In April I attended The Mastery of Self Expression.
One of the things I was challenged with there was to examine if I wanted to be right or happy. Both! I said, laughing. But it’s no joke.
What I’m discovering is that the desire to be right keeps me in my pain, in the muck, in the ‘yucky feeling’ place. Being right lets me complain and point fingers instead of getting clear on what I need and moving in that direction. Being right keeps me stuck, and no one wins. If I move to happy, then I start to explore what I need and a way out of the muck. It’s an action – a forward momentum rather than a stagnation. It’s an opening, rather than being closed off.
Application to work:
Right vs. Happy was suggested to me in the context of a personal situation, but it also applies well to Diversity & Inclusion work. It applies to how we see people because we use assumptions, stereotypes and (unconscious) bias to determine who someone is – and then we decide we are right about that and act accordingly. We usually look at situations from our own lens and perspective, and then decide we are right about it and act accordingly.
What does opening up look like in the workplace?
In a D&I context, just like a personal context, right is about being closed, and happy is about opening. So what would opening look like in a workplace?
- Challenging your assumptions and bias.
- Understanding your brain and creating new neural pathways as you build relationships.
- Asking questions.
- Making room for new ideas, perspectives, and ways of doing things.
- Getting to know someone.
- Creating a culture of learning.
These are some of the things that help people feel safe, a sense of trust and belonging – and which help to create inclusive environments. Which, lead to increased engagement, productivity, and innovation- among other things.
Deloitte’s 2018 report The Diversity & Inclusion Revolution states that inclusion increases perceived team performance (by 17%), decision-making quality (by 20%), and collaboration (by 29%).
So what are you cultivating at work? Right or Happy?