Equipping Your Team To Tell The
Truth About Diversity And Inclusion
How to do it?
By Craig W. Ross, Angela V. Paccione, and Victoria L.
It’s not what’s being said about your initiatives that is slowing
progress. Often, it’s what is not being spoken that creates the barrier
to achievement. This is especially true in those efforts that evoke
emotions, such as the plans you must execute to advance diversity
and inclusion across your business.
You can change this in your next meeting by energizing the team
around a shared reality, one where people can tell their truth. This
is the only way your vision for diversity and inclusion becomes a
“We’ve been trying to have this discussion for what seems like
forever,” the director at a global medical device company told us. As
a 30-year veteran in HR, that’s saying something. “I realize now the
key was to back up for a moment, stop selling our plan, and first shift
the mindsets that were keeping us stuck.”
To do this, she and her team used a practical and powerful tool
called the Energy Map. This mental model creates a psychologically
safe place for any team to collectively see where their focus is and
where they need it to be to move an initiative forward.
The Energy Map is drawn as a circle, with three distinct zones: The
back, middle, and front side. The key is understanding that because
of how the brain processes thoughts, it can only focus in one of these
zones in any moment.
The back side of the Energy Map represents a focus and emotional
energy that concentrates on the problems the team has, what they
don’t like or respect about those they’re working with, what’s not
working, and who’s to blame, among other focus points. Of course,
as Daniel Kahneman states in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow,
because the brain can only focus on one thought at a time, “what we
see is all there is.” This means that when focused on a problem it is
virtually impossible to see a solution.
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