Awareness creates a confidence cycle to inclusion! Its like stepping into the abyss, a place of great unknown but with trust. To take the first step, becoming aware and setting up a cadence where step by step you pull yourself up out of the abyss. Confidence grows and a new way of thinking is embraced.
Over the years I have talked about the feelings I have had of not “fitting in” both with peers and in the workplace. Partly due to always working in heavily male dominated environments. The feeling of not being included can be soul destroying and certainly affects how we view the world. Our awareness creates a confidence cycle to inclusion
Awareness is key to Inclusion
An awakening happened for me in my late 30’s! My sister died young after a short battle with cancer. This led me into the world of charities and became an active fundraiser for the Queensland Cancer Council. An awareness crept in.
This period helped me experience and understand what inclusion was about. The people I met and worked with during this time where I was purely “in service”. People were so grateful and non judgemental, everyone was seen as equal and everybody supported each other. It was time to play my bigger game!
Time to Play a Bigger Game
Author, Rowdy McLean in his book “Play a Bigger Game”, talks about getting out of your comfort zone, so you can move into your learning zone that stretches you to move into a zone where you thought was impossible but is now possible.
During this period I became a single mum and felt even “more different”. This was the turning point where I was catapulted from my comfort zone into my learning zone on the way to my impossible zone. Stepping into the abyss which was daunting but exhilarating at the same time.
In a short space of time, I had resigned from my job of 7 years. Found a new job, a new career that filled me with excitement and a sense of joy at being able to make a difference. I have never looked back despite many obstacles along the way. When we move forward one step at a time we open ourselves up to possibilities and allow change to happen.
Research carried out by Deloitte identified that todays workforce prioritises inclusion as an experience instead of a solution. However people want their leaders to be consistent with inclusive behaviours, to feel included in being part of the team.
Inclusion – we all play a part
Creating an inclusive workplace requires all of us to participate. It’s a 2 way street. An awareness develops and our confidence builds. As Rowdy says “We are either in or we are out”! A mindset shift is required and an open heart. As we become aware of situations and circumstances we begin to take on full spectrum thinking and stretch our thinking.
With this awareness Deloitte suggest the new leadership should consider:
1. Model being authentic via storytelling
2. Be a transparent communicator
3. Build strong relationships
4. Keep evolving, learning and growing
As we all increase our awareness, building confidence and being “all in”, a new leadership will bring in an inclusive workplace and have a ripple effect.
Would love to hear your thoughts!