Four Ways to Build Influence at Work, No Matter Your Job Title

people around a table, brainstorming

Being influential has its benefits. People seek out your opinion and listen to you. Your words have power. Those around you believe what you say and give weight to your input. But you don’t have to be a member of the C-suite or a high-ranking employee for this to be true. It’s possible to expand your influence in virtually any role.

“Inside the workplace, there’s formal influence, which comes from your position—the responsibility and authority that you’ve been given,” says leadership consultant Ron Price, founder of Price Associates, and author of Growing Influence: A Story of How to Lead with Character, Expertise, and Impact. “But there’s also informal influence, which comes from who you are and how you show up.”

While the title you hold may not be imbued with power, there are steps you can take to increase the power you hold in virtually any role, he says. Here are four strategies to try:


Focus On What You Can Control

Influence starts with the areas within your control, says Melissa Drake, founder of Collaborative AF, a consultancy that helps companies unlock potential through collaboration. First off, focus simply on being good at your job.

“If you’re doing your thing well and passionately and you’re getting good results, it’s really hard to argue with that,” she says. Being good at your job is one of the basic elements of influence. It lets people know that you’re confident and capable. Failure to do so undermines influence and makes it more difficult for people to trust you.

At consulting and training company Franklin Covey, Scott Miller, executive vice president and author of Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, recommends focusing on your “circle of influence“—those factors you can control, including “your reputation; your ability to deliver on your promises; your ability to make wise, high-impact decisions; your ability to collaborate.” The more you focus on those essential elements, the more your influence will naturally grow.


Spend Your ‘Influence Currency’ Wisely

Understanding the areas in which you may most likely be influential is important, too. If you have special expertise or act as a facilitator or gatekeeper, the way you share and distribute knowledge or resources can make you influential, says Allan Cohen, global leadership professor at Babson College and co-author of Influence without Authority. The core of your influence may also lie in how well you understand the organization, relationships within the workplace, or other areas that aren’t generally known.

But there’s a fine line between being a fair guardian of that influence and blowing your own horn too much, he says. Cohen says you must figure out how to provide that value in a reasonable way. “It’s a fine art to be able to contribute without disappearing, but without saying, ‘See me? See me? Look. Look. Here I am. Look what I’m doing for you,’” he says.


Make Strong Connections With Others

“Everything comes down to relationships,” Drake says, so building a strong network is essential. She recommends getting to know people on a personal level, too. It’s easier to relate to and understand others when you have an idea of what’s important to them, what their personality traits are, and what’s going on in their lives. “[Allow] people to be seen and heard as individuals and who they are,” says Drake, who gave a TEDx talk on collaboration in which she emphasized how much more powerful successful collaborations can be compared to solo efforts. “Then it makes it easier to come together,” she says.

The ability to collaborate with others also helps build your influence because it strengthens relationships. “There’s the kind of influence that you build through collaboration, where you work with people, where you have shared interests, says Price. “You can combine your influence together to create something bigger than you could have done by yourself.”


Don’t Be a Jerk

Even if you don’t have a big title or wield a great deal of power, there is always a way you can help others, Price says. So find ways to give back to individuals and the organization before you try to use your influence for your own interests. “Who comes to you to get information or something that they need in order to do their daily work?” he says. “The more that you respond to that in a timely way and give them what they’re looking for, the better, stronger influence you’ll build with them.”

By building your expertise and relationships, and using your growing power wisely and fairly, your words and actions will likely have greater impact in the workplace. But, as your influence grows, so must your humility, Miller says. “The more you readily show vulnerability and admit your issues, [the more] people will gravitate around you and you’ll create a culture where people take risks. They’ll make bets. They’ll choose to stay because there’s no paranoia. There’s high trust,” he says.

By: Gwen Moran

Source: Pocket

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Critics:

Social influence comprises the ways in which individuals change their behavior to meet the demands of a social environment. It takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing. Typically social influence results from a specific action, command, or request, but people also alter their attitudes and behaviors in response to what they perceive others might do or think. In 1958, Harvard psychologist Herbert Kelman identified three broad varieties of social influence.

  1. Compliance is when people appear to agree with others but actually keep their dissenting opinions private.
  2. Identification is when people are influenced by someone who is liked and respected, such as a famous celebrity.
  3. Internalization is when people accept a belief or behavior and agree both publicly and privately.

Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard described two psychological needs that lead humans to conform to the expectations of others. These include our need to be right (informational social influence) and our need to be liked (normative social influence). Informational influence (or social proof) is an influence to accept information from another as evidence about reality. Informational influence comes into play when people are uncertain, either because stimuli are intrinsically ambiguous or because there is social disagreement.

Normative influence is an influence to conform to the positive expectations of others. In terms of Kelman’s typology, normative influence leads to public compliance, whereas informational influence leads to private acceptance.

Robert Cialdini defines six “weapons of influence” that can contribute to an individual’s propensity to be influenced by a persuader:

  • Reciprocity: People tend to return a favor.
  • Commitment and consistency: People do not like to be self-contradictory. Once they commit to an idea or behavior, they are averse to changing their minds without good reason.
  • Social proof: People will be more open to things that they see others doing. For example, seeing others compost their organic waste after finishing a meal may influence the subject to do so as well.
  • Authority: People will tend to obey authority figures.
  • Liking: People are more easily swayed by people they like.
  • Scarcity: A perceived limitation of resources will generate demand.

See also

The Pandemic Revealed How Much We Hate Our Jobs

Until March 2020, Kari and Britt Altizer of Richmond, Va., put in long hours at work, she in life-insurance sales and he as a restaurant manager, to support their young family. Their lives were frenetic, their schedules controlled by their jobs.

Then the pandemic shutdown hit, and they, like millions of others, found their world upended. Britt was briefly furloughed. Kari, 31, had to quit to care for their infant son. A native of Peru, she hoped to find remote work as a Spanish translator. When that didn’t pan out, she took a part-time sales job with a cleaning service that allowed her to take her son to the office. But as the baby grew into a toddler, that wasn’t feasible either.

Meanwhile, the furlough prompted her husband, 30, to reassess his own career. “I did some soul searching. During the time I was home, I was gardening and really loving life,” says Britt, who grew up on a farm and studied environmental science in college. “I realized working outdoors was something I had to get back to doing.”

Today, both have quit their old jobs and made a sharp pivot: they opened a landscaping business together. “We are taking a leap of faith,” Kari says, after realizing the prepandemic way of working simply doesn’t make sense anymore. Now they have control over their schedules, and her mom has moved nearby to care for their son. “I love what I’m doing. I’m closer to my goal of: I get to go to work, I don’t have to go to work,” Kari says. “We aren’t supposed to live to work. We’re supposed to work to live.”

As the postpandemic great reopening unfolds, millions of others are also reassessing their relationship to their jobs. The modern office was created after World War II, on a military model—strict hierarchies, created by men for men, with an assumption that there is a wife to handle duties at home.

But after years of gradual change in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, there’s a growing realization that the model is broken. Millions of people have spent the past year re-evaluating their priorities. How much time do they want to spend in an office? Where do they want to live if they can work remotely? Do they want to switch careers? For many, this has become a moment to literally redefine what is work.

More fundamentally, the pandemic has masked a deep unhappiness that a startling number of Americans have with the -workplace. During the first stressful months of quarantine, job turnover plunged; people were just hoping to hang on to what they had, even if they hated their jobs.

For many more millions of essential workers, there was never a choice but to keep showing up at stores, on deliveries and in factories, often at great risk to themselves, with food and agricultural workers facing a higher chance of death on the job. But now millions of white collar professionals and office workers appear poised to jump. Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, set off a Twitter-storm by predicting, “The great resignation is coming.”

But those conversations miss a much more consequential point. The true significance isn’t what we are leaving; it’s what we are going toward. In a surprising phenomenon, people are not just abandoning jobs but switching professions. This is a radical re-assessment of our careers, a great reset in how we think about work. A Pew survey in January found that 66% of unemployed people have seriously considered changing occupations—and significantly, that phenomenon is common to those at every income level, not just the privileged high earners.

A third of those surveyed have started taking courses or job retraining. Pew doesn’t have comparable earlier data, but in a 2016 survey, about 80% of people reported being somewhat or very satisfied with their jobs.

Early on in the pandemic, Lucy Chang Evans, a 48-year-old Naperville, Ill., civil engineer, quit her job to help her three kids with remote learning while pursuing an online MBA. Becoming “a lot more introspective,” she realized she’s done with toxic workplaces: “I feel like I’m not willing to put up with abusive behavior at work anymore.” She also plans to pivot into a more meaningful career, focused on tackling climate change.

The deep unhappiness with jobs points to a larger problem in how workplaces are structured. The line between work and home has been blurring for decades—and with the pandemic, obliterated completely for many of us, as we have been literally living at work. Meanwhile, the stark divide between white collar workers and those with hourly on-site jobs—grocery clerks, bus drivers, delivery people—became painfully visible. During the pandemic, nearly half of all employees with advanced degrees were working remotely, while more than 90% of those with a high school diploma or less had to show up in person, CoStar found.

Business leaders are as confused as the rest of us—perhaps more so—when it comes to navigating the multiple demands and expectations of the new workplace. Consider their conflicting approaches to remote work. Tech firms including Twitter, Dropbox, Shopify and Reddit are all allowing employees the option to work at home permanently, while oil company Phillips 66 brought back most staff to its Houston headquarters almost a year ago. Target and Walmart have both allowed corporate staff to work remotely, while low-paid workers faced potential COVID-19 exposure on store floors.

In the financial industry, titans like Blackstone, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs expect employees to be back on site this summer. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon recently declared that remote work “doesn’t work for those who want to hustle-. It doesn’t work in terms of spontaneous idea generation,” and “you know, people don’t like commuting, but so what.”

There’s a real risk that office culture could devolve into a class system, with on-site employees favored over remote workers. WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani recently insisted that the “least engaged are very comfortable working from home,” a stunning indictment that discounts working parents everywhere and suggests that those who might need flexibility—like those caring for relatives—couldn’t possibly be ambitious.

Mathrani’s comments are yet another reminder that the pandemic shutdown has been devastating for women, throwing into high relief just how inhospitable and precarious the workplace can be for caretakers. Faced with the impossible task of handling the majority of childcare and homeschooling, 4.2 million women dropped out of the labor force from February 2020 to April 2020—and nearly 2 million still haven’t returned. Oxfam calculates that women globally lost a breathtaking $800 billion in income in 2020. Women’s progress in terms of U.S. workforce participation has been set back by more than three decades.

Despite Mathrani’s assertion, there’s little evidence that remote employees are less engaged. There is, however, plenty of evidence that we’re actually working more. A study by Harvard Business School found that people were working on average 48 minutes more per day after the lockdown started. A new research paper from the University of Chicago and University of Essex found remote workers upped their hours by 30%, yet didn’t increase productivity.

All this comes at a moment when business and culture have never been more intertwined. As work has taken over people’s lives and Americans are doing less together outside the office, more and more of people’s political beliefs and social life are defining the office. In thousands of Zoom meetings over the past year, employees have demanded that their leaders take on systemic racism, sexism, transgender rights, gun control and more.

People have increasingly outsize expectations of their employers. This year, business surpassed nonprofits to become the most trusted institution globally, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, and people are looking to business to take an active role tackling racism, climate change and misinformation.

“Employees, customers, shareholders—all of these stakeholder groups—are saying, You’ve got to deal with some of these issues,” says Ken Chenault, a former chief executive of American Express and currently chairman and managing partner of General Catalyst. “If people are going to spend so much time at a company, they really want to believe that the mission and behavior of the company is consistent with, and aligned with, their values.”

Hundreds of top executives signed on to a statement that he and Ken Frazier, the CEO of Merck, organized this year opposing “any discriminatory legislation” in the wake of Georgia’s new voting law. Yet those same moves have landed some executives in the crosshairs of conservative politicians.

That points to the central dilemma facing us all as we rethink how we work. Multiple surveys suggest Americans are eager to work remotely at least part of the time—the ideal consensus seems to be coalescing around three days in the office and two days remote. Yet the hybrid model comes with its own complexities.

If managers with families and commutes choose to work remotely, but younger employees are on site, the latter could lack opportunities for absorbing corporate culture or for being mentored. Hybrid work could also limit those serendipitous office interactions that lead to promotions and breakthrough ideas.

Yet if it’s done correctly, there’s a chance to bring balance back into our lives, to a degree that we haven’t seen at least since the widespread adoption of email and cell phones. Not just parents but all employees would be better off with more flexible time to recharge, exercise and, oh yeah, sleep.

There’s also a hidden benefit in a year of sweatpants wearing and Zoom meetings: a more casual, more authentic version of our colleagues, with unwashed hair, pets, kids and laundry all on display. That too would help level the playing field, especially for professional women who, over the course of their careers, spend thousands of hours more than men just getting ready for work.

There are glimmers of progress. During the pandemic, as rates of depression and anxiety soared—to 40% of all U.S. adults, quadruple previous levels—a number of companies began offering enhanced mental-health services and paid “recharge” days, among them LinkedIn, Citigroup, Red Hat and SAP.

Some companies are offering subsidized childcare, including Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Home Depot. More than 200 businesses, along with the advocacy group Time’s Up, recently created a coalition to push for child and eldercare solutions. It’s essential that these measures stay in place.

We have an unprecedented opportunity right now to reinvent, to create workplace culture almost from scratch. Over the past decades, various types of businesses have rotated in and out of favor—conglomerates in the ’60s, junk bonds in the ’80s, tech in the ’00s—but the basic workplace structure, of office cubicles and face time, has remained the same.

It’s time to allow the creative ideas to flow. For example, companies are stuck with millions of square feet of now unused office space—sublet space soared by 40% from late 2019 to this year, CoStar found. Why not use that extra space for day care? Working parents of small children would jump at the opportunity to have a safe, affordable option, while having their kids close by.

Now would also be a good time to finally dump the 9-to-5, five-day workweek. For plenty of job categories, that cadence no longer makes sense. Multiple companies are already experimenting with four-day workweeks, including Unilever New Zealand, and Spain is rolling out a trial nationwide. Companies that have already tested the concept have reported significant productivity increases, from 20% (New Zealand’s Perpetual Guardian, which has since made the practice permanent) to 40% (Microsoft Japan, in a limited trial).

That schedule too would be more equitable for working moms, many of whom work supposedly part-time jobs with reduced pay yet are just as productive as their fully paid colleagues. Meanwhile, the 9-to-5 office-hours standard becomes irrelevant, especially when people don’t have meetings and are working remotely or in different time zones.

While we’re at it, let’s kill the commute. Some companies are already creating neighborhood co-working hubs for those who live far from the home office. Outdoor retailer REI is going a step further: it sold its new Bellevue, Wash., headquarters in a cost-cutting move and is now setting up satellite offices in the surrounding Puget Sound area. Restaurants might get in on the act too; they could convert dining areas into co-working spaces during off hours, or rent out private rooms by the day for meetings and brainstorming sessions.

Some of the shortcomings of remote work—the lack of camaraderie and mentoring, the fear of being forgotten—may ultimately be bridged by new technology. Google and Microsoft are already starting to integrate prominent remote-videoconferencing capabilities more fully into meeting spaces, so that remote workers don’t seem like an afterthought. Augmented reality, which so far has been used most notably for games like Pokémon Go, could end up transforming into a useful work tool, allowing remote workers to “seem” to be in the room with on-site workers.

There are plenty of other ideas out there, and a popular groundswell of support for flexibility and life balance that makes sense for all of us. Will we get there, or will we slide back into our old ways? That’s on us. Companies that don’t reinvent may well pay the price, losing top talent to businesses that do.

“We aren’t robots,” Kari Altizer says. “Before, we thought it was impossible to work with our children next to us. Now, we know it is possible—but we have to change the ways in which we work.”

By Joanne Lipman

Source: COVID-19 Changed Work Forever | Time

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References

4 Unexpected Items You Need In Your WFH Office So You’re Prepared For The Future Of Work

Man having video conferencing call via computer. Working remotely managing team and work from home

The home office was not invented during the era of ”The Brady Bunch” or “Mad Men.” In fact, it’s been around for three centuries. Hanna Manson tells us in an article in Hubble, “Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, dedicated office spaces would fall by the wayside until the 18th century.

Most ‘office’ work was carried out at home.” But that waned; architect David Hart of Steinburg Hart told a Bloomberg reporter that “Pre-Covid-19, only 10% to 15% percent of the apartment units his firm was building had some type of dedicated office space. Going forward, he says, he expects that figure will be more like 75%.” That’s because even if we don’t all continue to WFH full-time, WFH will likely be something we do at least part of the time.

In the 1990s, there used to be five basic necessities for a home office: your computer, a desk, a chair, a phone and maybe a printer/scanner. And that sufficed for the next twenty-five years. But it’s no longer enough as you seek to stay connected and make your mark while you’re WFH. Today’s home office requires some additional items so you can use those online meetings as a way to stand out and build your personal brand.

1. Green screen. This simple tool makes video meetings easier. That’s because you don’t need to worry about the clutter on the bookshelf behind you. And, you can customize your backdrop to make it relevant and interesting for every meeting you lead or attend. There are portable green screens that fold up and others that attach to the back of your chair, so don’t worry about it taking up space or creating even more clutter.

2. Mic. Your laptop mic comes with one major problem. It doesn’t discern between your voice and the other sounds in your office. That limits your ability to come across with a clear, crisp, confident message. It can also bring in unwanted interruptions like the dog barking in the next room or the fire engine passing outside your window. A small investment in earbuds or another directional mic will make sure people hear you without distraction.

3. Lights. You’re in luck if your home office is laid out so you’re facing a window when you’re sitting at your desk. That light coming directly at you will help you look your best on video. But it won’t help you on cloudy day or when you have an early evening meeting. Unless you’re living in Yuma, AZ (one of the sunniest places on earth), you’ll want to invest in some high-quality lighting.

Skip the ring light (that’s so 2020) and go for LED panel lights like these. This way, you won’t have weird glowing orbs reflected in your eyes or glasses, and you’ll know that you’ll always be seen in the most positive light.

4. DND sign. Interruptions were tolerated and almost charming in the early days of the Covid- inspired WFH mandate. 43 million of us have seen the video of the kid who interrupted her father’s TV appearance. But the trial period is over. Now, it’s important that you show up as the brilliant professional you are and that you keep appearances from offspring or pets at bay.

And all it takes is a little planning and a do not disturb sign. When you’re meeting with your close-knit team, maybe the interruptions are a welcome diversion and contribute to the fun, informal atmosphere. But when you’re meeting with a client or making a pitch to your boss, the DND sign will ensure you can stay focused on your goal.

Now that WFH means WOV (work on video), your home office needs an upgrade. It needs to double as your video studio for both synchronous and asynchronous videos, broadcasting your brand to a full gamut of audiences.

These four essential items all stem from the fact that the future of work is video, so make sure your home office is up to date—Mike Brady’s “study” is now a studio.

William Arruda is a public speaker, trainer and co-creator of BrandBoost – a video-based personal branding talent development experience.

I’m a personal branding pioneer, motivational speaker, founder of Reach Personal Branding and cofounder of CareerBlast.TV. I’m also the bestselling author of the definitive books on executive branding: Digital YOU, Ditch.Dare. Do! and Career Distinction. I’m passionate about how personal branding can inspire career-minded professionals to become indispensable, influential and incredibly happy at work—and I teach my clients (major global brands and 20% of the Fortune 100) to increase their success by infusing personal branding into their cultures. Here’s a fun fact: I have the distinct privilege of having delivered more personal branding keynotes to more people, in more countries, than anyone on earth.

Source: 4 Unexpected Items You Need In Your WFH Office So You’re Prepared For The Future Of Work

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Equitable Workplaces Require Getting Over Fear of Conflict

Many employers made dramatic commitments after the murder of George Floyd last year about making their workplaces (and leadership teams) more equitable. Despite this, most of the tech industry, which built its reputation on speed, scale, and innovation, is falling short—and it’s because of fear.

Fear of open conflict is destroying workplaces, and it’s disproportionately harming Black and Latinx women workers. It is limiting any possibility for the 21st-century workforce to reflect the demographics of this country. But it’s possible to lead in a different way.

We want to take you through a few aspects of our working relationship, as leaders of the nonprofit Code2040, which is committed to proportional representation of Black and Latinx people at all levels of tech leadership. Our partnership is based on a mutual commitment to eradicating the ways that fear of conflict and systemic racism maintain white, male dominance in the vast majority of workplaces.

As a Latinx woman manager (Karla), and a Black woman direct report (Mimi), we saw our working relationship as racial equity leaders in tech as a unique opportunity to unpack, unlearn, and redesign relational systems that didn’t serve us. In the years that we‘ve worked together at Code2040, we cultivated a relationship based in candor and feedback, which allowed us to unearth the variety of ways we were socially, professionally, and economically discouraged from bringing the full breadth of our talents to our work.

We noticed that the obstacles to our leadership within and outside of Code2040 fell into a few similar categories, and we began communicating with other women of color in tech and at non-profits, to further develop our hypotheses. It was in those conversations we understood that not only were we not alone. We were all in the same compression chamber, and it was sucking the oxygen out of our capacity to lead.

Failing to recognize common tropes (aka racism)

Stereotypes about Black and Latinx women reinforce themselves and serve to police behavior that could build Black and Latinx power. This is called stereotype threat: The hyper-awareness that one could be confirming a stereotype actually impacts our performance—and sometimes confirms the stereotype about our group. For example, one common trope about Black women is that Black women are intimidating or angry.

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How can mentorship in the workplace help to close the job equity gap? Award-winning diversity, inclusion and mentorship expert Janice Omadeke shares her personal mentorship journey along with four helpful takeaways, as she discusses how women and allies can start closing the job equity gap through mentorship. Janice Omadeke | Change Maker & Entrepreneur

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Trying to never come across as intimidating or angry can be such a focus that it impacts a Black woman’s ability to participate fully in contentious conversations or projects. Essentially, knowing that avoiding conflict with white folks is key to being seen as agreeable and therefore to being safe at work, a Black woman might hold back feedback, edits, or observations that actually could benefit the team and build her standing as a leader in the organization.

We’ve had moments in our journey together where anti-Blackness and Latinx erasure supported assumptions that Mimi was pulling the strings (anti-Blackness) and Karla was being manipulated (Latinx erasure). When Karla became CEO and chose to restructure our organization there were whispers and even reports to the board that Karla’s decision was made because of Mimi’s influence. Stereotype threat on both of our parts meant that Karla being decisive threatened blowback on Mimi as being controlling, or Karla moving more slowly reinforced stereotypes of her being too emotional.

What you can do instead:

  • Educate yourself on how racism, sexism, and xenophobia are commonly leveraged to police women of color’s behavior or even our very presence in the world.
  • Use Karla’s CADREES acronym, which describes the ways in which racism is manifesting in your perception of others. CADREES is Comparison, Assumption, Disproportionate Anger/Punishment/Fear, Resentment, Envy and Erasure, Suspicion.
  • Do not vilify Black folks for the actions that white men are promoted for, such as giving critical feedback on product direction, or lauding their own accomplishments.

Discouraging conflict and punishing candor

In the first few months at Code2040, Karla made a decision Mimi vehemently disagreed with, and Mimi tried to give feedback unemotionally. Weeks later, Karla said “You know, you can cry or even yell with me, and I won’t think you less of a professional.” Never before or since had Mimi been told that she could bring the wholeness of her passion to work without risking being perceived as emotional or angry.

Through the coded language of “professionalism,” Black women are taught to shrink themselves into smaller and less offensive packages through feedback on things like the (lack of) appropriateness of their natural hair, the unfriendliness of their facial expressions, or the tone of their voice.

Tone policing, where the content of someone’s message is ignored because of the listener’s feelings about the way it  was delivered, is a common silencing tool used against Black women. It’s often used when a candid conversation feels threatening to a white person or when the white person is being triggered because they perceive a conflict coming on, and want to derail the conversation or deflect the feedback.

What you can do instead:

  • Pause and reflect. It is important to pull away from your fight, flight, freeze, and appease responses. White supremacy thrives on urgency.
  • Ensure that in tough conversations, you are focusing on the content of the message rather than the delivery.
  • Remember that limiting candor to opinions devoid of feeling often eliminates opportunities for candor altogether.

Grounding feedback in anti-Blackness

Black women are consistently denied direct feedback on their work. When it’s given, it’s often on their communication style, rather than content, systems building, or strategy. Too often, Black women are denied advancement opportunities because they are not seen as a “good culture fit” by white leadership.

Culture fit is often a coded way to suggest that the person in question has not assimilated into white culture or the white standards of professionalism of that particular workplace, or that the person in question challenges authority, is unwilling to be silenced, or points out behaviors or systems that leadership would rather not recognize.

Knowing that feedback for Black women is almost always cloaked in anti-Blackness, Karla took explicit care at the beginning of our management relationship to understand Mimi’s prior experiences with managers and how they might inform Mimi’s relationship to feedback and power.

Karla designed explicit growth arcs, allowed Mimi to make mistakes without punitive consequences, and listened to Mimi’s experience of the workplace. When feedback about Mimi was grounded in anti-Blackness, Karla learned to push team members to articulate their feedback explicitly and challenged them to examine where anti-Blackness was creeping in.

What you can do instead: 

  • Accept that anti-Blackness is a material factor that will limit all Black staff. If you think anti-Blackness never shows up, you haven’t paused or learned enough to identify it.
  • Go to Black women directly and privately with actionable, non-personality-based feedback. Focus on content, ideas, strategy, and deliverables.
  • Develop your own resilience for conflict and candor especially with staff of color. Work with therapists and/or coaches with expertise in racial equity to develop skills and learn tools to help you discern between when you are triggered because a) someone has violated a legitimate boundary of yours versus b) you expect Black compliance or deference and you’re not getting it.
  • Consider framing like “values match” or “culture add,” when hiring and assessing performance. When designed well, a set of “values match” criteria can help assess whether a candidate or employee is aligned with explicit performance or achievement values rather than implicit cultural values.

Invisibilizing Latinx women

Latinx women’s leadership is typically accepted only when it is helpful but invisible. If Latinx women are unwilling to be invisible, the consequences for their visibility can be career-ending. One of Karla’s superpowers as a leader is her uncommon depth of empathy and her willingness to be vulnerable at group level. This skill plays into her gift of connecting patterns to detect shifts in a team, company, or even an industry or culture before they happen.

As VP of Programs, Karla’s vulnerability was often seen as useful when it was behind closed doors—for example, to help quell discord between two staff members. But when deployed organization-wide, or publicly, Karla often got feedback that her vulnerability was discomfiting and unwelcomed, even when that vulnerability created positive visibility and insightful pattern spotting. There were moments when she was challenged as too weak to lead or too radical to be palatable—even when those sentiments conflicted with each other. Once, Karla received feedback from a leader that their “life would be so much easier” if she didn’t lead so vulnerably.

The sentiment was astute in that the rules of power worked differently at Code2040 because of Karla’s leadership, but that caused resentment from many, because of the work that was required to understand more equitable ways of distributing power. White folks often resent when the rules of the workplace that have supported their success and hegemony are challenged, and often prefer that the challenger simply disappear, rather than lay bare the places where upgraded skills are required in order to succeed in the 21st century workplace.

What you can do instead: 

  • Encourage women of color to take stretch opportunities. Don’t penalize them for learning.
  • Factor in the social consequences that come from women of color stepping into the spotlight. Make a plan to protect their social capital.

Today we announced that after three years as CEO, Karla is moving on from her day-to-day work at Code2040, and Mimi is taking the helm as CEO. Though we’re both a bit grief-stricken to lose this partnership, it has been the formative professional experience of a lifetime. We hope that sharing a glimpse into our journey gives you a sense of the power of shared leadership, a taste of the hope and creativity available when you brazenly fight anti-Blackness and Latinx erasure, and the joy of building a place where Black and Latinx people can lead.

By: Mimi Fox Melton and Karla Monterroso

Source: Equitable workplaces require getting over fear of conflict

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4 Ways You Can Tackle Racial Discrimination In Your Workplace

Group portrait of a creative business team standing outdoors, three quarter length, close up

Racial discrimination is a global issue that has been an ongoing and commonly ignored problem. Staying silent has proven to be deadly, making one complicit in the system of oppression. 2020 has proven to be a historical year surrounding the pandemic, and now, the uprising against racial injustice after George Floyd’s recent death.

Protests have spanned across the nation with over 30 countries bringing awareness to the racism that exists today. These protests in combination with social media have exposed companies, brands, individuals and even the NFL for their behaviors, comments and practices.

While many brands are posting black squares in response to #blackouttuesday or tweeting #blacklivesmatter, very few are creating conversations or doing anything more than that. David Weisenfeld, J.D., XpertHR podcast host, advised: “Don’t make a statement just to make a statement. It needs to be meaningful.” More than ever, consumers and communities are looking to brands and individuals to see how they’re responding to the protests and what action they’re taking to promote equality and social justice.

There are four ways employers can take meaningful action to tackle racism in the workplace.

Keep The Conversation Going

This is a turning point in not only the workplace but throughout the world. The first step is acknowledging the injustices currently present and expressing your commitment to doing better. It’s critical that there are actions to back up your words or else they’ll remain empty promises. Employers can do this by initiating productive and respectful discussions, forming employee resource groups, training on preventing harassment and discrimination and creating channels where employees feel safe speaking up about racial issues.

Chief people officer at PMI Worldwide, Tammy Perkins, said, it’s important for managers to seek input from missing voices to help obtain different ideas for a diverse point of view. Jessica Lambrecht, founder of The Rise Journey, explained “ensuring you have diverse voices represented at all levels of the organization will help to create an inclusive workplace.”

Tina Charisma, founder of Charisma Campaign, explained “diversified work forces support empathy and compassion between people beyond their race in that the awareness shared during conversations goes on to influence relationships and eventually work practices.”

Embed Anti-Racism Into Your Values, Training And Actions

Building a stronger, healthier and better workplace culture is dependent on having a solid set of core values that are integrated into every policy, decision and process. Now is the time to denounce any weak policies, behaviors, partnerships and client relationships that contradict your company values. Maudette Uzoh, owner of Amazing Days Nursery, said “companies should focus on how they can cultivate an environment where it’s impossible for racism of any sort to sprout or thrive.”

Anti-racism training should never be conducted to check-the-box, but to educate and drive positive change. Training alone isn’t enough to shift people’s perspectives. This is because racism exists in attitudes, cultural messages, stereotypes and beliefs due to implicit bias. Companies can actively reduce bias through training along with embedding processes, policies and expectations that help create a culture rooted in diversity and inclusion.

Ultimately, it’s management’s responsibility to demonstrate their commitment to diversity and the value it brings to the company as well as holding others accountable. Furthermore, they need to actively communicate their stance on racial discrimination and what won’t be tolerated along with the consequences for violation. Racism, in any form, should never be overlooked, excused or tolerated, regardless of someone’s rank or title.

Spread Awareness

Aside from conversations, employers can spread awareness by providing resources to educate individuals about the culture of racism and the history of different races. Most individuals are unaware of racial injustice and the comments they unconsciously make towards their BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) colleagues.

The unfortunate reality is victims of racism often remain silent for fear of retaliation or being unfairly judged. This is where management falls short because they turn a blind eye to the discriminatory comments made or downplay the severity of the remarks or behavior.

More awareness needs to be brought to racial discrimination. Justifying or letting one comment slide sets the tone that racism is acceptable. This is how toxic cultures breed. It starts with one incident that’s overlooked and then turns into two, five, ten and soon becomes the norm.

Companies need to hold themselves accountable on what they stand for as well as bringing more awareness to social issues by utilizing their platforms to stand up for the cause. Publishing a statement on the company website, similar to Ben & Jerry’s, is a powerful way to show support for the movement and take meaningful action. Taking one look at Ben & Jerry’s website or social media platforms, there’s no question they are fighting against white supremacy.

Likewise, on their website, they share four ways readers can dismantle white supremacy in addition to releasing a new ice cream flavor called Justice Remix’d. This has undoubtedly given Ben & Jerry’s a competitive edge over other ice cream companies such as Halo Top, Carvel or Breyers who have yet to acknowledge the current situation.

Cultivate Diversity And Tackle Unconscious Bias

The hiring process is just one of many ways employers can combat racial discrimination. Leaders are the ones who establish the company culture whether it’s intentional or not. Taking meaningful action against racism means leaders need to step up and actively support BIPOC. Talking about diversity and inclusion efforts means little when there’s no action taken.

Many employers unknowingly perpetuate racism in their own workplace because they fail to acknowledge the flaws of their own internal company culture. Tackling unconscious bias with the help of a third party, accepting feedback from BIPOC colleagues and taking an honest look at ones culture can help minimize the constraints that prevent the culture from thriving.

The Harvard Business School wrote an article on how minority job applicants are deleting references to their race on their resume in hopes of boosting their chances at getting a job. The article explained how “Asian applicants often change their foreign-sounding names to something more American-sounding” as well as Americanizing their interests by using common white western culture activities such as snowboarding or hiking. Furthermore, African Americans tone down their involvement in black organizations by removing the word “black” from a professional society or scholarship.

Katherine DeCelles, Associate Professor at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, shared “a bias against minorities runs rampant through the resume screening process at companies throughout the United States.” Applicants should not have to sacrifice their achievements, cultural connection or human capital for fear of not being hired.

Companies now have an opportunity to recognize their unconscious bias and prioritize creating a more diversified workplace. One way of doing this is adding blind hiring into the recruitment process. Madison Campbell, CEO of Leda Health Company, said “name-blind applications will increase the focus on qualifications and merit rather than the biases that even the best allies can have.”

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’m a Leadership Coach & Workplace Culture Consultant at Heidi Lynne Consulting helping individuals and organizations gain the confidence to become better leaders for themselves and their teams. As a consultant, I deliver and implement strategies to develop current talent and create impactful and engaging employee experiences. Companies hire me to to speak, coach, consult and train their teams and organizations of all sizes. I’ve gained a breadth of knowledge working internationally in Europe, America and Asia. I use my global expertise to provide virtual and in-person consulting and leadership coaching to the students at Babson College, Ivy League students and my global network. I’m a black belt in Six Sigma, former Society of Human Resources (SHRM) President and domestic violence mentor. Learn more at http://www.heidilynneco.com or get in touch at Heidi@heidilynneco.com.

Source: 4 Ways You Can Tackle Racial Discrimination In Your Workplace

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Example of a possible example of unconscious racial discrimination in the workplace. For more info on unconscious bias training: https://www.emtrain.com/products/prog… This video portrays some employees of color coming together to protest and support the “Black Lives Matters” movement in their workplace. However, a co-worker disagrees and erases their writing and claims that “All Lives Matter”. This obviously angers the other employees and makes them feel attacked by their coworkers.
This is an example of racial discrimination in the workplace and leads to feelings of isolation in the work environment where teamwork and cooperation are essential to the success of the company. To see more examples of racial discrimination in the workplace and how to handle them in your work environment, go to http://www.emtrain.com
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[…] to improve the nation’s roads and bridges—while also making comments about climate change and racial discrimination […]
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New Survey from SurveyMonkey and AAPI Data Detail Experiences with Racial Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and Harassment | MarketScreener
When: Tuesday, March 30th, 2pm Pacific/5pm EasternWhere: Zoom webinar, RSVP https://ucr.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_X-iGxJgeTiOrmJuI2KGUcw SAN MATEO, Calif., March 29, 2021 — This…| March 29, 2021…
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Sounding the alarm against racism – European External Action Service
eeas.europa.eu – Today
Racism continues to be an expression of hatred that must be tackled across the globe. On the International Day against Racial Discrimination, the EU stresses once again its commitment to the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. But commitments need to be always translated in acts. That’s why the EU has called for an Anti-racism Summit, to build a truly anti-racist Union.
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NYC chief medical officer calls for racial preferences in medical care, criticizes ‘colorblind’ practices
[…] like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram Kendi, whose book “How to be an Antiracist,” explicitly justifies racial discrimination as a tool for achieving equity […]
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Jimbo’s Bop City – FoundSF
[…] against white players occasionally became an issue on the bandstand, but Jimbo tolerated no racial discrimination whatsoever in his establishment, a rule that he vigorously enforced in those days, and by which h […]
2
Discrimination leads to poor mental health | Daily
[…] Racial discrimination was the second most common, with 10 per cent of 12-13 year olds reporting they experienced it […]
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Groups file second lawsuit challenging new Georgia voting law – CNNPolitics
[…] “In other words, these officials are using racial discrimination as a means of achieving a partisan end […]
12
Lee Wong, Asian-American official, lifts shirt at town meeting to reveal military scars while condemning anti-Asian hate – CBS News
[…]   Demonstrations across the country continued over the weekend to raise awareness about racial discrimination that Asian Americans have experienced for decades […]
0
Predictive Policing Can Reduce Racial Discrimination in Law Enforcement
thelibertarianrepublic.com – March 29
[…] They wrongly conclude that predictive policing by its nature leads to increased racial discrimination […]
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Contact with migrants and perceived school climate as correlates of bullying toward migrants classmates – Caravita – – New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
onlinelibrary.wiley.com – March 29
[…] school climate is associated with less general bullying (Thornberg, Wänström, & Pozzoli, 2017), racial discrimination (Wright & Wachs, 2019), and ethnic bullying (Larochette, Murphy, & Craig, 2010; Wright & Wachs […] Wright and Wachs (2019) also showed that rates of racial discrimination were lower when students perceived teachers’ support, and the ethnic origin of staff was mor […] suggesting that a perceived negative climate at school might be a risk factor for bullying, racial discrimination, and ethnic bullying, we need more studies to confirm or refute this hypothesis concerning bullying […]
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The Republicans in Georgia made two big mistakes in attacking the right to vote
thesentinels24.com – March 29
[…] With a preliminary assessment, a state with a history of racial discrimination in elections was required to seek permission from the federal government to make changes to the way […]
0
Can social housing help South Africa overcome its legacy of apartheid?
africahousingnews.com – March 29
[…] Housing was a cornerstone of South Africa’s post-apartheid efforts to redress the legacies of racial discrimination and segregation […]
0
[2012.01663] The “Fake News” Effect: Experimentally Identifying Motivated Reasoning Using Trust in News
arxiv.org – March 29
[…] show novel evidence for politically-motivated reasoning about immigration, income mobility, crime, racial discrimination, gender, climate change, gun laws, and the performance of other subjects […]
2
Ethnicity pay gap reporting: transparency can lead to accountability | Feature
[…] Corporates must combine resources to create sustainable, impactful change to help fight racial discrimination and injustice […]
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The Covid-19 Vaccines: Q & A with Dr. Casper
bridgercare.org – March 29
[…] Racial discrimination in healthcare insurance and access, housing, education, occupation, criminal justice, finance an […]
1
Lung Huang on LinkedIn: #StopAsianHate #StopAAPIHate
[…] We need to collectively continue to combat hate, racial discrimination, and violence in all forms […]
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White professor sues N.J. college for discrimination, says Black colleagues make more – nj.com
http://www.nj.com – March 29
A white chemistry professor is suing Camden County College alleging racial discrimination after finding out several Black colleagues make significantly more money than him […]
27
WWE: Mustafa Ali explains powerful response to racist Twitter trolls | Metro News
metro.co.uk – March 29
[…] So, talking blatantly about racial discrimination probably won’t be approved […]
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Byron Allen Takes Out Full Page Ad Calling GM CEO Mary Barra Racist
[…] reached settlements with Charter Communications and Comcast Cable in recent months after filing racial discrimination lawsuits against them […]
101
Groups file lawsuit challenging Georgia’s Republican-backed election law
[…] ” “In other words, these officials are using racial discrimination as a means of achieving a partisan end,” it says […]
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Voting Groups File Second Lawsuit Accusing Georgia Election Integrity Law of Racial Discrimination
[…] has been hit with yet another lawsuit, with voting rights groups on Sunday filing a suit claiming racial discrimination […] “In other words, these officials are using racial discrimination as a means of achieving a partisan end […]
3
New lawsuit challenges Georgia’s GOP-backed election law
[…] ” “In other words, these officials are using racial discrimination as a means of achieving a partisan end,” it says […]
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Biracial People Who Pass For White People Share Moments When Blatant Racism Took Place In Front Of Their Very Eyes
[…] adults with a white background are more likely than single-race whites to say they have experienced racial discrimination […]
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