The ability to integrate is a competence of interpersonal intelligence that allows the person to easily establish socialization links between different people.
People with a high capacity for integration tend to build “bridges” of communication between people, try to make people feel comfortable and find common ground even among unknown or apparently unrelated people to facilitate a climate of dialogue and understanding.
The ability to integrate
This competition is therefore closely related to the empathy, communication, adaptability and conflict management. It is a highly demanded competence in leaders in complex environments such as the current ones, since it allows them to assimilate differences and not only respect them, but also take advantage of them to create synergies between team members and enrich more creatively the solutions or alternatives in projects.
People with integration capacity foster work environments with greater trust and involvement of teams, giving voice and involving all members, including minorities and favoring critical thinking and continuous questioning of ideas.
HOW TO TRAIN MY INTEGRATION CAPACITY?
To train my integration capacity it is interesting first of all to understand that all people have “biases”, or subjective ways of interpreting reality.
The first step is to “become aware” of our biases, as Mercè Brey
comments in her book “Alphas and Omegas”. We all process information in two ways. On the one hand, in a rational and slow way, when we want to make a decision and, on the other, we also do it with a fast and intuitive mechanism, which is where biases come from. In this intuitive way of making decisions we are influenced by our previous experiences, culture, social networks, media.
Of all our daily decisions, 95% are intuitive, even if it seems otherwise. Biases mean that, if we are not aware of this idea, we tend to favor or listen only to opinions that come from people more similar to us. Therefore, think about situations in your day to day, in your work. What are the biases you identify in yourself? Which people do you consider most different from you on your team or in your work environment? How do you act when you listen to the opinions of those people?
Integration capacity: awareness
To develop integration capacity, it is important to give voice to all people in work teams, including those who belong to minorities due to their age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
Reflect, as a leader or as a team member, how you can listen to all opinions, creating spaces for conversation in which to ensure that all opinions are expressed. At meetings, How can you create the time and space for everyone to weigh in? How can you give the same opportunity for everyone to express themselves? Sometimes the most extroverted participate more in meetings, how can you encourage listening also to shy or more reflective people?
As a leader, to develop the capacity for integration I must be aware of the importance of guaranteeing ” psychological safety” in the team, so that people feel comfortable to express themselves and give their opinion. For this there are three important aspects that I invite you to question:
– Trust the abilities of all the people on the team: do I trust the abilities of everyone?
Show respect for all people, include the different “looks” and accept the person as a human being. How do I show respect for different people?
– Have impartiality, offer the same opportunities, recognize talent. Am I impartial?
And to you, what would you like to add or comment on in relation to these reflections on the capacity of integration?