What’s up Shareable listeners! This week, we’re here with Jessica Pettitt, and we’re pretty darn excited about it. With over 15 years of experience in diversity and leadership trainings, Jess is revolutionizing how we think about diversity. Her focus lies in conflict resolution in today’s time of passive agressiveness and unfollowing. Her book, Good Enough Now is comprised of exercises and knowledge in team building, conversation, and inclusive climates. All in all, Jess is here to help us make better connections- based in empathy, understanding, and a genuine effort. Take a listen below; you won’t regret it.
Running time: 35:32
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What is your message? What do you want to share with the world? (7:20)
Jess’s mission lies in inviting people to join her in doing the best they can with what they have, some of the time. She aims to help organizations change how they think about diversity. Even more than that, she works to shape how they apply that knowledge of diversity. According to Jess, diversity is anything; it’s everything.
Most organizations diversity training goes one of two ways:
- A collection of bad experiences of training with guitars, crying, and candles.
- Guilt, shame, anger response with little connection or communication happening
Jess says it is possible to have the most difficult of conversations with the most difficult of people, as long as we see the role we play in each and every one of them.
So, what is diversity? Why is it important? (9:09)
On one level, diversity is how you believe somebody else is different than you. On one level, it is derived from the Big 8, the general social identity categories we think of when we think of diversity: race, sex,, sexual orientation, religion, age, nationality, politics, veteran status, ethnicity.
However, diversity is more than that. We use the same skills to adjust, or refuse to adjust, to situations. For example, how do you react to a situation when individual needs something different than you? Do you help or hinder their needs? We use skills to adjust or to refuse to adjust to situations, people, experiences we deem as different than us.
We must acknowledge that we really are all different- we have different life experiences, world views, and perceptions of self and others. Realizing this, you engage in life in a different way, allowing for better connections and greater empathy.
How do we, as humans, tend to deal with conflict resolution? (11:11)
We tend to deal with it in one of two ways:
- We choose to assimilate to the new culture in which we find ourselves, like when starting a new job, or joining a new social circle. We pick up on the social cues around us and conform to them so we feel like we fit in.
- We opt out. We stay in our lane, involving ourselves in strictly what we are used to. We refuse to change or attempt at a resolution.
In today’s technological world, we can passively ignore confrontations and uncomfortable situations, and instead just block or unfollow the person. This allows for ignoring rather than resolving.
We can’t wait for a future event to make us “good” enough. Good Enough Now means giving ourselves, and others, the space to show up as they are and allow those around them to do the same. We engage in a connection from the genuine places- when we are both being who we are, unapologetically, with all of our faults and quirks that would otherwise have held us back from making a deep connection.
How do we deal with people who refuse to engage in this sort of genuine connection? (14:28)
The question in and of itself polarizes us; it divides us between who is willing to do the work and who is not. We live in a polite and polarized way that allows us to not say how we really feel. We assume we have to play a certain role in society, and therefore, in relationships. And often, we feel that the other person is to blame for the polarization we feel.
At the end of the day, we are only truly responsible for ourselves. We are not entitled or able to decide how another person chooses to act. Diversity doesn’t just magically become instilled in someone overnight. Instead, we have to view ourselves from the inside out and reflect upon what we see. Who are we, how do we act, what do we value; these are the questions we must reflect on, in both our positions in the real world and on social media.
Does this apply to extreme situations? (20:22)
In certain situations, you simply don’t feel safe or prepared. Don’t fight the battle when you feel that way. Because generally speaking, based on the goodness of others, someone else will fight that battle when you are unable to.
In order to combat an extreme social problem, try to find someone who holds the opposing view that you have a real relationship with. This gives you common ground to meet to talk about your differences.
Even when two people are diabolically different in every sense of the word, Jessica reiterates that there is always something those two people could connect on, if they just allowed themselves to see past their “differences.” We are here to have connections with others, point blank.
In order to do this, we must assume responsibility for ourselves so we can show up to these connections as our fully embodied selves, which will allow them to be deeper and more meaningful.
So, what process do we use to approach diverse situations in a business setting for the best possible outcome for everyone involved? (28:28)
Check out the graph Jess refers to here
There are 5 steps to the model:
- Make the decision that you are going to make an effort to have a better connection with the person you are talking to.
- Have an intentional conversation.
- Listen to the other person. Meet them where they are at- what’s going on in their lives? How are they feeling? Why do they or don’t they want to engage in this connection as intentionally as you do? Listen to them as if they have something to teach you.
- Begin to form your message. You take responsibility for any impact, negative or positive, you have caused or may ever cause in the future.
- Reflect on how your impact may impact your relationship with them.
CONNECT WITH JESS
CONNECT WITH JEFF
- Email Jeff
- @JGibbard on Twitter
- Jeff on Facebook
- Jeff on Linkedin (make sure to introduce yourself)
- Jeff on Instagram
- Jeff on Snapchat
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Caroline, our Producer.
Thanks for everything you do to make this show happen.
Ray, our Audio Engineer.
Thanks for cleaning up our voices and adding all that sexy production value.
Maria, our Intern.
Thanks for providing the show notes for today’s episode