Move beyond awareness to create lasting change
Change agents help get things unstuck and moving. They ask questions and engage others in new possibilities and influence others to take action. Change agents build confidence and commitment. They use inclusion as a primary tool to institute change. Share what you know and learn from other change agents. Examine how to advocate for the future without neglecting the lessons of the past.
- SLOW DOWN. Stop and first notice mindsets and assumptions (yours and others’) and work to shift or interrupt patterns in systems, groups and yourself. Learn to see how your and others’ behavior and patterns affect work partnerships, morale, engagement and productivity.
- FIND MUTUAL SELF-INTEREST. Learn to better understand your and others’ self-interest in creating a more inclusive workplace, rather than focusing on how you can help other individuals and/or groups. Always know what is in it for you to support your long-term engagement.
- SEEK OUT and validate others’ perspectives, especially when they differ from your own. Remember that validating another’s perspective doesn’t invalidate or negate your own.
- Think and practice AND/BOTH THINKING instead of either/or thinking. Notice when you ask or hear a question from a simple yes/no frame. Learn to frame more questions as inquiry questions (without yes or no as an answer). Learn to more quickly see the complexity inherent in most interactions across difference.
- Allow yourself to BE CONFUSED and/or UNCOMFORTABLE. Use any confusion/discomfort to further drive your curiosity. This is the zone where real, lasting change happens.
- Learn to see sameness and difference simultaneously rather than one negating the other. Seeing sameness and difference as complementary instead of oppositional helps to better manage the paradox often created by seemingly polar opposites. We are always both similar and different. Learn to better manage this paradox.
- Remember that none of this is your or anyone’s fault. Stop apologizing for things you did not do and start understanding how what has happened in the past impacts your relationships and how others hear your words or interpret your actions. Work instead to find and act on what you are responsible to shift or change.
- Apply rigor and practice perseverance. Little that is meaningful is easily or quickly gained. Learn to hang in there for the long-term moving forward.
YOUR WORK MOVING FORWARD
- Which tip is most relevant/meaningful for you to focus on?
- Why this one?
- What is a next step/action for you moving forward?
- What might progress look like for you?