Not being yourself in the workplace might help you win an Oscar if you work in Hollywood, but in most work environments, it just leads to burnout. And for most of us, not being yourself isn’t as obvious as acting as Judy Garland or the Joker. It’s usually more subtle, like hiding pieces of our identity that make us who we are and who or what we care about, using masking or code-switching.
If that’s because you don’t feel comfortable or safe being your whole self at work, that can quickly become both isolating and draining, which is a problem both for you and for the organization. The good news is, any organization can create an environment where everyone can thrive and, in the words of Janelle Monáe’s opening performance at Sunday’s Oscars, “Come Alive!“
Do you ever groan when you think about attending an upcoming meeting? How often have you been in meetings where you didn’t feel like your voice was heard? Or – if you were leading the meeting – where you left feeling like you’d done the heavy lifting and the other people in the room didn’t add as much as you wanted?
So often, meetings remind us of hierarchies and divisions – reminders of who holds power and who doesn’t – rather than as the community-building points of connection that they could be.
Whether you are someone who runs meetings or someone who participates in meetings, you can make a difference in making those meetings more inclusive and effective. You can help meetings be places where community is built, not broken.
This week’s tip:
Contact us to set up an online or in-person workshop for your company. How to Build Community in the Meetings You Run – or Attend! is an online workshop to support you – regardless of your role – in using meetings to build an inclusive community in your workplace.
Try this out this week, and let us know how it goes in our Facebook group! We’d love to hear from you. As always, you can subscribe to our feed here, or sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these articles directly in your inbox.