Inclusion Junkie #1: What is Inclusion?

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Transcript of Episode

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:00:00] Welcome back, everyone. I am Dr. Natalie Parks, and I am here with my colleagues, Paul Peoples and Mason Washington, and we are here for another episode of Inclusion Junkie. We are super excited and we first want to send a special thanks to everyone who listened to our first podcast. We spent some time kind of introducing ourselves, telling you about our whys, and we got some really awesome feedback from our listeners. One of the things that a lot of people said was that we started a little slow and talked a little too much about ourselves. So we are going to start faster and be less narcissistic today. And we’re going to jump right in to talk about inclusion and kind of all things inclusion. We thought this would be a good way to really dive in and and get everyone maybe on the same page in terms of what we mean by inclusion as behavior analysts were really picky about defining things and making sure the definitions are super clear. And then everybody agrees on them, probably to the extent that Mason and Paul get tired of me sometimes for doing that. But I think that this topic is very illustrative of the problems that can arise when people don’t necessarily agree on what diversity means or what inclusion means and and how that looks and our everyday behavior or the culture of the organization. So maybe we can just jump that off. I know I have some ideas, but I don’t want to hug the mic. So I am going to let Mr. Paul jump in and kick us, kick off our conversation about all things inclusion.

Mason Washington: [00:01:57] Yeah, I mean, like, oh, sorry Paul, did you want to want to kick us off?

Paul Peebles: [00:02:01] Well, yeah, I was going to say, I think one of the biggest complication that you see is a lot of organizations believe that just because they’re diverse, that means that they’re automatically inclusive. And that’s nothing further from the truth. So when you think in terms of diversity, it’s a highlight of the differences among individuals so that organizations see that they have diverse individuals. So the assumption is, oh, yes, we are inclusive, but inclusion itself highlights what we do when faced with these differences. So how do we interact with others that look different than us, that have different beliefs than us? So most organizations where they struggle with is once they are individuals that look different than them, they automatically assume that they are being inclusive of these individuals. And that’s just not simply the case. And I think that’s where the the conversations that come in were. When people sit down at the table, they want the organization to understand that, hey, we don’t feel like we’re being represented. We we feel like we’re being undervalued in the conversations or are sometimes difficult at best. But they’re not being included just because this organization is diverse.

Mason Washington: [00:03:22] You know, I think that’s a great point and kind of an excellent way to kick us off.

Mason Washington: [00:03:26] And you mentioned something there that I really think is kind of important to tap into in this whole process of how uncomfortable or difficult at times these conversations are. Right. I think that probably in truth, we have difficulty just wanting to have conversations about diversity, about inclusion, probably in large part because really it just makes us super uncomfortable. We have so many different polarizing things that are happening in the world today that when we start talking about and dealing with real issues that I can honestly, all of us are facing every day. Having those tough conversations sometimes is very difficult. And I think that that happens in part because typically what we fail to really understand, we kind of shy away from. And so I think part of our rationale and what we talk about even in the last an eye opening package, is that we’ve got to make the concept of discussing diversity and discussing inclusion more palatable. It’s got to be more normal. And we have to create ways in which we can have these kind of dialogues, not only in our personal lives and in our personal conversations, but also, you know, moving that needle when it comes to diversifying and including each other within our organizations.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:04:54] You know, I think that’s a really important point. And it reminds me of the time. Mason, you and I walked in to do just an assessment, a diversity and inclusion assessment, and it really was a conversation with a group of employees and they all walked in and were very quiet and they all kind of sat towards the back of the room and nobody wanted to say anything. And there was just kind of this overall feeling of everybody being a little on edge.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:05:26] And as we as we started talking and introduced things and opened the conversation, everyone relaxed quite a bit. But near the end, someone said to us, well, this was put on our calendar is diversity, inclusion, training. So we were prepared to feel negatively about it.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:05:46] Exactly. And they talked about how they’ve had other trainings and it felt very blaming and very isolating. And, you know, when you think about that, that’s that’s the opposite of what you’re trying to do. Right. Inclusion is all about people belonging, people knowing that they’re valued, people knowing that this is this is where they truly belong and want to be. And the people there want them there as well. So I like that you said that. I think that’s an important note to maybe keep in mind that everybody is triggered a little bit differently by these words.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:06:27] Yeah, sure. We’re excited about it. Right. Like we do. We want to talk all the time.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:06:34] But other people, you know, you say the same things and all of a sudden they’re their walls go up. They are they’re thinking that they’re going to have to defend themselves or that somebody is going to say something negative about them. And I think we can all identify with that feeling as well.

Mason Washington: [00:06:53] Yeah, for sure. For sure. I mean, I think probably one of the best ways I think in many cases to understand what inclusion is, is to kind of think about what it feels like to be excluded. Right. And to think about, you know, the times that maybe you felt personally where you’ve been excluded from something. Tapping into those to those empathetic feelings, I think gives us a real, you know, some real insight on what it feels like to understand the concepts of inclusion. Well, we go to work or we’ll not even go to work or anything that we’re doing. And when we’re doing it with a group of people, you know, we all kind of know what it feels like to feel like, oh, man, they they really aren’t including me. You know what’s going on. You know, I’m here, but like, nobody really sees me. Nobody really values me. Nobody really understands or even cares about what I think and what I’m feeling and how this whole dynamic is affecting me. And so kind of what we’ve kind of figured out and what we know to be true is that when organizations are able to tap into that, when they’re able to really value their employees and our employees feel that they feel like they belong, they feel like they’re part of something, then all of a sudden you start to create this is real synergistic a thing where all of a sudden people are working hard. They want to be they’re very excited about what they’re doing. They feel like they’re making a difference. And that’s the kind of environment they really become innovative and incredibly efficient.

Paul Peebles: [00:08:43] Yeah, I believe organizations that so when you walk into a room, you know, you feel you continue to feel included, are excluded immediately. So is an individual truly curious about your differences? So, I mean, are they empathetic or are they concerned? Are they really, you know, involved in what makes you all different? You know, and then you can actually see how does an individual’s behavior change when you come into this room or this building so you can actually see changes in a person’s behavior when you come in, you know, if you’re truly being included. So acceptance for everyone. Everyone wants to be accepted on some level. But when you come inside these different buildings and you can see that a wall is actually being put up, you know, a person gets uncomfortable, they grab their purse, they actually move back away from you. You’re in the elevator. You can feel these uncomfortable moments. The reality is we have to learn how to embrace each other’s differences. And I believe when we talk about inclusion, it’s the sum of what makes us so different. I think we have to understand that, you know, we may play different board games. We may be into different sports. But collectively, if you sit down and have that conversation of things that make you different, things that you like, I think you can actually break the ice so you can be more comfortable in that setting with someone that doesn’t look quite like you.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:10:23] Yeah, I, I think two things I was as I’m listening to you talk, Paul, one of the things even you know, I think most of us are a lot of us maybe know it when people walk onto the elevators, the different behaviours that happen. Right. Some people tense up when people get on the elevator, some people immediately look away so they don’t have to talk. Other people look at each other and say hello and all of that. And when we think about how behavior changes when you enter a space or enter a room, it’s almost I think inclusion is a lot about when you enter, somebody approaches you as if, oh, look, here’s a person who could positively add to my life.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:11:13] And if you’re approached that way, you’re going to get a warm greeting and a smile and curiosity, you know, who are you you know, what brought you here? You know, tell me about your story. Tell me about how your morning went. Did you show up easily? Did you know we’re all at home? Did you roll out of bed and turn on the camera or did you take some time to get ready? And and why did you do those things? Did you know your kids need a whole lot of things and you had to push them out of the room and shut the door to keep them quiet while you’re on the call. And so you’re constantly maybe listening to to hear if something’s going on or do you have a completely quiet house and all of those things matter. All of those things affect our behavior.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:12:04] But it’s really that approach of, oh, look, you know, here’s somebody new. And this person, if I got to know them, could possibly add to my life in a positive way. And that’s kind of cool. So I don’t think we approach people that way very often. It’s more of now.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:12:25] Yeah. I mean, you know, I’m thinking on the elevator, like everybody kind of moves aside and it’s almost like, oh, here’s this person intruding upon my private elevator time. Don’t talk to me. Don’t look at me like you are intruding, right. Where, as you know, some of my favorite elevator rides or when it’s like Super Bowl and everybody is like super awkward and somebody says something like, hey, don’t touch me. They’re laughing like that’s inclusive, right? Like you just bought brought a really uncomfortable situation to laughter. And everybody is a part of that moment, right? Like, everyone’s kind of looking around like who touched you, where, what’s going on?

Mason Washington: [00:13:12] You know, for sure. For sure. Yeah, I think that I think that’s like an excellent example. Right, because I think for me, it drives home the thought process that one, that like inclusion makes us better, right? It makes us better.

Mason Washington: [00:13:27] And that’s really why it matters. Right. So when we start talking about, OK, well, what is inclusion. Right. And what what’s the purpose of it? Why do we need it? Well, one, it makes us better. Right. And that’s why it matters. I I’ve heard someone say before in the many other podcasts and other videos and books I’ve read, and I heard someone once described inclusion in this way. And I just think it’s a really excellent way of describing it. Inclusion is different from just being invited to the table or invited to dance. Right. I don’t want to just get invited. If you invite me to a party, then I actually want to be asked to dance. That’s the difference between diversity and inclusion. Diversity is, oh, you’re just there inclusion. You actually care and want me to be a part of what’s going on while I’m there. Quick.

Mason Washington: [00:14:26] So quick story. Quick story. Right. So I was as a Paul and I mentioned before, we’re both firefighters in the St. Louis County area.

Mason Washington: [00:14:34] And I remember a couple of months ago, a colleague of mine, I won’t mention any names he and I were having a discussion about…we ran into each other at the fire and he walked up to me. He goes, Man, I really do want to talk to you. And I go, Really? And he goes, Yeah. He’s like, You’re not going to believe this. But I’m here at the Academy today having a conversation about how we can get the fire department more diverse. And I say, oh, really? And I say, man, I would have liked to have been a part of that conversation. He said, here’s the most incredible thing. I walked in the room and there’s like seven white men standing around having a meeting. And we’re all get ready to sit down and have a conversation about how we can. Make the fire department more diverse and the first thing I thought to myself was, is that what this is going to be a waste of time because we don’t have any other perspectives. And I think that’s one of the other Take-Home points to inclusion is where it matters, largely because it gives us an opportunity to hear other people’s perspectives.

Paul Peebles: [00:15:45] Yeah, absolutely.

Paul Peebles: [00:15:46] Absolutely.

Paul Peebles: [00:15:47] And I think when we think about our own circumstances, our own lives, you know, let’s think about when it’s sibling, you know, brought home their significant other for the first time, you know, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner they brought home their significant other.

Paul Peebles: [00:16:07] Now, this person can actually be included or not. It’s really up to how you and the family respond to this new person that’s going to set up the inclusion or exclusive setting for the new member so that new significant other they’re introducing the diversity to the family. But it’s up to us as the family members to be inclusive of this person, whether..whether it just be conversation, you know. But you have to truly like like you were saying earlier about being invited to the dance. You know, you can get the invitation, but everyone has to make you feel included. So I think when we look at these situations so many times, you know, people want to have that discussion, but the perspectives are not there to come from other members that can actually add that value to the discussion. So, once again, you know, it’s why why are we not including the members that could probably give you that aspect, that that actual understanding of why inclusion and diversity is so important in society today?

Paul Peebles: [00:17:20] So it is you think about your own family circumstances and you can actually incorporate that into your organizational setting. So you have to not only be diverse, you have to understand that there’s a set of behaviors that form the parameters for being inclusive of all members.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:17:40] Yeah. And, you know, I like the family example. I know we’ve talked about that a lot and even thinking about, you know, inclusion and we’re talking a lot about, you know, it’s where people really feel that they belong, where they’re brought in and, you know, some analogies of like sometimes feeling like a fish out of water. That’s how it feels when you when you’re not included. Right. Like you’re in this foreign place and you want to get back to your water so you can be comfortable again. And just thinking about the family. But also, you know, I’ve had experiences where, you know, I’ve worked in places and people thought I was super nice. They thought I was super smart. They definitely valued me the the skills, the job skills that I brought to the table. But there was always this feeling of while everyone thought I was nice and I might have been invited out to lunch during work or to the happy hour after and people talk to me and those things, there was always this layer of like.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:18:55] These aren’t my people, like, I don’t truly belong here.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:19:01] They accept me on some level, but it’s not you know, it’s not my people and and even and thinking about the family thing, you know, I think about like going to your in-laws house and everybody is super nice to you and all of that, but you don’t feel comfortable just walking down to the kitchen and opening the refrigerator door and pulling out something to eat. You still feel like maybe you have to ask permission for that or you feel like, you know, you you have to still kind of tiptoe around certain things. And I think that’s kind of the difference. So going from diversity, it means that you enter the household, but nobody’s really talking to you and that is hugely detrimental. You know, that’s another thing to point out, is that diversity without inclusion in organizations is harmful to the two are different.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:20:02] And then you have kind of this this where you’re moving in the right direction, but you’re not quite there yet, where you’ve invited them in and you’re like, you know, if we’re going with, like, staying at your in-laws, like, here’s your towel, here’s a bed for you to sleep. And like, you’re these things, but don’t get too comfortable because you’re going to leave and we don’t really know you like that. So be on your P’s and Q’s and then you move to the point where you walk in and you’re like, hey, family, what’s up? Like coming, get your own plate, like, you know, do all these things and you’re now offering place to other people because you’re now part of that group. You’re truly part of that group. And I think that’s where true inclusion happens.

Mason Washington: [00:20:51] Not I think that’s a really cool point.

Mason Washington: [00:20:55] I think oftentimes when you know, especially I think in organizations. Right. And so, again, maybe using a little bit of a fire service analogy, oftentimes when we’re discussing bringing on a new employee or onboarding someone into the organization, typically the thought process has become, well, we want to we want that person to be the right thing. We want them to come in and, you know, adapt and learn how to do things our way. And while I understand I think the premise behind that, I think that part of what we’re trying to do is maybe push slightly back on that thought process and maybe we can start taking that thought process instead of constantly trying to get someone to conform to who we are as an organization. Maybe we can start looking at the thought process that when new people come in, they’re coming in and they’re adding to our culture. Right. Sure. We’re going to teach them how to do the things that we do at our organization. But I think the goal and maybe the mindset should be you’re adding to us, you’re making this better. And we want to be able to create an environment where people feel safe enough to be who they are. Right. Because when they feel comfortable, when they feel safe and they feel like they can stay authentic and true to who they are as a person, then once again, that’s where we start to approach the concept of being able to value other people’s perspectives. I know that I’m better because I have friends and colleagues and people that I talk to on a regular basis that are largely different from who I am and being able to understand what they think and how they think about certain things.

Mason Washington: [00:23:04] Although in many cases it may blow my mind. And oftentimes I’m sitting there thinking, oh wow, I never thought of that, or I never would have looked at that situation that way.

Mason Washington: [00:23:15] Well, I think that’s kind of the whole point. The point is that the more we’re able to accept people, let them feel safe and realize that they’re adding to our culture and adding to our organization, then I think we start to really start to move that needle in such a way where we’re starting to get some transformational things happen.

Paul Peebles: [00:23:38] I couldn’t agree with you more on that, Mason. I believe that inclusion should mean that everyone is in a safe environment. They should be able to be themselves. So, you know, I believe you have to encourage people to disagree with you. Sometimes just because they disagree with you doesn’t mean that they’re against you. You know, we have different thought processes. A great point. And I think sometimes when when we have someone and they see something and a different viewpoint, we automatically assume that they are immediately against us. And that’s just nothing further from the truth. We have to understand inclusion means a safe environment for everyone.

Paul Peebles: [00:24:25] All right. Do we give equal opportunities to everyone to make decisions? You know, obviously. Would it be appropriate for their skill level? But there again, are we spreading that safe environment around to all members? And I think when you go into an organization and if you stand out as only being the only minority, you know, you automatically are already you don’t feel quite safe all the time, meaning you don’t know if you’re going to be accepted. And I just think that you have to feel free enough, safe enough that you can express your viewpoint without everyone coming against you. And I think that’s one of the biggest things we have to understand about having a safe environment for inclusion. Inclusion makes an organization, makes it group makes the corporation better, because now you have a vantage point on seeing things from multiple aspects of culture, race, ethnicity, religious backgrounds, different creeds. It makes the organization the corporation makes them better because now they can see it from all these different vantage points. But it has to be safe. Inclusion means being safe for.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:25:46] Yeah, you know, I think it’s interesting because there’s even, you know, a lot of research out there that says, you know, children or people in general who are exposed to many different things, who are taken out of their home environment and travel and meet different types of people and learn different languages and things like that, that they’re they they end up being better people in general. There they go further. And their professions and careers, they’re more successful. They are happier, all of those things. And and, you know, we know this. And there are research projects and grants and funding opportunities that are focused on providing children exposure and access to new and different experiences when they’re in environments that don’t provide that readily. But then we kind of grow up and into organizations and all of the sudden we’re back to this.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:26:50] I want to find people that look like me or I’ve lost that perspective. You know, as you said, seven white men in a in a boardroom talking about how we’re going to make the organization more diverse. And I mean, that’s that’s good that you’re thinking about it. I don’t want to take away from that. And I’m not even going to say like that that those people are necessarily at fault, because if you don’t know better, you can’t do better by it. And I think that’s part of the reason for our podcast. Right. Like, how do we bring awareness? How do we start changing those behaviors? So when I’m in a room, you know, I was laughing when you’re talking about that Masand, because I’ve been in a room of behavior analysts talking about how we need to work more collaborative, collaboratively with non behavioral analysts. And it’s like, well, how are we going to do that? Well, we should probably start by bringing somebody who’s not a behavior analyst to the table to tell us why we’re so exclusive. You know, maybe we should start by looking beyond ourselves and saying, you know, what is it that I’m doing that is making this unsafe for you?

Mason Washington: [00:28:07] Yeah, great point, great point.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:28:10] What is it that I do and I’ve got to say, amazing, you hold me accountable sometimes. I remember when we first our early conversations, we would get on Zoom and I was like, OK, so here’s the agenda. Let’s do both.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:28:22] And you would say “hey, hey homie, you good today? How’s your week? What’s going on?” And I just laugh about that because I think I have come so far and for sure it wasn’t that I didn’t care, it was just that I was so task oriented and I was so focused on like here’s the stuff that we got to get done.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:28:49] And from my perspective, I thought you knew how much I valued you and how much I cared about you, that I didn’t realize that my behavior was not sending that same message. Oh, that’s great. And you you very kindly pointed that out. And, you know, but but you held me accountable. And so now I have a new perspective of, you know, if I don’t stop and take the time and I let my kind of anxiety of I need to get stuff done, take over, I start sending the message that I don’t really care about people. And, you know, people who know me know that’s not true. But sometimes my behavior, my task oriented perspective takes over and, you know, it helped me. So thank you, Mason, for that.

Mason Washington: [00:29:46] Nah, I mean, wow, just a really great conversation and some really good points by both you and Paul, Natalie. I think, you know, one of the things that I’m taking away from this right is, is that, OK, let’s be real guys. Inclusion is hard. Right, it’s difficult and guess what, it takes work, right?

Mason Washington: [00:30:08] So we often get asked, you know, in the work that we do, like like why is it so difficult? Like, how come we’re having such a hard time accomplishing this? Well, I think I think one of the things that we kind of have to recognize is that in order to truly be inclusive, in many cases, you have to be intentional about what you’re doing. It takes work. It reminds me in some capacity of being married, right. Like or being in a relationship. How often do you hear that that that old saying of marriage takes work, relationships take work you have to cultivate and you have to be really intentional about what you’re doing. And I would I would, you know, apply that same mantra to inclusion. Organizational leaders, leaders in general, have to be aware and intentional about their behavior, intentional about how can I make sure that I’m doing what I can to include others? Because oftentimes I can’t tell you how many times I hear CEOs rant and rave about how they’d rather just work on something themselves. Because I don’t you know what? I know that I’m going to get to do it. I know that I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that. Well, that’s great, bro. But, you know, chances are this thing could work a lot smoother, could go a lot easier. It’s probably going to be better if you were intentional about including other people in how you go about getting your jobs. And so one of the things that I would say is, is that if I were to give a tip, one would be to try to be an inclusive leader. One. One thing I would say is.

Mason Washington: [00:32:06] Ask for feedback.

Mason Washington: [00:32:08] Yeah, yeah, ask ask for feedback on what you’re doing, guys, and at the risk of sound to behavior, and I know that’s a that’s a real behavior and a little tired, but it’s a good one and one that I think we need to kind of bring into the everyday world of organizations and companies. But feedback is important. And guess what? People really, really, if you ask them, they’ll give you some really good information and you’ll probably find out that there are some things that you thought you were doing that were really great, that are but maybe everything you’re doing isn’t working for everyone.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:32:45] I love that. And I would go on further and say, ask for feedback that is corrective. OK, I think I think when we first start asking for feedback, we’re like, that was good, right? You know, so. So ask for that. What could I have done better? Is there anything different that I could have done that would have resulted in a better outcome? I think I even think about those feedback surveys and everybody’s like, could this have been improved? And people who are fairly satisfied will say, no, everything was great. So you have to be very, as you said, deliberate about the questioning and specifically ask, what could I have done to have made this better? Give me one suggestion for improvement. And that creates the safe space, as Paul was talking about. But it also was very kind of pointed in that I’m not looking for you to just say yes right now. I’m looking for ways to truly improve and then do something with that feedback.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:33:49] I think that’s excellent, Mason.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:33:53] Paul, you’re being kind of quiet over there. What are you thinking about now?

Paul Peebles: [00:33:56] I love it. I love it.

Paul Peebles: [00:33:59] You know, just kind of thinking back to something that mentioned hit on earlier and, you know, talking about inclusive leadership. And when you have an organization and you want members to all feel included, I believe that, you know, ultimately inclusion is making that personal adjustment. You know, that’s needed to bring that person to the group. You want that person to feel like they’re part of the group, but you shouldn’t expect that person to adjust who they are, what they are, what they think, what they believe in order to fit into the group. So, you know, inclusion is a is a set of actions.

Paul Peebles: [00:34:40] And I think when you think about it in the simplest terms of actions, how do we make a person feel included within our group or an organization?

Paul Peebles: [00:34:49] I think it just sets you up for success.

Paul Peebles: [00:34:52] When you think of this set of actions or, you know, you have to be inclusive in order to be successful. And I think, you know, in today’s society, you know, you can see organizations that are trying to be more inclusive. You know, those tend to be the ones that stand out. And it’s just really interesting to see how the mentality of organizations as they address issues with inclusion, because many of them had diversity. You know, the ones that truly understand that those are two different things and embrace that inclusion component. You know, statistics, they show it. You know, that organization is much more profitable. They do much better in society. It just I just love it. Guy. I think this is something we’ve all been so passionate about. And statistics show the more inclusive that your organization is, you know, the more successful this organization and, you know, accountability from the top to the bottom. We should all be accountable for our actions and we should all have this deliberate, inclusive mentality. It should be very deliberate. We should look at our organization and our members and want them to feel included.

Mason Washington: [00:36:15] No, I think that’s good.

Mason Washington: [00:36:17] I mean, you know, as we’re talking, you know, I think I think we hit on something that I think would probably be a great topic for a future podcast with the whole concept of inclusive leadership and what that looks like and what that means and how to how do we really go about doing that was, I think, something that, you know, maybe we should we should touch on in the future, podcast.

Mason Washington: [00:36:41] But I think in closing for me, guys, one of the things that I would really kind of want to impress upon our listeners and those of you that are out there, you know, going OK, and we get it, we understand what and how important inclusion is. How can I get started? Well, here’s the challenge.

Mason Washington: [00:37:02] First, you got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You got it.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:37:07] How do you do that, Mason?

Mason Washington: [00:37:10] Well, here’s here’s my tip. I am challenging our listeners to invite somebody, include somebody that they they don’t know very much about. You’re going somewhere, you’ve got a group event, invite somebody that you don’t know, invite somebody they wouldn’t expect for you to invite them, have a conversation with somebody.

Mason Washington: [00:37:35] They wouldn’t expect you to have a conversation with. Be intentional about what we’re doing. I guarantee you that you’re going to learn something and you’re probably going to find out that this person that you thought maybe initially was so different from you, you may be able to even find some similarities. And so what I would say is, is that, yeah, it’s going to be uncomfortable, but let’s get used to the idea of everything’s not always going to be comfortable right away. Right. And sometimes that’s a good place to be because it forces us to kind of jump to that next curve. And in many cases, you can’t jump because you’re not you’re too comfortable in your place where you are. And so I would challenge our listeners to get comfortable, to get comfortable with the process of being uncomfortable and being intentional about being inclusive in everything that they’re doing, especially with an organization like that.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:38:41] And I think that’s a good kind of a good place to start of, no matter where you are kind of on the inclusion scale right now, right? Yeah, you can always I think there’s always room for improvement. And I love the thought of just invite somebody somewhere or even just strike up a conversation and and ask those open ended questions. The point that you might ask a new friend or somebody that you’re interested in dating, you know, what are the questions that you ask? Tell me about yourself. What makes you tick, what gets you excited? What do you love most about being here? What do you hate about the shared leader? That we have not to say that you should all go talking about paying your leaders, but, you know, other podcast, different podcast, Natoli, different, I guess. Don’t engage your leaders, but but, you know, like find something to talk about and, you know, then really focus on how do I make this conversation comfortable. You know, I think I have a lot of experience just for my behavior, analytic background. I’m used to entering people’s homes and assessing their kids and, you know, being fairly intrusive and having to make that situation very comfortable for everyone involved that I sometimes lose perspective that that just kind of becomes that any of this this is what you do when you meet somebody. You have to make them comfortable because you’re about to ask them really intrusive questions. My training in psychology does that to you, but it’s almost that premise of try to take the perspective of what it feels like when you enter what could be a dangerous or unknown situation. And what could somebody do to make, you know, that this is a safe place and then do that thing for the other person?

Mason Washington: [00:40:48] Yeah. Yeah. Great point. Great point.

Paul Peebles: [00:40:51] I like that. I like that Nat. Very good. Well, thanks.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:40:56] All right. Well, I think we had a really good discussion. Hopefully all of our wonderful listeners got at least one little nugget.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:41:05] If you did get a nugget, we would love to hear from you and hear what that nugget is. We actually set up an email just for our listeners of Inclusion Junkie. It is inclusion junkie at behavior leader dot com. So any comments, any feedback? We would love to hear it. Anything we could do better? Absolutely. We will try to incorporate it as soon as we receive that feedback. And until next time, go strike up a conversation or invite somebody to lunch.

Mason Washington: [00:41:39] See you next time, guys.

Paul Peebles: [00:41:40] Alright guys.

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