How do you prepare the ground for a transformational workplace?

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At the end of the year, many of us may be wondering how to be successful in the year ahead. One of our challenges may be to motivate and energize executives for massive changes in the work on diversity, equity and inclusion planned for 2022. We are currently living in a difficult time after the many pivots (it i.e. the lingering effects of Covid, remote / hybrid work, cultural necessities) delivered in 2021. Diversity Inc suggests that we will also need to address trends in artificial intelligence, technology and more over the course of of the coming year. So, as we prepare, let’s keep the synthesis process in mind as we find and consider information that could lead to difficult conversations with leaders in our workplace. To share authentic feedback with our leadership teams, we need to recognize our roles and set the stage for strengthened commitments and actions that transform the workplace.

Recognize our roles

Messengers

If you are the messenger, resist the urge to dissect and over massage natural language to ensure palatability. 2021 has served us a bunch of truth serum that deserves to be recognized and implemented. Most employees are encouraged to share their authentic voices, and those who are not encouraged to share internally do so externally. It is up to us to take note of this and plan the changes accordingly.

As messengers, prejudices can seep into the equation that we over-omit / massage information to minimize pushbacks or painful courageous conversations. So, for example, if we know that leaders are not in favor of DCI’s efforts, then it’s tempting to avoid divergent discussions, especially if it’s not the first time or if we feel like pushing. a rock upwards. We must consciously plan to avoid confirmation bias and group thinking and show ourselves and share authentic messages that are worth the airtime. These messages are essential inputs to facilitate change in the workplace. See yourself as gifted with information about the commitment to convey to the appropriate audience.

Proactive receivers

Leaders who receive cultural information should allow sufficient time to prepare and their teams for the feedback. Consider adding space to the meeting agenda to discuss and schedule the receipt of less complimentary comments. We can also prepare for success by setting ground rules for discussion and giving everyone a voice. A good approach to digesting contributions is to model the desired behaviors with different perspectives during the pre-meeting. These actions pave the way for innovative solutions during the debriefing meeting (review of information) which can go by the wayside if encountered on the defensive. Having conversations to foster a safe space for receiving genuine feedback is pragmatic. Addressing curiosity about the entry is a good approach. The desire to defend oneself against criticism is natural. Flexing our leadership styles is necessary.

Commit to long-term success

Messengers and receivers are essential in the long term to transform workplace cultures. Messengers need leaders to support and maintain accountability for the success of diversity, equity and inclusion. Recipients need guidance to stay educated, demonstrate vulnerability, and best support efforts in the ever-changing DCI landscape.

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