EM 176 | How to Address the Tension in the Air Pt. 1
In this week’s Executive Minds, Kevin, Jeff, and David continue a frank and transparent conversation about what’s going on in the culture today in light of the recent police murder of George Floyd and the subsequent national dialogue around police brutality, white supremacy, and racial injustice. Building on last week’s virtual meetup, the MNTR team discusses how to address the topic of racial dignity and social justice as a leader in your business and organization. It's a timely and vital conversation and we’re thankful to have you tuned in with us. We’re in this together.
Links + Resources:
MNTR Content Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2W7R7YS
Do not allow social pressure to push you into navigating the brand and not people.
Avoid the pressure to have a stance. You must do the “heart work” (and hard work!) of the organization first. It’s easy to succumb to the idea that you’ve got to say “something”. But the truth is that you’ll likely just be communicating a message that’s already out there and also better suited for an organization that doesn’t have the baggage that yours does. You can’t do this for the sake of an image. It’s got to start with the team. Even if that means commenting to say we’re not commenting publicly UNTIL we deal with what’s going on inside. Also, this will grow the respect that your POC (and non-POC) team members have for you because they’ll see the authenticity of desiring a true change.
Empathy is the key to trust.
If your business or organization is operating from a deficit on these matters, then you’ve got to begin to genuinely show you care about people as individuals. You care about what they think, experience, encounter and you are committed to creating a safe space for you to learn from them. Naturally, this means you might not have a lot to add to the conversation. Good! This is a great time to lean in, learn, and expose yourself to things that you have missed or possibly ignored. This is not the time to stay low and wait/hope for this all to blow over. It’s imperative that you take a step forward and not hang out on the sidelines. This is how you grow trust.
The BEST place to work is still not the PERFECT place to work.
Leadership inherently has blind spots. Even if your business appears to be doing well in these areas of racial equity and justice, it doesn’t mean that it cannot be better. It’s natural for you to have blind spots as a leader and executive because you are not seeing the business from all angles as those who are experiencing it. Even in our families, we miss things in our spouses or children. Our organizations aren’t any different. You can’t assume that your perspective is a complete picture of the truth. We must continue to inquire and build a certain level of intelligence around the experiences of our people. If we don’t know what’s happening, then it’s impossible to have the empathy that will lead to trust.