Are you sure you're for "Diversity and Inclusion"? Please read first the inspiring story of a lecturer who asked his students for a list of the seven wonders of the world. And then let's see how this relates to a genuine willingness to embrace diversity and practice inclusivity. We propose such an unusual approach to the topic of "Coaching Diversity & Inclusion". Let's hope it inspires you.
The story of a lecturer who asked students for a list of the seven wonders of the world
"During the course, the lecturer asked the students what their current list of the 7 wonders of the world would look like. After heated discussions, the group presented the following:
1. Egyptian Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. Great Wall of China
The lecturer noticed that during the discussion one person tried to submit completely different proposals. However, she did not manage to break through the voices of the others. Eventually, she gave up and stepped completely aside. So he asked her to present his ideas. Here's what was on her list:
1. that we can see
2. that we can hear
3. that we can touch
4. that we can taste
5. that we can feel
6. that we can laugh
7. and most of all that we can love "
What can this inspiring story teach us about Diversity and Inclusion?
The above story reminded me of Stephen Hawking's words:
"Quiet people have the loudest minds".
Keep this in mind when preparing and during team meetings. Because it is in these quiet participants of the meetings that our most precious treasure is hidden.
They can listen and analyze. They hear things that cannot be heard by those who speak. They are the ones who can make the best summary of the whole meeting because they see the whole and understand the connections between the individual elements.
They are the ones who can look at things from a completely different perspective. And yet so much has been said lately about the importance of "diversity".
They are able to direct the team in a better direction (than the one chosen too quickly, because "speed" counts so much today) and present important arguments for it.
I know, in remote work mode it is a demanding expectation that the instructor should pay attention to the involvement of all video call participants.
But the growing sense of loneliness and separation caused by the constant work from home makes the quiet man more and more invisible. Also for himself. The more he doubts that he will be noticed and, very importantly, heard and understood.
Diversity and Inclusion Coaching in Practice
So are we not talking about the most fundamental "inclusion", which has also been talked about so much lately?
I have experienced it many times: be it during typical meetings with my teams, whether it is Design Thinking workshops, group coaching classes, or master coaching for coaches.
It is those who initially listen and try to understand first (before opening their own mouths) who most often make the most valuable contribution to group meetings.
See also other coaching stories and parables: