As we head into the Easter break, this is a great time to reflect on who we BE, with others. How are we welcoming, including, connecting with people from all different walks of life, all different areas of skill and dare I say it “level” within the organisation. And what about our communities? Do we treat the barrister, the clean, the homeless person any different than the PhD student, the lab technician, the boss or the HR consultant?
We often look down on those who are new, learning, have less experience than us, and within these moments of flippant comments, thoughtless responses and unintended lack of inclusion, we are often guilty of rejecting the other person.
This may be harsh to hear but let me ask you this:
Do you naturally think of other people’s experiences and beliefs when it comes to things, for example, like Easter? Now I’m not suggesting we dilute our own rituals, standards and beliefs, I am suggesting we pause and notice.
Are we truly being inclusive, or through intentional or unintentional actions, creating disparity, disharmony and exclusion?
An example of this recently was a team shared lunch. The first in nearly two years. A great milestone on the road to creating some new normal with the team. However, 3 of the team were fasting. The team did not think to ask, they did not accommodate, they did not pause and notice.
How often do our words or deeds actually create a response of rejection in others?
We are often so caught up in our own ‘stuff’ that we fail to notice. Notice the hesitation, notice the intake of breath, notice the quietness, just notice!
So how can we improve our awareness of others and regulate our responses accordingly?
Authentic Leadership is not about bowing and bending to the extent of breaking. It is not about martyrdom or self-sacrifice. It IS about being self-aware, having the tools to self-regulate, noticing the responses that you are getting and dialling up or down, who you BE in that moment!
If we are absolutely committed to creating diversity, equity and inclusion, then we are being called to pause and notice. Notice our own thoughts, notice our own responses, notice the responses that we are getting from others. Then in that moment, we can dive in and BE the best version of ourselves, so that we do not reject others, but embrace each individual as an incredible gift of awesomeness in their own right, just like we are!