Chapter Three - The Inclusion Odyssey (Part 2)

Open mindedness and adaptability

In my mind the call was going well.

I was determined to make a great first impression with one of my global D&I colleagues and enthusiastically shared a series of what I assumed to be good ideas.

I paused with eager anticipation.

My colleague sighed and spoke plainly: “Stop making assumptions and recommendations from a UK perspective.”

OK, so that was not what I was expecting!

Inwardly, I was mortified because I had genuinely entered into the conversation with good intent. I had a full call sheet of new colleagues with whom I needed to build long-term relationships to achieve larger scale goals. Time to get past my discomfort and refine my approach.

“You’re right. I’m listening. May I request a do-over, please?” I said to reset the conversation.

My colleague softened slightly in that moment and she proceeded to help me ‘walk in her shoes’ to understand cultural context, regulatory barriers, and opportunities within her local environment.

Sometimes a single comment or action can make all the difference in shifting perspective. That is exactly what happened here because it set me on a course to practice open mindedness and active listening.

Shared learning

 

- Actively listen to understand before focusing on your agenda.

- Keep asking questions to fuel curiosity whether it’s your own or in others!

- Practicing inclusivity can be challenging but be prepared to lean into the discomfort.