Diversity and Inclusion with Duane Hughes (Ep. #37)

By
The Better Manager Team
BetterManager Executive Coach

September 28, 2021

Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #37: Get Better Results by Understanding Your Preferences with Duane Hughes

We all have preferences and biases that can act as “blind spots” holding us back from getting the most out of our teams.

BetterManager Advisor Duane Hughes, of the popular TED talk “Check Your Preference and Improve Your Results,” joins us with actionable insights that you can use right away to start getting the truly great results from your diversity and inclusion efforts that you’ve always hoped for.

In this episode:

Meet Duane:

  • BetterManager Advisor Duane Hughes spearheads Orrick’s Inclusion & Client Relations strategy and is a member of the firm’s executive leadership team. Duane’s unique multidisciplinary background spans economics and finance, international business, and corporate law. With this broad experience, Duane is a deeply valued executive team member known for making key connections, building careers, leading inclusive teams, and leveraging his global network across Wall Street to connect people with opportunities.
  • Duane has served as Business Unit COO and Managing Director with each of J.P. Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. Duane started his career in Wall Street law firms Shearman & Sterling and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, with an interim stint at Lucent Technologies.
  • Duane holds JD, MBA and MA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA degree summa cum laude from Howard University.

Duanes's TED Talk: Check Your Preference and Improve Your Results

  • Duane's story and experiences in different environments.
  • "In Group" and "Out Group" dynamics.
  • Understanding the "Similar to Me" Preference. It's a natural, inborn preference for people are similar to you.

How Preferences Affect the Workplace

  • When you are operating in the employment context, particularly for an organization whose stated purpose is the fair and equitable treatment of people and to have an inclusive environment, you can't afford to be unaware of your preferences and biases. In fact, you need to take specific steps to account for possible biases, because they can be unconscious or largely instinctual.
  • One of the things that you can do is be very aware of how you spend your discretionary time at work. In the old days, they would call it the "Who do you talk to around the water cooler?" The idea is, you're working your eight to 12 hour days, but there are breaks that you have - breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee breaks. Often we in management choose to spend our discretionary time with people who are similar like us. And we need to understand that there's a price to pay for that.
  • A lot of information is shared in these informal settings, and it can be a huge unfair advantage for In Group members.
  • Make sure any Out Group members are getting equal time on both your formal and informal calendars!

The One Big Takeaway

  • We're all human beings are combination of many, many complex factors, multi dimensional, and we walk around with a collection of In Group and Out Group experiences, like a deck of cards. And those deck of cards, the combination can give you advantages in some contexts, and disadvantages and others. So the takeaway is, when you are having in an in group position, play the deck of cards to be inclusive, play inclusive and open hand.
  • Make sure your schedule is open for Out Group members to get on it. If you're in a powerful position, if you're in an out position, float, float like a butterfly sting like a bee. Avoid as much self-exclusion that you can.
  • Staying in your comfort zone, if you're an out group member with people who are just like you doesn't help you get in. And so what you have to do is figure out ways to float among various in groups, and to have a little bit of that Out Group power rub off on you.
  • One way is to reflect on your own In Group positions, experiences where you are in power. That could be in your home, your church, your synagogue, among your family, among your group, where you are the In Group member where you are celebrated.

Downloads & Resources

Follow Duane on LinkedIn. Check out his TEDTalk, Check Your Preference and Improve Your Result here.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

About Duane Hughes

BetterManager Advisor Duane Hughes spearheads Orrick’s Inclusion & Client Relations strategy and is a member of the firm’s executive leadership team.  Duane’s unique multidisciplinary background spans economics and finance, international business, and corporate law.  With this broad experience, Duane is a deeply valued executive team member known for making key connections, building careers, leading inclusive teams, and leveraging his global network across Wall Street to connect people with opportunities.

Duane has served as Business Unit COO and Managing Director with each of J.P. Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. Duane started his career in Wall Street law firms Shearman & Sterling and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, with an interim stint at Lucent Technologies. Duane holds JD, MBA and MA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA degree summa cum laude from Howard University. Duane speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

Episode Transcript

Posted on

September 28, 2021