Hi, everyone! I’m Randi. I’m the acting HR Business Partner for Technology (my other job is in recruiting, but I’m engaged in this temporary assignment for a bit).
I’m here. I’m here as someone who cares about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I’m here because I believe people are at their best when they can express themselves and be heard. I’m here because I believe that many of us need to get better about having authentic conversations.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is something I care about. It’s not only part of my professional life, but part of my life life as well. The conversations around DEI, and specifically race, have become more frequent since the murder of George Floyd. Again, both in my professional life and my life life. I’m guessing that might be your situation as well.
There are many resources readily available right now, and I have been reading, listening, and learning so much. I thought I could share some key learnings I have about having more inclusive conversations.
- Listen, listen, and listen some more. Be curious. Be empathic. Remember that you are connecting with another human being with different life experiences.
- Recommended article: Are you Really Listening or Just Waiting to Talk? There’s a Difference. Forbes article by Dana Brownlee
- Don’t rush to give advice or offer solutions
- Recognize that sometimes people share concerns out of a desire to feel seen and heard, not for you to fix it.
- Sometimes ideas and solutions may come out of these conversations. If that’s the case, I’d encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas with someone.
- It’s okay to pause or stop the conversation
- If you find yourself in a situation where emotions are high and the conversation is not productive, it is okay to pause the conversation and regroup later that day or even the next day.
- How do you feel the conversation went? How do you think the other person thought it went? How did you feel during the conversation? Why did you feel that way? How would you approach the conversation differently or the same in the future?
- Seek out resources
- Two that I would recommend:
- Skills for Inclusive Conversations with Mary-Frances Winters (LinkedIn Learning); I also just received her new book Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit, which I’m sure will be very helpful in my own antiracist journey.
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo You may have seen this book on some of the antiracist book lists; if you have an Audible account, it’s free!
- Two that I would recommend:
I hope these learnings are helpful as you strive to have more inclusive conversations. If you have any additional thoughts, I would love to hear them. Please reach out!
“I’m Here” is an initiative that SPS Technology launched to strengthen our culture, improve diversity, and become a more inclusive organization. We feature “I’m Here” stories to share experiences and perspectives from volunteers across our teams.