Judge not by appearances. How many times have you heard that statement?
As adults, many of us pat ourselves on the back because we truly believe we don’t judge.
But come on, you know better.
We’ve been groomed by our society, parents, teachers, and friends to do exactly that. It happens so quickly – and sometimes, so subtly – we don’t even realize we’re guilty of judging by appearances.
Then we try and justify in our minds. Well, I didn’t really judge…it’s just that they’re so different from me. I didn’t mean anything by it. They just took it the wrong way.
Can you relate?
The Building Blocks of Equity and Inclusion
If you want to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion into every level of your organization, it starts with creating a firm foundation for meaningful, systemic change. And you’re the first building block.
To overcome judging others, to create and infuse equity and inclusion into everything we do, it’s not just an effort we make now and then. To undo all the erroneous judgements we have formed, we need to be watchful of ourselves and our actions continually. And equally as important – ALL members of the organization must commit to this.
In my Free Webinar, Creating Inclusion: How Ready is Your Organization for Change?, I’ll show you proven strategies to shift traditional ways of depicting people, as well as innovative ideas to design programs and services to minimize negative differential impact on members of marginalized groups. You’ll be able to take what you learned and share with others at your organization so that everyone benefits. Register here.
I’ve heard participants so often say to me:
“Change is so damn difficult!”
Believe me, I get that! But I also know you want to create an inclusive and diverse environment right where you are.
Having the will to change is a starting point. My goal is to help your organization create an inclusive, socially just environment where everyone feels included and respected. In any organization, that’s a win-win setting!
Been There. Done That. Can Change!
Most times, we think we’re doing the right thing. We think we’re being inclusive. We believe ourselves to be embracing of diversity.
But sometimes, the door is quickly shut to others and we haven’t even realized we slammed it shut!
A participant in my training class asked this question:
“What should I look for as I work to design activities to minimize any negative differential impact on members of different identity groups by race, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, level, age, ability/disability, etc.?”
That’s a great question! When I was first facilitating sessions on diversity I wasn’t seeing everybody, I was just seeing what I was used to seeing.
Infusing Equity and Inclusion Starts With You
I bet you can relate to that! To create truly inclusive, socially just organizations, you know how critical it is to include EVERYBODY.
In the early days of facilitating sessions on diversity, I used activities that I liked and could easily facilitate – I was not conscious that some of these activities might have had a negative impact on participants depending on their group memberships.
I realized many of the experiential activities were not accessible to people with some types of disabilities, including a “Step-In” activity which required people to walk into and stand in the center of the circle as well as visually observe who was in the circle and who was not. Even its name implied a certain level of privileged ability!
I was judging by my standards. I certainly didn’t include everyone!
We’ve all been guilty of that. I’m not here to point the finger or tell you how wrong you are – we’re here to learn from each other as we come together and explore the most effective ways to infuse equity and inclusion into everything that we do. This isn’t a once-and-you’re-done activity.
Help Others Unlearn Prejudices – and Learn the Benefits of Diversity
Tired of reacting in the same old judgmental and ineffective way in your organization when inclusion and diversity issues present themselves? Or want to help others respond more productively so all members of your organization can benefit?
In my Free Webinar, Creating Inclusion: How Ready is Your Organization for Change?, I’ll be able to go more deeply into strategies you can use to minimize the differential impact on members of different identity groups.
I’ll help you to look at policies, practices, and services through an Inclusion Lens – so that no one is left out – and everyone feels like a valued, respected member of your organization.
Today, try this experiment and let me know what happens: In whatever you’re doing, think “outside the box” to see if you might be inadvertently excluding certain people or groups. Remember how subtle this can often be and commit to practicing a high level of awareness in all that you do today.
Ask a few of your colleagues to try this too. You just might be surprised at the results.