Courageous conversations are essential to understand each other’s experiences and perspectives.
In today’s workplace, courageous conversations are essential in order to understand each other’s experiences and perspectives and to address uncomfortable topics such as racism or bias. These conversations tend to be difficult and there are no simple fixes, but building this “muscle” is crucial to fostering a culture of inclusion and innovation. We must all do the hard work of participating in constructive dialogues to to address underlying issues getting in the way of a workplace culture that is more equitable and inclusive. The issues are there, and ignoring them doesn’t make them go away; it only makes things worse.
For honest conversations to work, we must foster a secure environment, where participants are willing to discuss difficult topics, listen to understand, learn from each other, take risks, and be vulnerable. Sometimes we will get it wrong, make mistakes, and experience discomfort. We must take responsiblity for our impact, regardless of intent.
The ability to have honest and open dialogue impacts team effectiveness, ability to innovate, and overall business performance. Additionally it impacts the wellbeing and performance of individual employees.
Build the organizational “muscle” for dialogues on increasingly sensitive topics (e.g., remote work, childcare, then gender, bias, race, ...).
Create a safe environment where employees can share their experiences and find a common ground with each other, promoting more inclusive and understanding workplaces. This skill set will translate to dialogues about other critical business issues, as well.
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