In this podcast we explore the reasons why a diverse representation on any board, company or group is so important. We really stretch ourselves and truly grow when we are able to work with people who are not exactly like us. As we start to expand our circle and learn from others, we gain a deeper understanding of how and why people are who they are which helps us understand ourselves even better. This diversity includes and is not limited to race, socioeconomic, gender and age. In the church, we especially see the lack of diversity in leadership positions. Take a few minutes and really think about who is making the decisions around you, what is on TV, what movies are made, what books get written and promoted, who is teaching your children, etc.
There are a few questions you should be sure you make a part of the conversation of the team when you start to include different voices. Some suggested in the Podcast are:
- Who are you? (How do you define yourself?)
- What similarities do you have with others in your group?
- What differences do you have?
- How can those similarities and differences define your group?
Once we recognize the need for new, different and diverse people to invite to be a part of the conversation, it becomes a priority to be intentional about invitations. However, it is vital that the invitation is not just for a person(s) to fill a spot, but to have a voice. The hardest part about having new voices is listening to new ideas and being willing to change our thinking and the way we “have always done” things. If the groups does not acknowledge the importance of having an open mind to others’ thoughts, then the inclusive effort will fail. Having open and honest conversations about our own feelings of fear or trepidations of change and new ideas is all a part of inclusivity. The most successful move forward includes partnerships and mentoring relationships and we work to understand one another.
So, take a few minutes and ask yourself where are the places in my life that would benefit from conversations with others that are different from me? How can you reach out to new, diverse and different people in order to invite them into these spaces and places? What will it take for you to listen and grow from these relationships?
Please share your experiences with us and enjoy our podcast. Leave us any thoughts, and like and share this with others.
Book referenced in podcast: https://shop.fulleryouthinstitute.org/products/growing-young