Join Pat Wadors for an in-depth discussion in this video Next steps, part of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.
- So how do you operationalize dibs at a human level, at an individual level? There's small things you can do every day to make someone feel great. And so if you're, again, a manager that has high leverage, why don't you pause? For me at my staff I start my staff meetings with gratitude, personal and professional. And the reason being is that if you go around the table virtually ... And you use video if you have an international team make sure you can see people. That's really important. Bring them in. But you go around the table and you say, "Let's share our gratitude personal, professional," and the personal is whatever you want to share.
And it ties the community tighter together. So, "I'm grateful my daughter just graduated high school," and no one knows my daughter was graduating. Now they do, and now they know why I'm going to be off this Friday, and now they're going to wish me well and my daughter congratulations. And they're going to tell me a nice story about their kid graduating. So you have these moments of time to celebrate each other. Or it could be, "I'm grateful my dad just had successful "hip replacement surgery," or, "I'm thankful that my son got his first job." And so you get to know the human a little bit, and it's really quick.
And the professional gratitude the only thing I ask of my team is that they share gratitude for somebody else's team. Again, we don't operate in a vacuum, and so if you're rolling out a program I'm sure you needed learning and development support, or you needed comms support, or you needed someone from finance to help you with your budget. Whoever it was that helped you be great, say thank you, and then cascade that gratitude to the person that was shared. So if it was Suzy on my team that got gratitude from somebody else I'm going to email Suzy and go, "Hey, you know what? "Kevin just said that you helped him with his program "and he was so appreciative.
"So, thank you very much for helping Kevin out." So it cascades. It's a really warm appreciation. That's a belonging moment that what I do matter. So staff meetings the gratitude piece is a big one. The second thing in ed staff is to be cognizant of the voices that are not being heard. So you ask your team, "Look, if there's people on the video adopt one. "So Maggie, you get Wendy. "Newton, you get Joe." And if you see Joe going like this on the video you know that Joe wants to speak, and it's really hard for someone virtually to get their voices heard." And if they're in Asia and they're more quiet and reserved just even them leaning in might be the clue that they want to talk.
So, "Hey, I think Newton might want to say something," would make us all more socially aware of each other. And then ask ourselves as leaders who's not speaking up and are we giving them enough space to talk. And so you know the 30% take 80% of the airwaves. So, can we balance that voice out? Can we pause for a moment and say, "Are you guys processing? "I know you're more quiet, Kevin, "but do you need more data? "What do you need to formulate an opinion? "Do you want to get back to us, "because we want to draw up this four "but without your point of view ...
"You're uniquely qualified. "I mean you're my critical thinker. "I need your points. "What do I do?" And so I ask my team to be more aware of those voices around the table and what's missing. And then when we're hiring include them in what are we missing? What would be the add? So they're very much aware it's not a fit, it's an add. So that's very tactical as a manager. As an individual, once you think about those belonging moments, when you see a new hire that their team didn't invite them to lunch and they're scared and nervous, why don't you include them? And then on the side email that manager going, "What up? "You got someone that's nervous.
"Welcome them to the team." Be their advocate. Be their sponsor. Embrace them. Find commonality. In our orientation programs we try to find what is common. Do you like baseball? Do you play volleyball? Do you like music? Are you a new family? Do you blank? And so you have these cohorts that are finding like commonality of interests, they're sharing their story about why they chose this company to join. They become a community very quickly because they're both experiencing uncertainty together, and when they share their story about why they joined this company they reaffirmed they made the right decision.
Because that's your halo day, right? So that's a great moment to celebrate. If you're out and about in the world and you're shopping or you're at a restaurant and someone is by themselves, saying hello, asking them how they're doing, and listening for the answer is a huge gift. And so just being aware of how people are operating, and who's lonely, and can you help someone out, and thank them, and appreciate them, and I think we don't say that enough, "Thank you." I have been in several meetings with my boss, not my current, but my boss in the past when you're growing your career.
You're a junior in your career. You're striving for success. And their busy texting, or emailing, and you're sitting there with your notes and your checklists of things you want to share and questions you want to ask, and they're not giving you the undivided attention, so right away you feel less than, not important, and when you do talk you don't feel fully heard, and you walk away wanting. You don't know why, you just do. And this person may do it to everybody, so it doesn't feel personal, but it does feel personal because it's you.
And I think that if someone has something to say and they're striving to be heard the least you can do is listen. And I think listening is so really important, listening not to figure out what you're going to say next, but listening to discern what they're trying to tell you. So asking a follow up question. "Help me understand more. "Give me another example. "How can I help? "What would success look like?" And lean into that conversation.
And if they struggle with their words don't act impatient, don't fill in the gap. So many drivers and type A people are like, "You mean this? "You mean that?" They're just like pulling it out. Like don't pull it out. Just take a breath and let them figure their cadence and their words and listen, because when that, when you do that, when you give them the space they find their rhythm, they find their confidence, they sit up more, they lean into the conversation more, and they feel respected, they feel heard.
You don't have to agree, but being heard is everything. And I know that when I give some of my undivided attention they walk away just feeling so much better than if I try to multitask, and didn't double click on a question or two. They feel like I really understood their point of view, they were heard, they were validated as an individual, as a contributor. And I always say thank you, thank you for their time, you know.
I appreciate them coming to talk to me. I mean it takes courage for some to talk to leaders. It takes courage to voice a different opinion. To give feedback takes courage, so I thank my employees and anyone who's willing to spend the time with me.