Expecting Problems as we Explore Possibilities in a More Tolerant World

Interview with the inspiring Mark Pollock, Explorer, Innovator & Collaboration Catalyst, Keynote speaker at the HRSE Tech @HRSE 2019 (HR Summit & Expo) this November in Dubai.

What are the main values of tolerance? And what are the best approaches to promote tolerance among communities?

Answer: Everything I do is about helping people to build resilience and collaborate with others so that, together, we achieve more than we thought possible. To do it, we must find a balance between our competitive instincts as individuals and our ability to work together towards a common goal. That requires empathy, patience and space to understand alternative perspectives as we work together to promote tolerance among communities. And, it is why I applaud the UAE and its leadership for designating 2019 The Year of Tolerance.  

What are the top 3 success factors for building a multi-cultural, tolerant workplace?

Answer: In my opinion the top 3 success factors for building a multi-cultural, tolerant workplace are:

  • Defining ourselves and others by our willingness to try. This allows people to pursue success while risking failure.
  • Creating an environment of psychological safety. This provides for the proliferation of ideas in an environment where people feel safe to express their opinions and provide critical feedback regardless of role.
  • Understanding that emotions play as important a role as logic. This promotes a culture of people treating each other like human beings as opposed to robots devoid of feelings.

What steps can an organisation take to become more tolerant and culturally sensitive?

Answer: Organisations are collections of people who bring all their emotions and biases to work. Yet we often disregard emotions in favour of logic set against a backdrop of competition. Building tolerance and cultural sensitivity requires us to listen and seek to understand the perspectives of others, even when they differ from our own. It doesn’t have to be an emotionally charged competition, it can be a logic-based collaboration. When that happens people will help their organisations to achieve more than they thought possible.

Why are you speaking at the HR Summit & Expo in Dubai, and why would you recommend that your peers attend?

Answer: Sometimes we choose our challenges. Sometimes our challenges choose us. What we decide to do about them is what counts. That’s what I’ll be speaking about as we gather at the HR Summit & Expo to decide how to build tolerance regardless of the challenges we face.   

About our interviewee:

Unbroken by blindness in 1998, Mark Pollock went on to compete in ultraendurance races across deserts, mountains and the polar ice caps and was the first blind person to race to the South Pole. He also won silver and bronze medals for rowing at the Commonwealth Games and set up a motivational speaking business.

Mark is a keynote speaker @HRSE (HR Summit & Expo).
Attend his session on Expecting Problems as we Explore Possibilities in a More Tolerant World on November 6, 13:00


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