on solving them to make your team a cohesive unit.