Our colleague Elena Paraskevas-Thadani points out that in nature one size doesn’t fit all— shouldn’t this be the case for our workplaces as well?

At first I thought it would be easy to grow plants by the windowsill. All they need is water and sunlight, right?

As I dutifully regularly watered them, I realized with horror that some of them were dying. Some were doing well, but I fretted over the suffering ones. Where did I go wrong?

With some research and expert advice, I realized the issue— I was treating them all the same. But they all had very different needs. Some needed ice cubes. Others, wet soil. Others, an occasional light, sprinkled mist. Some wanted direct sunlight. Others were shy, and preferred the coolness of shadow.

Once I made the necessary adjustments, my plants responded—now they are all healthy. Thriving.

Of course the basics were generally the same: water and sunlight. But I needed to be deliberate and thoughtful with each one— and learned that if I didn’t tailor my approach, my plants and flowers wouldn’t thrive.

And so in our workplaces, a single approach may not suit every person’s diverse needs. By tailoring our approach, we can all thrive together.