I recently purchased a new pair of glasses.
My first pair of progressives.
I was excited!
When the glasses were ready, and I left the store…
I felt like I was 20 feet tall.
Everything looked bigger.
Suddenly I saw more depth.
Was this what the world really looked like?
Had I been missing all of this?
Or was something wrong with my glasses?
Flowers jumped out at me from people’s gardens as I walked by on the sidewalk.
I ducked for branches that on the way to the store had seemed a nonissue.
And, I tripped more than once. Over nothing.
I was completely discombobulated.
I also had to make sure my chin was pointing up, so I saw through the right part of the glasses.
And looking down… Not a good idea while walking!
All to say, my ability to navigate the world was all of a sudden a foreign experience; one I didn’t fully trust.
I took off my glasses a few times so I could ‘see properly’. Imagine!
There are a few parallels to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (EDI) work that I could make here:
A different lens.
A different perspective.
A different experience of the same place or thing.
I’m sure you can think of a few other metaphors yourself.
The point I want to make is that EDI work will cause us (if we do it well) to have a different perspective,
and to notice more than we did before. It must.
That can be unsettling.
We may want to revert to what we knew before or how we did things before, because it’s easier and familiar.
We may want to take the ‘new lens’ off.
But that’s not how change happens.
Everyone I know who has progressives told me it would take a few weeks,
and then I will get used to it. I’m still waiting – but I’m wearing them.
If I keep taking them off, it will take longer, or I won’t adjust at all.
So, too with EDI work.
Keep at it.
As you learn and grow, there will be many moments of discomfort.
But making EDI part of how you work, and part of your organizational DNA will feel better, and more ‘you’ over time.
And you will adjust.
Don’t give up.
The new perspectives you are noticing, learning, and using are all leading you to a better way of being.
Copyright 2022 Annemarie Shrouder