There is an explanation: the daily grind eats us up. Pressures at work and home absorb us and we feel we hardly have time for ourselves. How can we have time for those who live less advantaged than us and care about them!
Lack of time and the feeling of stress are great poisons of our time, they cause social isolation, individualism, cynicism and disengagement for others.
“I am a manager who is required top performance and to maximize the talents and strengths of my team, how am I supposed to make room in my schedule and in my mind to include people with disabilities at work?”
“I am an employee with a heavy workload, I am stressed and I am asked to attend a course on inclusion of people with disabilities. They ask me if I learned anything in the workshop, if I applied any tools afterwards, if I have achieved any change. How can I answer yes if I just finished the course and went back to my pending tasks, I was still stressed, I don't know any person with a disability and nobody in the company touches the subject?”
It is frustrating for both parties. Those of us who try to introduce the topic to the corporate world, find ourselves with a moderate enthusiastic interest when we are in the workshop, and we pass to a lack of interest or forgetfulness of the topic when a few weeks have passed. Those companies that attend workshops or implement some inclusion interventions also go through this initial enthusiasm, which generally dissolves when those involved realize how much time this requires, when daily pressures send inclusion to the bottom of the priority list, and when those involved get tired of dealing with the rigid system of companies operations.
How could we look at inclusion in the midst of our daily pressures?
As Ludmila N. Praslova explains, the trick lies in finding the intersections of inclusion in our workflow.
Exclusion is there where there is a sense of injustice, of marginalization, where someone feels undervalued, where there is someone who does not receive opportunities in our organization. Exclusion hurts, so exclusion is present where someone experiences pain for not being part of the organization's narrative.
If you attended to a course on job inclusion of people with disabilities, and if no person living with a disability is part of your work environment, just substitute "person with a disability" for "person not receiving opportunities or experiencing irrelevance."
I am sure that in every company there is a group of employees who are going through unfairness and lack of oportunities. As a manager or as an employee, all we have to do is open our eyes and ears to other employees. Comments that denote unfairness and undervaluation are in the hallways or in chat groups.
These conversations are great opportunities to practice inclusion: active listening, generating empathy, regulating emotions, generating clarity, promoting communication, creating safety and even being allies; these are the intersections we must find to practice inclusion in our daily workflow.
There are no excuses. The question is: am I really willing to stop thinking about myself for a moment and get in touch with the people around me and their conflicts?