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Optimizing Diversity on Teams (Coursera)

Drawing on social science perspectives, this course will enable participants to learn what diversity is and how to use it to maximize team performance, innovation, and creativity. Participants will learn how to draw out the collective wisdom of diverse teams, handle conflict, and establish common ground rules through real-world cases and peer-to-peer discussions.

n addition, participants in this course will learn how to overcome common biases faced in diverse teams. Systems of power, reward, and rhetoric will be discussed in order to help participants create prosperous teams where differences flourish.

Course 3 of 5 in the Culture-Driven Team Building Specialization.



Promoting Diversity in the Workplace

This module is all about the hidden barriers that can prevent you from promoting and leveraging the benefits of diversity on your team. We will learn specific strategies to get buy-in for diversity initiatives. We will learn about the biases that can harm these efforts, and discuss effective means of identifying and reducing these biases. Towards the end of the module, you will hear from two diversity experts. The first is Arjun Shankar, Co-Director of the Center for Curiosity at the University of Pennsylvania. In this role, he has studied cultural barriers to inclusion in organizations and offers insights based on his research. The second expert is Stanford Thompson, Executive Director of the music education non-profit, Play On, Philly! Stanford advises symphony orchestras nationally on how to improve their diversity, and will offer practical advice on making any team more inclusive. By the end of the module, you will be better positioned to develop diversity initiatives that go beyond compliance and make inclusion a core strength of your team.

Graded: Module 1 Quiz

Graded: Module 1 Assignment


Team Diversity Basics

In the first module, you will learn the essentials of why diversity matters for teams, and why it can be difficult to build diverse teams. We will overview basic concepts of difference, bias, and conflict that will serve as a foundation for later modules.

Graded: Module 2 Quiz

Graded: Module 2 peer-review


Managing Conflict

In this module, we will move from promoting diversity to looking at the conflicts that can arise in diverse work environments. You will learn about why conflicts occur and how you can develop norms to address them. By the end of the module, you will be able to have better conversations related to diversity issues in the workplace.

Graded: Module 3 Quiz

Graded: Module 3 peer-review


Diversity Case Study

In this module, you will get a practical perspective on managing diversity in teams by looking at real life cases of companies creating a more inclusive workplace. Looking at the experience of Google, Nike and UnitedHealthcare, you will see how major businesses are applying specific strategies and techniques for overcoming barriers to inclusion.

Graded: Module 4 Quiz

Graded: Module 4 Assignment