I have already done one article on the subject “why diversity and inclusion matter in the workplace”? As I often contemplate that it’s a subject I couldn’t talk about more. Not because I am keen on discussing the topic and voicing my opinion but because it’s also the need of the hour. There are always a few ways available of having a conversation about the subject. Either it could be like reporting or you can talk about it in a language that feels more governed rather than semantic. So… let’s start the conversation.
What is Inclusion?
We all know the basic definition of inclusion which means to include, to take in. However, do we indeed understand the true meaning of inclusion? Do we realize when we aspire to be identified by one community but not by the other; we close the door of connection, and at that moment, we close the door of inclusion as well. I am not saying that you should not recognize yourself with your community. What I am emphasizing here is that the very act of your recognizing fabricates the hardship of narrowing your connection which also puts an end to this subject. So, don’t put off the conversation. Let’s continue it. Inclusion… Many people define inclusion in numerous ways. But if you look at it or if you really want to understand the term in more simple terms then inclusion is a need; not a desire which takes a lot of effort to fulfill. It’s the most fundamental need of human beings. As basic as food and water. We, humans, are social animals and for us, inclusion is not a wish. It’s our reality. We can’t live without connection and connection is made when we are open to inclusion.
Disclaimer: Today’s discussion will include minimum statistics and more real-life examples.
You know it’s always easy to talk about how and what to-dos. It’s like we know everything but at the same time, we don’t understand a bit of it. Like we know but we don’t know at all. Instead, we close our eyes and just lean against our sofa and executive chairs, and pretend not to hear anything or watch anything. So, we don’t have to do anything. Actually, in my view inclusion is not a talk about disparity and discrimination. Neither it’s about feminism or women empowerment nor about empowering minorities and others. Although they are some vital fragments of the topic around which the subject; in general, revolves. However, I believe that we can’t conquer the whole while finding the solution for the pieces, because there will always be something that would remain unsolved. But what if we try the other way. What if we take the whole thing into account and then strive to come up with the resolution. As I see this approach, I feel a bit of certainty about this. So, how can we do this?
Let’s move to the definition, the actual definition of Inclusion which I have talked about earlier in the blog is the need to feel the human connection. And if we get it aptly, I am certain we can work on and even resolve one of the true challenges of the workplace and organization. We can’t sit anymore with this big elephant in the room. Let’s start the conversation. I have heard many C-executives saying that we just feel that this is the right thing to do (Politically), however, we don’t understand how to do this. But the main thing here is that they don’t understand the actual requirement, the real definition, and the real place this inclusion has in our lives. Inclusion is not an idea or ideology. It’s not something like the concept of honesty and paying attention to your deed, we learn in the class of moral science. Inclusion is all about need. As fundamental as air and sunlight that we need to live on. As human beings, this need is deeply rooted in who we are. So… if we make an effort to understand this politically or morally or ethically, we are bound to fail. Because when it comes to honesty you choose what you want to say. And it counts on your intention of what you want. Do you want to be right or do you want to say right? On the other hand, inclusion is very far from that. It’s not about your choice and desire. It’s about the need. As I have mentioned earlier, sometimes we just need to change our way to reach the destination. And the easier way to do this is to say and not just say for the sake of saying it, to really say and understand that I don’t understand it at all. I don’t know what it is. Problem is not always about tackling or facing them. At times, we just need to recognize and appreciate it correctly. And once you define the trouble correctly, you figure out the resolution right away. Okay, to be honest, let’s say not right away, but you figure it out easily.
Now I understand you are wondering, okay, we get the definition. However, what about the hows of the trouble. How we can resolve that.
What all I can say is this – There is a quote I am immensely in love with. It’s by Mark Twain and it says – “When in doubt tell the truth”. I just interpret it in a slightly different manner. “When in doubt ask the truth”. It will help you to acknowledge the circumstance aptly. If you want your organization to be different, you have to act differently. I would not suggest more on the topic of how. Because I want you to do the homework on your own. Now you know the definition. So, do some mind mapping.
And don’t worry I may contemplate the idea of letting you the hows as well. But first, I want you to do the work.