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What does vulnerability have to do with inclusion?

September 16, 2015 Sarah Breigle

As it turns out, everything.

Inclusion isn’t about business as usual. It isn’t a skill set that we learn from reading a book. Being inclusive is about our ability to understand our own values—and recognize that what we think and say drives what we do. It’s about showing up courageously and learning to coach that inner voice that can be our biggest advocate one minute—and our worst enemy the next.

As leaders and managers, we have an increased responsibility to create an environment of inclusion. Inclusion starts with each of us having a heightened sense of ourselves. We must be willing to be vulnerable in order to understand ourselves. Only when we understand ourselves can we understand others. Inclusion is everyone’s job.

And this became clear for me when our own Susan Brady explained how she coaches her inner critic during our Intensive for Leading Inclusively program in Chicago yesterday.

“I am enough and I matter,” she says to herself. It’s deceptively short and simple. It defuses the inner critic and allows proper perspective to return. It works and has made a world of difference for me.

How do you deal with your inner critic? Where are you in your journey of self-discovery? Are you as inclusive as you need to be?

Follow the conversation with us this week using the hashtag #linkageILI for more insights.

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