Reflection On Inclusion And Diversity

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Surprises
Looking back, as I began our readings, my initial thoughts were “I’ve been through inclusion and diversity sensitivity training and we’re doing all the right things at Sherwin-Williams; I’ll be able to teach a few things about inclusion”. I was so wrong! As I reflect back over our readings and discussions, I am more apt to say that my own discoveries were tearing down walls of presumptions of what inclusion, change, and diversity mean in the workplace. For me, in many ways, the process of experiencing a deeper attention to inclusion and change has actually been both a destructive process, as well as a constructive one. I can see now that my previous understanding of inclusion, LGBTA, diversity and being a change agent in the workplace
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However, that change may not come in the form of a new product from the engineering department, but rather utilizing the resources from within the team to inspire them answer questions and change their way of thinking about a situation or other individuals. For example, I have started to utilize white board in meetings very frequently and changed the dynamics of my meeting from “briefings” to “question sessions”. In this sense, through my readings and personal leading experiences, I aspire to be the creative change leader that Puccio, Mance and Murdock talk about, and understand that “becoming an effective leader is not a destination. It is a journey that involves continuous improvement and the starting point for this journey will vary from person to person” (p.291). In doing so, if I want to encourage others to participate and develop in others I have to be a model. “The leader who wants to create an emotionally intelligent team can help by raising it collective self-awareness” (Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee, 2004, p.183). I feel that successful leadership and motivating change are found in open dialogues between a leader and their staff. According to Sylvia Hewlett, Melinda Marshall, and Laura Shelbin in their article How Diversity Can Drive Innovation wrote, “ Leaders also need acquired diversity to establish a culture in which all employees feel free to contribute ideas.” Creating change and ultimately creating inclusion will not happen unless leaders expose their team to the creative process through dialogue and critical thinking. Thomas L. Friedman (2004) in his book, The World is Flat, stated that, to be successful in a flatlined or globalized world of today, “we have to be the masters of our imaginations, not the prisoners” (p.448). Furthermore, according to Kouzes and Posner (2002), stated the

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