Equal Futures – Leading with Kindness
What is the one pressing problem you want to solve?
Last week Friday, I spent the day with some of the powerhouses in the DEI, anti-oppression and equity space (many of whom I know from LinkedIn) to reimagine how to create an equal world.
Thanks to #MissionEquality Sharon Hurley Hall (she/her), Lea Jovy-Ford AJ Singh who led a Taskforce of incredible thinkers and disruptors. The power of connectivity, created an energy in the room which was quite extraordinary.
The aim of this session was to create a paradigm shift to eradicate systems of oppression and reimagine how we can approach real-world solutions across sectors including; business, health, education, media, culture, finance and more.
I must say on one hand I was exhausted, my little colonised brain desperate to be told what to do, or taught something.
I am usually the facilitator or the ‘only one’ in many of the spaces and places I occupy, where often people can’t even pronounce my name!
So, not to have these roles for a change was quite exhilarating.
The Professional Sphere
The problem I’ve seen in many organisations is that generic ‘diversity’ drives, will essentially be happy to just tick box gender equality.
Celebrations of these wins is seen as a win for all, but consistently women of colour, and women with other intersections like disability, sexuality, and neurodiversity are overlooked or bypassed.
I know many working in this space, who are passionate about justice and want to see things change have felt battered and bruised from these kinds3 of tick-box approaches,
It was one of the reasons, I started Kinship. A space to feel seen, heard and validated.
We talk openly about these challenges, without fear of being marginalised, judged, or subjected to micro-aggressions.
It can be really lonely doing this work and for some, just simply existing can be quite frightening.
I really wish someday we can all truly belong and not be chameleons, or have to fit in.
Psychological Safety & Leading with Kindness
The power of connectivity is what I think I experienced last Friday, it created an energy in the room which was really quite extraordinary.
We deeply underestimate the power of leading with kindness!
A psychologically safe environment fosters a sense of belonging for everyone, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, sexuality or gender and is critical for promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
For me, this is an essential ingredient to leading with kindness; a combination of empathy, understanding, and respect.
Regardless, of your role or status in an organisation we can all foster belonging by understanding the perspectives and feelings of our team members.
It helps to build strong connections, where we feel safe and respond thoughtfully, building equity into everyday interactions.
We often take psychological safety for granted, particularly in professional spheres where if you have always had it, inherently you don’t notice it, even if it is missing.
This lack of awareness in our leadership has led to a lack of diversity and truly belonging. And, we can’t break this unless people actually talk about it.
This week, if you were to take radical personal responsibility and contribute to increasing psychological safety across your team or organisation, what could that look like.
Ask yourself these simple questions;
1. What can I do everyday to foster truth, joy and kindness?
2. How can I disrupt or counter-culture oppressive systems in my industry or sphere of influence?
3. How could I support the goal to eradicate oppression?
4. How could I equip or train the people around me to reimagine power?
5. How do I activate kindness in myself and others?
I would love to hear the echoes of our collective voices.