Two in the Room
In a recent WINSDay newsletter, I mentioned learning about a new organizational approach to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), called “Two in the Room”. This concept deeply resonated with me. The idea is that we are on a spectrum, and if there are five people in a room, they range from active ally (Person E) to racist who will not change (Person A). Rather than focus on trying to shift Person A, what if the focus was on shifting Persons D and C, who are almost an ally and a well-meaning empath? It’s a shorter trip from the middle. So, how do we get the almost ally (Person D) to speak up and support the outspoken ally?
An important factor for Person E to initially speak up and to encourage Person D, (the almost ally) to amplify their voice, is to create a psychologically safe environment where people trust they can speak up without negative repercussions. People need to feel safe to take a risk, to be vulnerable and share what they are feeling and sensing by responding to an inappropriate comment, microaggression, or bias.
This concept has been on my mind ever since I attended a presentation about it the last month, led by Micah Wonjoon Kessel. I want to learn more. I want to incorporate these new concepts into my own DEI programs in my inclusion coaching work, as well as in programs I co-facilitate with Mike Brown and Debbie Laxer, who I partner with on several DEI related workshops.
Last week the three of us, Mike, Debbie, and I, participated in an empathic experience with Micah. His organization, Playground of Empathy, creates an online experience where you can walk in the shoes of others. We got a little taste of it, and I’m registered for one of the free events! Join me!
Allyship is critical for building inclusive work environments, where everyone is welcome, safe, heard, and valued. I am committed to helping organizations mindfully create the culture shifts needed so all employees feel a sense of belonging. In addition to being the right thing to do, a sense of belonging also leads to job satisfaction, increased productivity and more innovation. Contact me to discuss your organization’s DEI goals