Practicing Intentional inclusion in this digital age, with its constant changes and challenges can be exciting and inspiring. While Inclusion is the buzz word of the business, it pervades in both personal and professional spaces. Very often in society and at workplaces we acknowledge and appreciate Diversity and Individuality, but we are also tuned to move along with conformity and convention!
Moving beyond numbers.
When we talk about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we often think about the numbers, percentage of women at the work, percentage of some community and other parameters that we would love to showcase. Along with numbers, it is also vital to share some of the best practices that can be followed by everyone in our communities to improve the quotient of inclusive behavior.
We all have been through that.
Yes, at some point of time in our lives we all have got excluded. Also, we all are responsible for, (whether it is intentionally or unintentionally) excluding some people. One of the ways to manage this is to humanize the concept of inclusion and practice.
How can we humanize it?
Pause and Ask
Before we commence any major project, or bringing in any new change or rule, we can pause and ask ourselves, what are the two reasons why people agree to this decision? Or why would people disagree?
Help Me Understand- for Cultural Humility.
Cultural humility acknowledges that everyone is an expert on their experience. Inclusion sometimes is more complex than we ever thought it could be! Some people would have mastered gender inclusion; however, they might need handholding in understanding diverse perspectives. Some have amazing hold in understanding ethnic bias, however no proficiency in neuro diversity or interventions for transgender community. It is imperative to acknowledge that we don’t know everything, yet we are open to learn with three simple words HELP ME UNDERSTAND!
Listening to understand Vs Listening to respond
We really must be intentional here. Listening Is interpretation and it is not for responding. Listening is to bust our own biases. The more we listen at the deeper level, we will be able to read between lines and uncover many elements.
There are many things we can practice
- Consciously connect with people who are not the same as us
- Encourage and seek reverse mentoring opportunities
- Join an employee resource group
- Adapt management or communication style to engage more effectively with different team members
- Make time to discuss cross-cultural issues when they arise
- Self-educate on microaggressions and unconscious bias
- Work towards creating a psychologically safe learning environment
Diversity is calling everyone to the meeting and inclusion is making sure that everybody’s point of views are heard. Problem is, “Blending in” isn’t effortless for everyone. While we acknowledge that we are all the same at the workplace, and we want to be treated equally, we also need to be celebrated for the unique values that we bring in.
Leading T & OD @ PowerSchool