Understanding diversity in the financial industry and making it work for you
Financial institutions are pillars of society, secure and reliable institutions that take care of money transactions. Of course, the foundations of financial institutions are their employees, and these types of companies are extremely careful about who they recruit to positions within their organisations.
When we talk about financial institutions we are most familiar with banks, as we do business with banks almost on a daily basis. In doing so, we meet mostly with their sales departments. Far fewer people understand what else is needed in a bank’s inventory to perform safely and reliably. Hence banks employ a wide range of different team members who need appropriate qualifications in order to perform their work well. Staff members are provided with constant training, as banks are continuously evolving to offer their clients the most advanced and reliable services. As a business coach, I have worked with several banks operating in international markets and have trained heads of various departments, giving me the opportunity to recognise different ways of working, different ways of communicating and, of course, different thinking styles.
In my work, I use one of the best performing and effective profiling tools – MindSonar® – which allows professionals to identify their own ways of thinking and their most likely responses in specific situations. In this way, they are enabled to gain self-knowledge and to recruit team members who have different ways of thinking in specific contexts, which leads to creativity and the ability to solve even the most demanding challenges. Of course, an added benefit of knowing each other in this way is that they can more often avoid conflicts and resolve problems.
It is also true that understanding the diversity of team members gives the organisation, its leaders, teams and individual employees the responsibility to develop and strengthen their competences and thus enable each other to achieve the highest level of efficiency in communication, relationships and operations, provided, of course, that they are also suitably professionally competent.
We have recently prepared and delivered workshops with an HR department of a banking organisation. The workshops are intended to strengthen communication and relational skills and raise emotional intelligence. Analysis of a team’s MindSonar® group profile demonstrated a strong pattern of how individuals, specifically in the positions of sales managers, are similar in thinking styles in specific contexts. This is of course, logical, as a position of a branch manager or a sales manager requires a certain approach, and therefore, it makes sense for the organisation to either recruit or develop a co-worker who will cope with the challenges this position brings. At the same time, we discussed with these leaders how they value different thinking patterns in their teams. Despite relationships that sometimes require more input, it is precisely different patterns of thinking that strengthen and enrich a team, especially in the sense that it can achieve above-average efficiency and when it comes to financial management, appropriate returns.
Recognition that professionals need high-level communication and relational skills for their optimal functioning is crucial for both the development of the individual as well as the organisation. In identifying this, financial institutions, as the most technologically and security-wise advanced companies, are at the forefront of modern corporate operations.
An effective and widely useful tool enabling the profiling of diversity of thinking styles – MindSonar® enables identifying differences in thinking and facilitates guiding the development of individuals. Using MindSonar® means skilled trainers and profiling practitioners – MindSonar® Professionals – can assess individuals or entire teams and show them where and how they can progress, accessing coaching and specialised workshops. Organisations and teams can develop optimally and achieve maximum prosperity.