Black History Month Learnings and Reflection
Part 1 of a 3-part blog
As Black History Month has come to end and we continue to learn about and celebrate the black community, I would like to share what I have recently been made aware of.
In honesty, I have previously felt a barrier of fear from not knowing if a conversation is going to become heated or if I am knowledgeable enough to enter into it, but my key learning curve has been to just give it a go. My commitment moving forward is to simply do my best with the knowledge that I do have and to practise removing fear. This mindset is applicable to many areas of life: you do not have to be an expert in order to use your voice. One of the wonderful things about being human is that we are never-ending projects who are continuously learning and striving to be better.
Rather than ‘difficult conversations’, I prefer to call them ‘clumsy conversations’. The difference being that ‘clumsy’ allows for us to make a mistake as long as we are learning and trying to understand. ‘Difficult’, on the other hand, already sets up the discussion to be argumentative and confrontational and pre-empts a negative result. If instructions such as ‘have difficult conversations’ and ‘educate yourself’ have left you feeling like equality is a chore, you may want to address why that is – whether it is the language or something deeper – and find a way of redirecting this to a place of interest. Be honest and upfront with yourself so that you can understand why you feel a certain way and take control in changing it. I love learning about other people’s backgrounds, hearing their stories and improving my outlook on difference because it deeply feels like the right thing to do. Whilst it may be easier not to open the discussion, does this go against your values? Notice when something hits your heart and your gut and act on this.
It is likely that many of us have grown up unaware of the offensiveness of some language or we have been drawn into the land of ‘Political Correctness’, warping our vision of what is truly right at the heart of the matter. Things that you may need to learn more about are microaggressions and covert racism. This is not about overthinking what we say or feeling like we are walking on eggshells – this is about leading with integrity and aligning our actions with our values. We are each a tiny fraction of the human race but unite us and we can make big changes. Every time you make a conscious effort to uplift a suppressed voice, you are contributing to the bigger picture.
These were my three key learnings from the last month that I hope you also endeavour to implement.
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#equality #diversity #inclusion #blackhistorymonth #leadership #selfimprovement #learning #growthmindset #activeally #unconsciousbias #microaggression #personalmastery