Encourage Parity (rather than disparity)

Recently, I have been fortunate to hear the experiences of people working remote. They often recount themes focused on the importance to seek out and be willing to understand (empathize) and acknowledge (encourage and energize) others. These topics come up within the questions that arise during conversations with professionals from diverse fields as well as with managers and leaders. The scope of what leaders reflect upon embodies concerns they carry, decisions they juggle, and changes they envision to support people and outcomes in today’s workplace.  

Female leaders often share concern for the value of the work their teams deliver and how these contributions are perceived as valuable within their enterprise. This is not solely a communication concern nor is it cultural. One common experience that is challenging to bring forward without authentic concern is the perception of value. In other words, will expressing concern be received? Or will they be given the all too familiar reactionary attitude of avoidance, outright denial or defensiveness? Some find these situations like a continuous loop. The consequence of which produce exhaustion, discouragement, frustration, and agitation.

Much of this has to do with the need for all of us to seek out a clearer understanding of or our colleagues’ expertise and contributions. By using a lens for value and with a goal for understanding others we can communicate with real respect. 

People often have blind spots. We forget to pause, rather than making a quick judgment or decision, we need to seek understanding for how work originates, for what purpose, and how it actually fits with the need of an enterprise or group. It is a tricky dilemma given that many female leaders are in roles that lead teams which support the purpose to create something new, save money, lower risk, prevent liability, uplift and enrich people, or support communication. Some leaders are told “people don’t know what you do” even when they have addressed the lack of awareness for their service function. They continue to receive feedback such as, “I don’t get it”.

There has been no time like this in my professional life. The earnest realization of how impactful it would be to be heard, seen, valued, and acknowledged. This fortifies trust and teamwork. Investing in learning about another’s role and making it a priority to understand what they contribute is crucial. Remote working and living requires this awareness. Our workplace and the lives of the people in our workplaces changed in numerous and diverse ways. It’s a profound shift in perspective. 

Remember to stretch, and sometimes this means stretching your attitude to connect the “why” and the “how”. Our “why” as well as our “how” connects us with what we are creating, growing, building, cultivating, renovating, inspiring, and role modeling. It is essential to find and connect with satisfaction no matter if people appreciate or acknowledge you. Yet it is imperative to value all workplace functions and expertise for greater parity rather than repeating a continuous loop of disparity. 

Energize your life and work with Promoting Brilliance. Contact Beth Wellesley at 612.325.5104 or beth@promotingbrilliance.com.