A question was asked of me lately, “How do I heal so I can cope with what’s going on around me?” I have given this question much thought. In all honesty, when I consider myself, I wonder what kind of healing I need. I’m healthy, employed (working from home) and settled in a comfortable home with food in the refrigerator and pantry. I’m OK, but there are so many around me who aren’t. I’ve realized that one thing I can do is challenge myself to look for ways I can help others to heal.
The answer came to me by way of Intrinsic Inclusion: Rebooting Your Biased Brain by Janet Reid, PhD and V. Randolph Brown. Neuroscience has been looking at bias for a while. Our brains are wired to move us away from people who are different from us; likewise, we gravitate to those who think like us. There is an interesting parallel with the work we’ve been doing with the Positivity Project. Our brains are wired with a negative bias. We go to the negative quicker and stay there longer. Just like making a choice to practice positivity, I have to make a choice to challenge my biased way of thinking. One of the behaviors that Reid and Brown discovered in their research was to disrupt bias.* Why? Bias is stopping us from achieving optimal performance.
I have thought a lot about disrupting my own bias and being a better team member, which I believe will add more value to the work I do. So will asking questions, listening and seeking a different perspective. Two books that have helped me, especially with gaining perspective, are I’m Still Here, by Austin Channing Brown, and A Place to Stand by Jimmy Santiago Baca. I’d love to tell you about the books but this isn’t a book review. If you’re curious, you’re welcome to reach out. Learning about the experiences of those who are different from us can build respectful empathy.
I’m still on the journey of learning how I can promote the healing of others. On my way, I never want to do something that would cause another to need to heal. Practicing inclusive behaviors is helping me on this journey.
* Here’s the full list of Reid and Brown’s inclusive behaviors:
Execute the Pause (e.g. slow things down, ask yourself what’s going on, what’s happening)
Be an Explorer
Get behind the Curtain (e.g. get to the facts, find out what is really going on)
Increase Diverse Relationships
To learn more about how you can promote inclusive behaviors with your teams, please reach out to me, Lisa.B.Hylton@oregon.gov.