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Part 2: Leading Into A More Caring & Connected Future

Posted 3/24/2020

We have been living in a culture of polarization, a division of sharply contrasting opinions and beliefs that has caused us to compete either with each other, or for limited resources in order to be safe.

Where does this polarizing pattern come from?  It comes from the old beliefs that were passed down to us to guide us and keep us safe. However, these old beliefs have often limited our perspectives, limited our ability to see a different truth, limited our ability to connect with our true nature that is love.

Here we are, with an opportunity to move past our perceived polarization and achieve connection, if we rise above the feelings of fear that this polarization causes.

COVID-19 is teaching us that we are all deeply connected.  The virus does not discriminate in whom it touches. It just knows that we are all members of the same race: the human race.

And at a biological level, the human race is a bundle of atoms.  If you look at every single one of us under a microscope, you will find a bundle of atoms oscillating!  So collectively, we are one large bundle of oscillating atoms!

We are already beginning to experience this connection that the virus is showing us. We are reaching out to support each other, to ensure that those who are more heavily impacted get the resources they need. We are starting to leave behind the old beliefs that limited our perspectives. We are finding new ways to think and feel about ourselves and about our fellow members of the human race.

We are getting in touch with the deeper, wiser part of ourselves that engages, nurtures, encourages, and seeks connection with others.  The present limitations of our daily existence are creating a newfound way of being that is bringing gentleness and sensitivity to the daily patterns of our lives. In our own individual ways, the enforced social distancing is allowing us to go within, to get in tune with our feelings, and express these through creative and artistic ways.

The caring that we are showing in our communities is reminding us that the world can be different.  It can be fairer for everyone. This begins with accepting the diversity of others and learning to include and value them.

It is time for prosperity thinking and powerful positive imagination. Fortune is smiling on us if we can see it that way. We need to let go of the old controlling patterns because something remarkable, a big event is taking place.

And this is going to take courage.  As Dr Brene Brown says, “Courage requires uncertainty, risk or emotional exposure.” It’s time to dance in the fire. Now is the time for a new focus and deliberate action to secure our own futures, and to take a stand for creating a world that is no longer polarized.

Each individual has an opportunity to choose leadership in this moment. We each can decide where in our life and work courage is needed to lead ourselves, and others, towards a more caring and connected future.

 

Authors: Amanda Knight and Connie Warner. We are part of the tribe of truth-seekers who recognize that this moment in time is pivotal to the future of humanity. We would love to connect with you via your comments to our series of articles, or through our individual LinkedIn profiles.

Connect here with Amanda on LinkedIn.

Connect here with Connie on LinkedIn.

 

Non-judgment of self and others has always been the central message of my work as an Emotional Intelligence thought leader, coach and facilitator. Latterly my work has brought me to the corporate HR arena where I have worked to put dignity and care at the heart of people strategy. This requires a holistic approach to cultural change by aligning transformational leadership competencies, inclusive practices and people development strategies with non-judgmental people systems.

While studying to become a certified professional diversity coach, I mapped out a model for building diverse, inclusive and equitable workplaces, by aligning the principles and language of ED&I with my core messaging around equality, non-judgment, dignity, care and ‘the leadership privilege’.

The principle concepts of this model are that:

1. Workplace cultures that deeply value, respect and leverage how people are different, truly reap the benefits of diversity – the sponsor of this aspect is the Executive team;

2. People strategy and systems built on the principle of dignity lead to fairness and equity – the sponsor of this aspect is HR;

3. Teams that care about each other and that respect each member’s uniqueness, build a sense of belonging which leads to inclusion – the sponsor of this aspect is the team’s leader.

My three-sided model – the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion pyramid – provides a visual of how the three aspects need to be happening concurrently.

For example, a workplace will not be truly equitable and inclusive if leaders are developed so that they build inclusive teams, yet they have to work with judgmental performance and talent management processes that ‘rate’ employees or put them in boxes based on bias.

 

 

 

 

 

The Diversity and Equity sides of the three-sided Equity, Diversity & Inclusion pyramid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 © Amanda Knight 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Inclusion and Diversity sides of the three-sided Equity, Diversity & Inclusion pyramid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 © Amanda Knight 2020

 

 

 

To discover how to use this model in your organization, please contact Amanda to find out about her Diversity & Inclusion online program, or to discuss a customized approach designed specifically for the needs of your workplace.