There is Power in Opening to Others
Are you a leader of a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiative or portfolio at your organization? Are you responsible for creating a community of belonging at your workplace? If so, do you regularly take the time to reflect on your impact on this process or the people who you interact with to make it happen?
I challenge you to model the qualities of belonging: openness, authenticity, mindfulness and – today’s topic, personal power in relationship.
Becoming aware of your personal power is essential to creating a culture of belonging. To do so, you (and each of us) need to practice what I like to call “inside work”. Each of us needs to do the work inside of ourselves to be at ease. Being in your own skin with others who are different in a myriad of ways that surround you is essential to creating a culture of belonging.
If your organization is addressing diversity than it provides access to and opens the door to a representation of the people who are in the community, its clients. It’s one thing to provide access but it’s another to welcome and make the space for different people and have authentic relations with them.
To get there, it’s imperative that you are able to model behavior that is open, curious, and sometimes even courageous enough to acknowledge your blind spots and assumptions. One you start on that path, you’ll notice that others around you are affected. There is power in opening to others. You can feel it. It has its own presence.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting a power-over model. Not for one moment do I anticipate that manipulating others will assist you in creating a culture of inclusion in your workplace. If anything, it snuffs it out. If you are using your power to force others, you aren’t being open to their contribution or influence.
No, the power I am referring to is a tangible output of uncovering the layers of yourself, identities and revealing and sharing them with those who are around you. It’s true, you could call it authenticity. Because, it is that, it is your true self. And not only that . What I am describing is your true self responding to others. It is your social self. Once you step out of your individual self you acknowledge that you exist within community. And not only do you exist but you are dependent upon all others in your community. We need to acknowledge that we are all inter-dependent if we are to survive as an organization or social collective.
As long as you are aware of your own boundaries and do not cross the boundaries of others, you can behold your own power. As you respond to other beings, you can accomplish infinitely more than you can on your own. Once there are others involved, in relationship, on a team, in a community or organization your power is a contribution to the greater good or social entity.
Start a practice of inside work to acknowledge your power in relationship today. Once you make the commitment, you will be well on your way. If you are interested in a coach to assist you on this journey, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.