We all know at some level that a goal of diversity in any organization is simply not enough. What happens when we are at the table? [See Aspects and Assumptions of White Culture in the USA] We've been told to "Bring your authentic self" but when we do, it's misunderstood. [See Seattle's very own Jodi-Ann Burey's TedTalk, "The myth of bringing your authentic self to work"] It's our turn to define what "professionalism' means. We need assurance of expertise, but how we chose to work together is now our decision.
April 1, 2021 Reflections on Learning (by Julia)
We asked on March 23, "What have you been wiling to forgive in others as we adjust to a new normal?" As we go around, I realize my question is asked to those with immense amount of compassion. Responses tended to include the word GRACE, almost in replacement of "professional". The experience of TO WHOM we bestow grace is intrinsic to our calculated giving of 'professional' grace, Yet, we too often find ourselves only on the giving end of such grace.
"I jump through hoops with no guarantee."
"There will always be a reason to not have me around."
"I say 'No' because my ancestors couldn't."
The social contract is broken. Grace presents itself with a soft strength that says, "I know a better way."
The social contract is rewritten. Qualifications, expertise, and assurance of quality remain as needed. Added to this need is the acceptance of potential, of learning, of growing expertise. In this, grace again is present. The social contract is new. We trust in the abilities of others to respect our grace (expectations), and firmly commit to each others' potential.
We break and then come back to ask, "What do you see changing as we redefine what it means to work together?"
Reading over my notes, I went straight to, "When you give grace, it grows."
"People can't read my mind."
"I will be my most generous self."
"I will show grace."
"Perfection is overrated."
"We share what is deserved. And by fact of our very birth, we deserve grace." ['Giving' implies a power dynamic we are willing to leave behind]
As we pulled it all together, April's theme became clear: "Helping Each Other Finish the Job". Stay in tune.
Julia Ismael hosts monthly Listening Circles for the masses as a way to stay informed and to find new and meaningful ways to create connection. Julia is the founder and Head Architect of Aspirations of The Equity Consortium. Monthly Listening Circles are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month, and what is learned from these circles is shared here. Please enjoy our stories.