Centennial, Colo.— March 22, 2012 — Versatility—closely related to the concept of Emotional Intelligence—predicts managers’ diversity and inclusiveness behaviors, according to a new whitepaper based on research by The TRACOM Group and DeLaPorte & Associates.
In a study of 143 managers at a multinational defense contractor, TRACOM and DeLaPorte found that managers with high Versatility were rated significantly more effective at promoting diversity and inclusiveness (D&I) than managers with lower Versatility. Importantly, these evaluations came from the managers’ direct reports, those in the best position to determine D&I behaviors.
Versatility is a measure of interpersonal effectiveness. It indicates a person’s ability to adjust behaviors in each situation in order to interact effectively and gain support of co-workers and others to maximize productivity. Versatile people are flexible, responsive and adaptable. Research shows that people with high Versatility outperform their lower-Versatility counterparts across a broad spectrum of performance measures.
The study measured D&I practices with a 38-item survey that comprehensively evaluated various aspects of D&I that were identified by the defense contractor, including:
-Awareness of, and attendance in, D&I programs, and
-The effect that D&I has on teams and the company.
Versatility was positively and significantly correlated with 35 of the 38 D&I items. Versatility accounted for 21 percent of the variance in D&I practices.
Managers with high Versatility were more likely to engage in pro-diversity behaviors, such as actively trying to understand others’ experiences and perspectives, recognizing employees’ contributions, fostering a welcoming environment for the team, and valuing different opinions. Highly versatile managers were rated up to 17 percent more effective on these behaviors than low versatile managers.
“This research study has shown that managers with high Versatility engage in personal behaviors that contribute to a diverse and inclusive team environment,” said study co-author Casey Mulqueen, Ph.D, director of research & product development for TRACOM. “Since Versatility can be learned and practiced, any manager can learn to behave with higher Versatility, and this is likely to impact D&I practices, among other performance outcomes.”
To download the whitepaper, “Relationship Between Versatility and Diversity Among Leaders,” go to http://www.tracomcorp.com/training-products/performance-library/performance-library.html.
About The TRACOM Group
For 50 years, The TRACOM Group has helped individuals and organizations improve workplace performance by building interpersonal skills, improving teamwork and developing leaders. TRACOM offers measurement-based learning models, courses, surveys, assessment tools and consulting services. Much of TRACOM’s work is based on the SOCIAL STYLE Model™, a proven model for effective leadership performance, work and personal relationships.
About DeLaPorte & Associates
For more than 25 years, DeLaPorte has been helping companies maintain their competitive edge with an integrated approach to workforce and leadership development. Companies maximize their productivity with DeLaPorte’s customized solutions that address employees’ unique needs and learning styles within a strategic framework that aligns the organization’s corporate goals while addressing their workforce issues.
Heath Davis Havlick
Fisher Vista, LLC / HRmarketer.com