The topic of our experiential breakout session in the dark was belonging. We are sure that inclusion starts with belonging. It is a feeling: if you do not belong, there is no way to feel included.
There are sophisticated inclusion and diversity programs and trainings. However, inclusion begins with understanding the self and modifying one’s own behaviors. Inclusion starts when you make the other belong.
We know that darkness is a natural and immediate equalizer. In the dark, visual prejudices vanish, and we feel kind-heartedness all around us. We share the same vulnerability and the same potentials. Collaboration and belonging help us to walk in the dark, to overcome any uncertainty and to bounce back to our best personal version. Besides delivering this experience, our goal was to provide a small tool kit to practice inclusive leadership in daily live and we developed 5 top tips for the participants to take home that we would like to share with you:
- Before focusing on differences, bring your attention to similarities. What do the other person and you have in common? This way to approach people allows us to find familiarities instead of differences. Therefore, it is easier for us to welcome the other.
- Listen generously to others. Listen to them and not to yourself. Open up to understand and even respectfully disagree. Listening opens doors to new worlds which we do not need to enter necessarily but from which we must learn.
- Dare to show your vulnerability. Don’t focus on what you lack but on your needs. Showing yourself vulnerable does not mean showing yourself weak. It means finding the path to achievement. Almost everyone is happy to help!
- Speak up. Share your ideas and words. It may be what others need. Your voice might contribute to comfort others.
- See greatness in yourself. Life can be changed in one second. Make the best use of your time, appreciate your gifts and create with and for others!
Are you on board to practice belonging?