Part 2 of the Navigating DEI in the Workplace Series
If you are ever lost in the woods without a guide, without a map, without all the tools you wish you had, panic can set in. Ideally, if you could orient yourself and have a basic understanding of where you wanted to end up, you could eventually find your way. In nature, when it is dark, it’s also possible to find north by observing the stars & constellations. You first locate the big dipper. It is a very familiar constellation, and it is hard to miss that big scoop in the sky, even if you aren’t an astronomer with a big telescope. A well-known trick for finding Polaris, the North Star, is that the two outermost stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper point to it. Those stars are nicknamed The Pointers. No matter where you are in the northern hemisphere, you know you are facing north, if you are looking at the North Star.
When we think about diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in our workplace, to what are our efforts connected? Do people a sense of the direction all the training, speakers, and videos are leading them or are lost in the dark. Your company DEI training needs a focus that is clear and understandable to the naked eye, just like The Pointers in the Big Dipper. If folks get side-tracked, what is guiding them back to the main thing, the North Star?
Stephen Covey, the author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, coined the phrase, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Its message is timeless – keeping your focus and efforts on the most important goals will help you accomplish them. DEI workplace training is no different. Leaders need to make sure they are connecting all the dots?
- We need DEI because it will help us….
- DEI fits into our company values by….
- If we fail in our DEI efforts, we will lose….
- If we succeed in our DEI efforts, we will solve….
There are many good reasons to think about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. But all those good reasons may not be the reason you have decided to launch out into this journey in your workplace. Your employees must know why this work is important to your company. They must know what you mean by diversity, equity, and inclusion. And you have to lay out the path of the journey so that it is clear, whether they are making the trip in the light of day or when things get a little dim. A good process and communication will get folks headed back in the direction you want them to go.
We all take this journey for different reasons. There are many different approaches to diversity equity and inclusion efforts. But the tools and techniques for one approach may not be appropriate for what you hope to accomplish in your workplace. Imagine if the process starts taking people south, and you want your team headed north. That training will take you in exactly the opposite direction in which you hoped to go. That happens far too often with DEI training, not because the training was bad, but because the organization did not have clarity about where it wanted to head. They had no North Star to point to.
Need help getting your team pointed in the right direction? Reach out to Glen and his team, and let’s see if we can navigate this culture together.
In This Series
Part 1: Finding the Light
Part 2: Connect the Dots
Part 3: Learn to Read the Room
Part 4: Look at the Big Picture
Part 5: Pay Attention to Boundaries
Part 6: Practice Your Skills
Part 7: Pay Attention
Part 8: Celebrate the Small Things
Part 9: Take Risks and Up Your Game
Part 10: Get Lost in the Familiar
Part 11: Practice Emotional Control
Part 12: Learn How to Recover from Mistakes