We have to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Organizations need to take the time to educate their employees about inclusion, diversity, and equity (IDE). Continuing education surrounding IDE takes time and is well worth the investment and commitment. Having tough conversations is a part of the education. Bottom line, employees become better people, organizations flourish as their employees feel included, and satisfaction in doing what is right.
Today, there is this looming conversation surrounding our current political environment. After the last four tumultuous years under a chaotic, unhinged, and disoriented administration, we have to pick up the pieces and move on. But how? We have to have conversations given our current political environment. Ignoring the conversation, putting it off, pretending like nothing happened, or avoiding it, is not the solution. Somehow and somewhere, we need to have these conversations.
Liza Talusan, Ph.D. an educator, speaker, leadership coach, stated the following on Facebook, “Be not confused. Teaching is political. Education is political. For any schools who have prohibited discussion about the inauguration, politics, and discourse, you are failing your children. Schools and classrooms are where we learn discourse, critical thinking, and context. And our current national climate (and the decades prior) are exactly what we should be teaching. Instead of teaching young people that “talking about politics is taboo,” teach them HOW to talk about it. Teach them HOW to think critically about it. And teach them HOW to communicate across difference…”
Dr. Talusan and I met a few years ago in NYC. In March of last year, very close to when the pandemic started, I hosted a webinar where Dr. Talusan was part of a panel discussing COVID19 and its impact towards Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. Click here to check out the recorded video.
Fred Dust, former senior partner and global managing director at the design-thinking firm IDEO and author of Making Conversations states, “Ditch the backdrop in favor of real life—I’ve had CEOs telling me they finally see their people and, likewise, their employees saying that their boss feels more human. Add in a surprise, a bit of suspense; ask people to tell a short story about who they were at 12. Just a little bit of human can take us a long way.” Dust also states that “healing and mourning go hand in hand, and we have a lot of mourning to do in this country and in the world.
There are ways to speak up. One of the first necessary steps is that discomfort is necessary.
We have to communicate with our peers, colleagues, family, and friends. I admit that I have avoided having conversations with those very close to me that have very different views than me. But, in order to move the needle in the right direction, we all have to communicate which includes taking a step back to listen and learn.
When we have conversations, stories are encouraged, which in return makes us more human. We have to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.