inclusion and diversity - some food for thought

Connecting Procrustus' bed, complex-PTSD, Inspiration Porn and The Newsroom TV series with Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)

Here we go!

"A diverse and inclusive workplace is one that makes everyone, regardless of who they are or what they do for the business, feel equally involved in and supported in all areas of the workplace. The “all areas” part is important"

When thinking about this topic I find including perspectives from C-PTSD research very useful:

We as humans have two fundamental needs.

The need to attach and belong - to be accepted, be part of, be cared for, care for, be celebrated and welcomed in a relationship with others

The need to be authentic - to act consistent with how we feel, think and need in a moment, to show our whole selves, to express and make visible, how we feel, how we think and how we need.

We have the most meaningful experiences when both needs are met at the same time:

We are accepted, welcomed and celebrated as who we fully are and we can bring our WHOLE selves in an interaction.

If both needs cannot be met at the same time we tend sacrifice one need to meet the other: we might sacrifice authenticity (being who people would accept) or we sacrifice connection (we are who we are at the cost of loneliness). What method we use to cope depends a lot on the circumstances and our histories. We usually end up choosing what the context allows or what feels less harmful for us.

What does this mean for D&I? It is rarely the case that exclusion happens isolated. A lot of people dealt with exclusion throughout their whole lives. The way they coped with that exclusion might be the way they cope in the present. Exclusion is the refusal of connection in the face of authenticity. How people coped matters, and it matters even more to not create contexts that reinforce and propagate the same coping strategies (in spite of their effectiveness they caused a lot of pain).

Here are some details about the way we cope when we cannot meet the need for connection and the need for authenticity at the same time:

We Bend to Fit

"I will contort myself in the molds that are accepted for belonging."

The SELF-PROCRUSTEAN METHOD. Do you remember the PROCRUSTES’s bed tale?