Today, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) have become the buzz words. On their own, words are just an assembly of different alphabets/characters, insignificant and meaningless unless they lead to awareness and actions. Applying the famous idea: “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with,” let’s expand it and explore our “world.”
Here is a quick exercise:
- Take a piece of paper, draw three separate boxes (ref. to the image below.)
- Mark the boxes as “Core,” “Inner Sphere,” and “Outer Sphere.”
- In each, write the names of the five people with whom you spend most of your time.
- Note the nationality/cultural background/ethnicity next to each name.
- Now, examine your boxes and count how many countries/cultural backgrounds/ethnicities you have on them.
The simple exercise helps us understand “our world.” While we may advocate Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) fervently, how diverse is our own world? Those who have been in leadership know that people generally find it difficult to follow what you ask them to do. It is, however, much easier for them to follow what they see you doing.
Therefore, if you plan to drive “D&I“ at work, your sphere from the exercise above will show you what others perceive you want them to do. Words are important because they can create awareness, but it is actions that will make an impact.
Now, have you ever asked yourself this question: “How rich am I or what is my worth?” Indeed, we all measure our “wealth” differently. Some in dollars and cents, some the houses we own, the cars we drive, the art collections and jewels we possess. To a certain extent, we all tend to account for what we can see, count, and touch. Unknowingly, we miss out on many other things that also belong to us.
Our experience and our relationship with others are the intangible things we gather. They are part of our possession because we own these experiences and relationships. So, look at your diagramme again. Is your world made up of people from different ethnic groups, countries, or regions? Our efforts to start injecting diversity in our spheres may sound daunting but will undoubtedly be an enriching process.
After all, the whole world may belong to you!