From the Inside Out – Authenticity to Inclusion
It’s pretty easy to spot inauthenticity. Even children as young as three begin to make assessments about a person’s trustworthiness based on facial features and behaviors. When there is inconsistency in the way someone speaks or acts, it makes us wonder whether someone is being authentic.
Making sweeping changes and tackling exclusion and inequity within our organizations and the way we hire will not go far unless the change comes from within. Try as we might, individuals inside of our organizations cannot forge lasting change by trying to “act inclusively”. We must each challenge our internal assumptions and work to understand how these assumptions impact our decisions. This is why diversity washing, though a veneer on the outside, is glaringly obvious from the inside.
If we do not take the time to consider and understand our own unconscious biases, authentic change is not possible. Change that is arrived at by putting on a front of inclusion is not genuine. Inclusion starts from inside of us, with how we view other people and is reflected in our words and actions.
Auditing Our Insides
If our goal is to make people feel included, it will never happen. We cannot control how other people feel nor do we know how someone feels unless they tell us. The only way forward is to invite people to participate and actually include people. Be consistent in your actions to help others see your genuine intent. Consistency is the only path to changing perceptions. To be inclusive, we must first check our internal assumptions.
What does this look like?
It’s demonstrated by first performing an internal audit. What are the kinds of assumptions I tend to make about people? What do I feel inclined to say, whether or not I voice it out loud? How do I find myself talking about other people when I am with a safe and trusted colleague or friend? Next, pay attention to the ways we think and talk about people. This will reveal a lot about how we feel internally. The bigger the gap between what we think internally and how we act externally, the less authentic we will come across to those around us.
Technology Doesn’t Create Culture, Humans Do
Despite working on authenticity from within, we still need help being consciously inclusive to make better diversity recruiting and hiring decisions. Technology can enable us to reduce our biases when it comes to attracting, reviewing and screening, and selecting candidates. Though a great benefit, technology should not eliminate the human side of recruiting but serve as an aid. At the end of the day, humans should be the ones making decisions. That’s why authenticity and auditing our assumptions is important because humans create inclusive cultures, not technology.
Remaining 100% research-based and focusing on the human side of technology is how we empower you to make consciously inclusive decisions.