November 28, 2019
by Stacey Joseph for ImpactEDI™
For many, Thanksgiving is about family, abundance, and togetherness. For many others it’s about injustice and exclusion. Today and everyday, We’re thankful to have the opportunity to work with leaders, teams, and organizations who value equity, and work to actualize equity through diversity and inclusion. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, today is a good day to think about the phrase “Restorative Practice.” As leaders, we are called upon to build new bridges, to uplift and celebrate others, to create safe spaces and spaces of belonging within our organizations. We do the hard, and heart work of promoting the “common good” that moves our organizations forward. Restorative practices can serve as essential tools for achieving these goals.
At ImpactEDI™ we partner with leaders to build restorative and inclusive frameworks, rolled out through trainings and workshops that help strengthen organizations’ commitment to diversity and inclusion. Yet, in creating and rolling out programs, we never want it to be lost, that it’s relationships and connectedness, not programs that bring about change and grow inclusion. All of us thrive when we believe people care about us, when we feel cared for, and have a sense of belonging to our community. When we humanize one another and value our shared and unique experiences, it’s harder to be biased, rude, unjust, unkind, unfair etc. When we empower ourselves and those around to walk in their truth and commit to contributing to their truth in a way that lends to their self-actualization, we are doing the true work of leadership.
As you explore new strategies for community-building, think about perspective. Perspective taking is when we consider, value, and take on the perspective of others. The most common application of perspective taking is when we buy someone a gift. We ask ourselves, “what would they like?,” or “how would this make them feel?” Contrary to the old adage “treat others the way you would want to be treated,” perspective taking shifts your thinking and feeling, and instead acknowledges that others may not want what you want, and that what you want, may not be good for others or the community at large. It accentuates and places values on difference while feeding what it is that we all desire and need to thrive. We need to be whole.