Inclusion Junkie #2: The Five Core Behaviors of Inclusion

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Transcript of Episode

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:00:00] Welcome back to the inclusion junkie, I am Dr. Natalie Parks, and I am here with my colleagues in Washington and Paul Peoples. How is everybody doing today?

Paul Peebles: [00:00:13] Good morning. Good morning.

Mason Washington: [00:00:15] What’s up, what’s up, what’s up?

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:00:18] We are back with our second episode of Inclusion Junkie. That’s our second episode after our introduction. We’re calling that kind of episode zero because we weren’t really diving into the issues. Today, we are going to focus on inclusion once again, shockingly. But today, what we’re going to talk about are the behaviors of inclusion. So, you know, as a behavior based company, as individuals who practice the science of behavior, we think it’s important to spend a little time diving in to just what does inclusion look like? What does it feel like? What does it sound like, all of those types of things. So behavior leader, we actually have our five core behaviors of inclusion and we are going to dive into those talk about them and hopefully give you another nugget that you can take with you on your way later on today. Before we jump into that, Mason, Paul, any thoughts, anything on your mind this morning that that you want to talk about before we dive into this part?

Mason Washington: [00:01:33] Well, you know, I think what I would say is that I think it’s important probably for us to at least have just a little bit of conversation in regards to, you know, kind of how we came up with these five core behaviors. And it’s important to know that, you know, that it wasn’t easy for you that, you know, we spent a lot of time, you know, kind of debating what those five are and trying to narrow down, you know, the behaviors that we really felt like would would help a person and or an organization, you know, accomplishing inclusion.

Mason Washington: [00:02:12] And so I think it was kind of interesting how we derived at that these five men and kind of the process that we went through.

Mason Washington: [00:02:21] So maybe we can talk a little bit about that.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:02:24] Yeah, definitely. You are certainly correct. It was not an easy process. I think we probably literally went to the drawing board, went back to the drawing board, revisited the drawing board, erased the entire drawing board, started new and finally got to a point where everything made sense, at least from my perspective.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:02:50] I think we spent a lot of time almost trying to fit something into something that didn’t work, almost like we had this square peg and we had this circle and we were trying to like, save that peg down to fit into the circle. And it never just felt quite right. And I don’t know what it was. Maybe a couple of aha moments, conversations with others and it finally kind of came together. And, you know, I’m sure the process of developing something new feels like that for most people.

Paul Peebles: [00:03:31] And it’s not just a process of trying to develop something new, I believe it was the excitement and how enthusiastic we are about inclusion and and trying to narrow down the five core behaviors. It became very difficult because you come up with so many different behaviors that you’re looking at. And when you’re excited and enthusiastic about something like this, it does it makes it exciting and makes it a little bit more difficult and challenging to come up with those core behaviors.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:04:00] Yeah. And and I can tell you, I mean, I think that was one of the challenging things for me, at least personally. You know, Mason came and said, like, we really got to narrow this down, Natalie, like you and your behaviors, you know, we people it’s going to be relatable if we talk about, you know, five or 10, like, what are our core behaviors? What what really, really matters the most. And I kept saying, like, well, I mean, you know, how are we going to find these things and what does it include and all of those things. And so as a behavior analyst, I had to shift my thinking a little bit. I had to grow a little bit and and refocus and say, like, OK, these are five core behaviors. As a behavior analyst, I might understand them as a response class of behaviors, but but the rest of the world, that’s not really, you know, friendly language. It’s not inclusive language. Right. So, you know, I think Mason, Paul and I really worked well together. And this is probably what we came up with. I know we’re not telling you anything about what it is yet, but what we came up with was truly reflective of a very inclusive process for all of us, had different perspectives and a different set of strengths. And we brought that to the table. And sometimes it was hard. But ultimately I think we came up with something pretty awesome.

Mason Washington: [00:05:27] Yeah. And I would agree. I think that it was definitely a collaborative effort and it was really cool to be able to do it. I think I do want to point out that these are what we have to be to consider to be the five core behaviors. But they are by no means all the behaviors that can be utilized to achieve inclusion. And so I probably should get that disclaimer out there early. But we believe that if you are incorporating these five things, you know, and the capacities in which we’re going to talk about them, that, you know, you can achieve inclusion. So I think enough of the pre-empt. Let’s let’s definitely dive into what they are and how we feel about them and and kind of talk about them.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:06:15] It sounds good to me. One more quick thing. Just as a reminder, you know, we like to make sure that we’re always sharing the same understanding of the words that we’re using. And so inclusion is a set of things that you do and say that bring people together so that every person in the room, in the workforce, in the community feels that they truly belong, meaning they want to be there.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:06:48] They are valued, they have a purpose, and others want them there as well and see them as high value and fulfilling a purpose.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:07:00] That being said, we will go through our five core behaviors. Does anybody want to throw them out there or do you want me to take the lead on that one?

Mason Washington: [00:07:09] Yeah, go ahead Nat. Go ahead and throw them out there and we’ll jump right in the discussion.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:07:13] All right. So I’m just going to list them and then I’ll let you guys choose which one we should dive into first. But the five core behaviors of inclusion are education, communication, values and ethics, management and leadership. So I’ll say that one more time in reverse order, leadership, management, values and ethics, communication and education, where should we start?

Paul Peebles: [00:07:42] Let’s start with let’s start with communication, I think. I think communications is the basis for for all interactions as we are humans. So I think it’s important that we understand that, you know, not just verbal communication, but, you know, just your demeanor, your mannerisms can also personify how inclusive or exclusive you are as a person. So when we’re talking about communication, I think it’s important that we we think about being open minded to others.

Paul Peebles: [00:08:13] You know, do we have that inclusive minded behavior where we’re open to the differences of others, the challenges that others may bring that have a different vantage point? They view things differently from us. So do we value other individuals in the differences of their opinions or do we just get defensive right away? So it’s important that when we communicate with another person, we value those differences and we actually expound upon them. Let’s ask questions. So give me more detail why you feel this way. I think one of the things is we talk a lot of times someone says something and then the next person gets somewhat defensive. We have to understand that in order for us to be inclusive, let’s listen. You have to listen to understand. And we always listen, to respond versus to understand. I think that is one of the biggest things with me, with communication and inclusion.

Mason Washington: [00:09:15] Yeah, I think I think that’s an excellent point and one that I was actually going to make as well for me, when we’re talking about communication, we have to remember that there’s multiple aspects of it. One is the actual speaking, but the other is actually listening and hearing and try to hear, to understand and comprehend and not necessarily just to respond. And so what we’re talking about inclusion. It’s important that we’re open enough to be able to actually listen and hear what other people are saying to us. And guys, you know, quite honestly, that requires some intentional thought, like we have to be intentional about what we’re doing. I am definitely a person who really likes to express myself and I really want other people to understand what I’m saying. And often I find that when I’m able to kind of take a step back and listen to what other people are saying, I usually learn something in the process, even if it’s some clarifying information that, you know, for one reason or another I missed throughout the issue or conversation. I think it’s just really important for us to be intentional about hearing what other people have to say. And we have to get our minds out of the way to to kind of understand that just because I’m listening intently doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to agree with everything that’s being said. But it is important that I at least hear and understand the perspectives of others before I go and respond. I think it shows a lot of gratitude, deserves a lot of respect and shows a lot of grace and humility. In all of those things are characteristics of a person being able to become more inclusive in their everyday life.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:11:13] Yeah, I there are two things that you guys kind of touched upon that I really like. And I want to kind of highlight one of them, you know, just in thinking about communication. One thing that when we talk about communication and we do, of course, is on communication and things like that, one thing we focus on is that effective communication happens when the speaker and the speaker’s message is the same message that the listener receives. So when I say something, what I thought I said or what I meant in that communication is the same thing that whoever was listening to me actually received. And and communication gets messed up many, many times because we all come to the table with different perspectives. We might take away different points. We might focus on different words more than others. And so, you know, I think one of the things to keep in mind is that just because you said something doesn’t necessarily mean that the other person received that same message. And as Mason said, I honestly think the best way to communicate effectively is to first listen. You can gain a lot of insight and perspective if you just sit back and listen to what other people are saying, listen to how they communicate. You know, you’ll you’ll find out what’s important to them, all of those things.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:12:42] And then what Paul touched on is also it ties into you and you’ll start to see as we go through these behaviors, every behavior kind of ties into the other behavior. And that when you’re communicating, there has to be some value of I care about what you’re saying. I’m interested in learning your perspective, all of those things, because if you don’t value that, if your communication is happening just because you want others to hear your point and you’re quiet while they’re talking, but you’re quiet because you’re formulating what you’re about to say, not you’re quiet because you’re actually trying to understand what they are saying. You’re not communicating and you’re not communicating because you don’t value what that other person is is truly trying to communicate.

Paul Peebles: [00:13:33] Absolutely. And I find it very interesting, a lot of the classes that I’ve taken over the years, we talk about communication. You know, your sender, the receiver, feedback. Well, it sounds very basic, but in society, as we listen, we’re ready to respond before the sender has completed their transmission. And I think that the information is then distorted. And that’s why we have such this this this individual’s where we’re actually, like, pouncing on each other because we haven’t received the complete transmission.

Paul Peebles: [00:14:10] You know, I like to use terms when I’m with other groups like “we, us, let’s gather”. I want to be inclusive of these individuals in these small terms, mean something instead of I’m going to or being selective in who you’re going to assimilate with, who you’re going to group with, who you’re going to go around errands with. We have to be more inclusive and we have to be very diligent in using inclusive language. And we have to communicate on a level where we are open-Minded enough to understand these differences and not just be intimidated by them or be irritated by, but to actually be accepting that. I think I think we have to learn to be more accepting of others.

Mason Washington: [00:14:57] Yeah. So just to think that I would add on there, one would be, is that I think we all have to be mindful of the fact that non-verbal communication is still communication. Right. Super important, especially when we’re working in teams and in the workplace environment. Many times are nonverbal behaviors and the things that we’re going same messages. And we have to be cognizant of that when we’re working in teams and working in groups. So I just really want to highlight that. The other thing that I that I think is important is that, you know, pick up somewhere along the line is the value of being able to speak last. I once heard a parable or a story in regards to the the African chiefs and village leaders would often when having meetings with the tribe and the elders, if you will, would get together. It was it was a customary tradition that the elder or the chief would speak last. And all of the he would allow all of the other members of the tribe to express themselves first. And the thought process behind that was that. I get as the chief, I get the position and the value of being able to listen to what everyone else had to say prior to me saying something, there’s value in being able to speak last and there’s value in listening and understanding what other people have to say on something prior to me giving my opinion. And so I would just add that little nugget to my listeners. And I understand that there is value in speaking last and communication is definitely going to be something that’s key and core to inclusion.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:16:53] Yeah, I like those points a lot. Just to add to the nonverbal communication, even thinking about, you know, right now it’s July 20, 20, and we are many of us are working from home and our communication styles and patterns have changed substantially because a lot of us are remote or, you know, even those of us, you know, and first responders and, you know, maybe medical professionals, those who are still in the quote unquote office, you know, we might be interacting with one another with face masks on or, you know, other protective equipment of some kind.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:17:36] All that that said is all of that kind of mutes or completely eliminates nonverbal communication. I was walking in the grocery store the other day, and I have this habit of smiling at people when they walk by and I have my mask on and nobody was smiling back.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:17:56] But then it dawned on me that I don’t necessarily know if they are smiling back or not because I can’t see their mouths and they don’t know that I’m smiling at them. So why would they smile back?

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:18:07] And it’s one of those when I thought about it, I felt a little silly. So then I started saying hi to people so they would know that I was nice and being approachable and things like that. But that’s one thing to keep in mind, is that when you take nonverbal cues away, you know, some of the researchers said that up to 70 percent of our communication comes from those nonverbal like, are we gesturing or are we making eye contact or nodding our head? But also how quickly we’re talking the intonation and our voice, like things like that. And we don’t have those. You tend to put that on the language that like you’re reading. So if somebody sends you a text message and you’re really irritated about that, you know, something that person did or something else that happened, chances are you’re going to read that text with that frame of I’m irritated and maybe what they’re saying is irritated and you might react to it much differently than if you read that text, you know, right after something really awesome happened. So keep in mind that when you start taking layers of communication away, you have to be much, much more mindful about the language and the words that you’re using and how you’re using them, because you can’t say something sarcastic and make a face. So everyone knows you’re being sarcastic. If you don’t have that base after people just read your words and read sarcasm doesn’t always translate very well to things to think about. I’m glad you brought that up, Mason.

Mason Washington: [00:19:47] Yeah, I think that’s an excellent point. You know, and I think it also kind of easily, at least in my mind, kind of transitions this into one of the next the next core behaviors. And for me, that’s that’s education. Right. Because once we kind of understand and make it a point to educate ourselves on the cultures and the things that are out there, that makes it a little bit easier for us to communicate with each other. Right. So for us, said Behavior Leader, we really think about education in the form of awareness and understanding that this is constantly going to be a continual, continuous process. We are constantly making ourselves more aware of different cultures, different skill sets, different ways of doing things, different ways of thinking about things.

Mason Washington: [00:20:46]  [00:20:46]Education is key to inclusion. [00:20:49]

Mason Washington: [00:20:51] Typically, what we don’t understand or we aren’t educated about, we shy away from and we’re fearful of it. And so it’s important for us as leaders and people who want to be a part of a more inclusive culture and want to help cultivate an inclusive culture, we have to be intentional about our education and making ourselves aware of different cultures and different.

Paul Peebles: [00:21:16] Absolutely Mason. I agree, one hundred, I think it sounds very simple, it’s a very simplistic thought process, but you do have to take time to get to know a person before making an assumption about this person.

Paul Peebles: [00:21:30] And you have to also be educated and be aware of your own biases. [00:21:35] We all have biases, [00:21:37] and if you’re not educated and conscious enough of your own biases, you yourself can make a judgment on the person prior to truly getting to know this individual. We also like to be very diligent and progressive in education so we can learn continuously, you know, be well versed on historical context and events that have occurred, be well versed on things that are currently going on. And in your country, in the world, what’s affecting other ethnic groups? You know, minority groups, what’s what’s really going on? And I think once you educate yourself, you can become immersed in others plights, others difficulties. You can actually be part of the solution and not part of a problem. So education is really huge where we learn to respect other’s values and ethics because we are all different, but we’re all the same. And we have to learn how to take time to get to know these individuals through educating ourselves on historical content.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:22:52] Yeah, I like, you guys, touched on the many different factors of education. And, you know, we often talk about, you know, I think when we say education, all of us immediately start thinking about school and the things that you learn in school and somebody teaching you or things like that. And and mostly that lends to learning about concepts, you know, learning about cultures, historical events, current events, that type of thing. But also, Paul, you you mentioned and touched upon, you know, getting to know the individual and we tied that up into education as well. You know, when when you first meet somebody, you have no education about that person. You know nothing about them other than maybe what you see. You know, this person has blue hat on today.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:23:43] You don’t know why they wore that hat. You don’t know they like that hat. But chances are, A, you can get educated about why they have that hat on and if that hat means anything to them, things like that. And so I think sometimes thinking about education can be overwhelming. We’ve had people that say, like, so do I have to be an expert on every single culture that there is in the world? No, absolutely not. You know, I’m not an expert on every single culture, even in America.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:24:18] So, you know, I think it’s more about being aware of of what you know and what you don’t know, always learning, always approaching new situations of, you know, maybe I do know a whole lot about this specific culture. And here is a person that I think is from that culture or practices that culture. But I’m still going to approach it as if I’m not educated and get to know that person before the bias and the and the presumptions and things like that.

Mason Washington: [00:24:55] I agree. I think once again, excuse me, you know, excellent points, guys. Excellent points. I wanted to to go back just briefly on something that I think you mentioned and I thought I think that it’s just a really good point. You talk about not only educating yourself about other people and other differences, but also the education that comes with understanding who you are as a person also means that we have to know who we are.

Mason Washington: [00:25:27] Right. And we have to understand what our own biases are. What what are the things that where, you know, for one reason or another, you know, uncomfortable with, you know, we all have had different experiences and those different experiences have shaped the way that we think about things.

Mason Washington: [00:25:48] And the truth of the matter is, is that every experience that we’ve had in our life hasn’t always been a great experience. And so sometimes one bad experience or bad situation can really have a profound effect on how you feel about another group or a group, a set of individuals or whatever the case may be. And so I think it’s important to. And, you know, as individuals, we are able to tap into that for ourselves, right, and kind of understand that, wow, you know, I don’t I didn’t realize before that maybe I did have some sort of bias toward this particular person or this particular group and then being able to unpack that and see why that those kind of things are so important. We’re talking about where then I think I think very lastly, for me, as an adult, you mentioned this awareness doesn’t necessarily mean our education doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to be an advocate for that group. That might not be my level of education at that point. Or I can go out and be an advocate for another group. Sometimes my level of awareness is just awareness is just understanding how to ask a question or this type of response is offensive. This type of behavior is not real received in this community. Those types of things also help to make you more inclusive. So I just thought that that was an important point to add.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:27:29] All right. So we have three left. We have values and ethics, management and leadership. We’ve already touched on values and ethics and this is one of those I know we’ve had so many conversations about, like is ethics a behavior? Well, it’s having ethics or following ethical codes or following your values are definitely sets of behavior. And one of the reasons that at least I think it’s super important is at the core of everything, you have to value people. Right? Like you have to know or maybe not know, but something has to say. I think people are kind of cool and I think different people are kind of cool. I’m interested in in learning about people who don’t share the same views that I do, who can at least for me, I look at it as who can help expand me and and make me better because I learn new things. I see things from different perspectives.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:28:39] But I think that value has to be core and and sometimes I struggle with, like, you know, as a behavior analyst, like, how do you teach that? And I’ve had a few conversations with people over the past few weeks about that. But I don’t want to hog the mic. I feel like I’m hogging right now, so I’m going to pass it.

Paul Peebles: [00:29:02] I think you hit some excellent points there Nat, and I think ethics and values is important to us as a core behavior because. Quite simply, you have to put people first, you know, most times in life, you know, it’s it’s me, me, me.

Paul Peebles: [00:29:20] But in order to truly have an inclusive behavior, you have to think about individuals first so you can’t be intimidated by their differences. So look at their difference as a strength and you can literally learn a ton about a person, but not being immediately intimidated by them, but actually looking at this difference as a strength. So you have to approach others and be curious about their thought process, their viewpoints, what their values are.

Paul Peebles: [00:29:55] You know, going through grade school, you know, I was always the minority, but I always felt like I was part of the whole because there were individuals that learned to be accepting of me to understand my differences and vice versa.

Paul Peebles: [00:30:16] If you take the time to put people first at the core, that is an ethical behavior because now you’re looking to be more inclusive of other groups. And that’s what we are. And that’s why we are called inclusive junkie. We want to include people. We want to include everybody. We we understand that we’re going to have differences in opinions. That’s OK. You can think differently than I do, but we can still agree to disagree and carry on a rational conversation and have a good time. You know, we have to be motivated to learn these new things about others who they are. Why do they think this way? Why are they different? You know, why do you like this outfit versus this outfit? Why do you prefer to eat these type of foods over these foods? It’s it’s really inclusive when we can sit down and have an educated, you know, conversation and sit there and smile and learn about each other. I think I think when you value others, it really just makes the world so much easier. We can all sit down and have a good time together.

Mason Washington: [00:31:29] That’s awesome Paulie. You know what’s interesting and many obviously I listen to you guys don’t don’t know Paul the way Natalie and I do, but listening to him talk, you guys are really hearing his personality come out and his passion for inclusion and his passion for just being able to be around different people. So it’s just super cool that we kind of hear that coming out in your voice.

Mason Washington: [00:31:57] I just really wanted to feel the need to say that. But when we’re talking about values and ethics as a behavior, so for me, what that takes me back to is ethical decision making. We are often asked to make ethical decisions every day in the workplace. And that’s, I think, why we really felt strongly about including this as a core behavior, we all have to go down that decision tree right in our workplace, we’re faced with something that happens and now it’s up to us to determine, OK, what are we going to do about that? And in many cases, that that conversation, that little voice in your head, that’s that ethical decision making that you kind of have to make a decision on, OK, am I going to ignore what I just saw? Am I going to. Is it appropriate for me to to talk to that person about what they did? Is it appropriate for me to let someone else know about something that that I may have been a part of or that I saw? Or or how about something? Is it appropriate for me to go back and apologize or maybe clarify something that happened that I may have done that may have been inappropriate or offensive?

Mason Washington: [00:33:34] These are the kind of ethical decisions that I think that we’re called to make as leaders, but also as individuals in the workplace. And I think it’s important for us to kind of understand that and notice that part of being an inclusive person is understanding that we have to make ethical decisions.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:33:58] Yeah, I like that. And I like how you kind of brought us back to the context of organizations and workplaces, because we’re always operating under that once. But I don’t think we always communicate that super clearly. You know, I like the ethical decision making. And one thing that I was thinking about, and this might partly be due to some of the conversations that maybe I’ve had over the past week or two, but thinking about sometimes we have a value or we have, you know, kind of an ethical code that we truly believe in upholding and we behave in ways that go against that. And one of the things that happens when others see that happen is we tend to be, as the other people look at that person and say, oh, they’re unethical, they don’t value people, they’re bad people, things like that, we tend to kind of point the finger and make judgments about that person’s character. And one of the things that I love about the science of behavior, about behavior analysis, is that we look at what people do and what they say and things like that within the context of what’s occurring. And, you know, I’ve been in companies that are highly unethical and I like to think of myself as an ethical person.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:35:29] I think I try hard to do the right thing and to value people. But in the context where I had my supervisor coming down on me very hard, where my job was at risk, where my bills were super duper high and I needed my income to pay the bills and not be homeless. And in that context of not having any other jobs or options at the moment lined up, you know, you’re faced with this like so do I do I follow my value in my ethics and do the right thing and risk losing my job, which has hugely detrimental consequences? Or do I just shut up and do what my boss is telling me to do right now? And, you know, I think we’re all faced with situations like that or similar to that same thing happens. You know, I’m with a group of my really, really close friends, and they do something that just doesn’t sit well with me. But speaking up is going to outcast me of that group.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:36:38] You know, it’s going to cause people to think of me or view me or just be different around me. You know, maybe I won’t be invited along quite as much. You know, maybe it’s my family. And speaking up and family, you know, is definitely very difficult for people to do a lot of times.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:36:58] And so I you know, I don’t want to overlook that or discount that. And I think we have to have compassion for people in those moments and understand that for some of us, it’s very easy to speak up no matter what. But I would argue we can do that because we have other environments, other people, other contexts where that safe we have people to fall back on. Right. We have other inclusive settings where we’re OK, but not everybody has that. And so, you know, I just want to kind of put that note in there. It’s really hard. It’s hard to speak up sometimes. It’s also hard to be compassionate to those people who don’t speak up when they should. But I think on both sides of it, you know, we have to do that. That’s part of inclusion, right?

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:37:50] It’s recognizing like, hey, you might not be where I am. And it may be really hard for me to understand why you’re not where I am. But I need to probably cross that bridge and meet you where you are so that you can come along with me. You can’t I can’t expect you to jump over that bridge. So I know I kind of went off on my soapbox really quickly, but but I think it’s important and I don’t always do it. You know, people say things that trigger me all day long and I’m like you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Usually I can pause long enough to catch myself before the words come out. But but, you know, we all do that. And so just be mindful of that. If you are one of the people that has been in situations and you’re like, I probably should have spoken up, you know, I am still thinking about that. I have compassion for yourself. Give yourself a break and then think through, like, what do I need? What needs to happen for me to be able to speak up in those moments and start working on those things?

Paul Peebles: [00:39:01] Awesome. Awesome. I love it Nat. Talking about speaking up, you know, that that kind of lends us into leadership. And that’s one of our core behaviors of leadership where we we want to empower ourselves and others to speak up when, you know, we see that behaviors are not being inclusive of others. And, you know, from an environment and environmental perspective is it’s hard sometimes because you might be in this organization, this culture, this setting with individuals that you do not feel safe to speak up.

Paul Peebles: [00:39:40] But, you know, we have to learn to step outside of the comfort zone sometimes. And we do have to model the behavior that we’re trying to set the standard for. We want to model that behavior. So, you know, if we see something that is not being inclusive, we should make note of it. You know, there are times where it’s easier said than done, but if you model what you’re teaching, it becomes easier and easier and easier. And I think that from behavior leader standpoint, we want to empower ourselves and individuals. When you see a behavior that’s not being inclusive, let’s talk about it. Let’s pointed out let’s speak out about it, you know, and reach out to others. And sometimes I believe that in that leadership role, we can see an individual with their behavior. They are personifying a certain behavior and they really don’t realize sometimes what they’re doing, how it can be demeaning, how it can be affecting others. And, you know, simply by having a real conversation sitting down with that person, you can sometimes point out something that they themselves were not aware of. It’s their own biases sometimes that they’re just truly, you know, maybe subliminally they’re not truly aware of everything or doing it.

Mason Washington: [00:41:09] The concept of leadership, you know, is just right smack dab in the middle of inclusion.

Mason Washington: [00:41:20] Right. This was definitely one behavior that there was really no debate about when all of us got together and started to collaboratively work to come up with our core. We knew that leadership was going to be an essential component of creating an environment and a culture where people feel like they belong.

Mason Washington: [00:41:44] They feel like they have a purpose and they feel like they’re making a difference. What I would challenge our listeners and our listeners who are leaders, which many of you are your job as an inclusive leader, is to create an environment, is to create a culture where your members feel like they belong. Feel like they have a purpose. They feel like they’re making a difference and they feel safe, if you’re able to do that, then you are practicing inclusive leadership. That’s what this is about.

Mason Washington: [00:42:25] Anything else is not inclusive leadership.

Mason Washington: [00:42:31] And it’s really important to note that what we know, the data is out there, and I’m sure those of you who are listening to this podcast, you probably don’t need to be told this because you’re the people who actually get it and want to learn more. But it’s still important to say there is a business case for diversity, right, the data out there, the more diverse and inclusive, diverse and inclusive we are, right, the better our organizations perform, the more innovative they are, the more creative they are, the more efficient they are and the more productive they are.

Mason Washington: [00:43:14] And so it’s important that our leaders recognize that. What’s difficult is that oftentimes we have leaders that don’t value inclusion and diversity, and so you have lower level middle management individuals who often contact us and go, how how can I how can I get my CEO on board with this? How can I get my management team on board with this? It’s difficult. It’s difficult. And usually we turn those people to Natalie and go, Natalie, how how can we help these people? How can we help them? So Nat, what are some inconclusive behaviors? What do we tell these middle management people that are really trying to get their CEOs on board? What do we tell them?

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:44:04] Yes, I think you just hit a whole lot of things. My mind is spinning really fast right now. I’m going to try and attend to the question that you asked me before I jump in with everything else. But, you know, I honestly think that goes back to one of those, like, value statements. Right. Like, why are leaders not buying it and why is this not a priority? Was not a priority because it’s not a value. Right. And but at the same time, we can’t just go to somebody and say, you know, you should value inclusion, so do it. That’s not going to work. So it’s one of those that you have to like. I was just talking about, you’ve got to go meet the person where they are.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:44:52] When we know about CEOs and business owners and people in those C-Suite, VP, high level positions is that money is important. You need money to keep the business open. You need money to pay your employees. You need money to keep living the life that you’re living. That’s super important. That is highly valued. And what we also know is that, as Mason said, organizations that are not just diverse but diverse and inclusive make more money.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:45:30] So that’s where we start, we start by kind of speaking their language, finding where they’re valued and build the case that way, and then we slowly but surely, and this is where I’m going to go super behavioral on all of you. But we reinforce meaning that we make sure that we highlight and. Provide positives after the behaviors that we want to stick happen, so when a boss kind of says, hey, Paul, I really like it when you blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and we’re like, there’s that inclusive behavior. There is exactly what we’re looking for. We’re going to give that leader some feedback about it and we’re going to slowly shape that behavior, but also shape that value of, you know, to where the leader kind of gets to a point that there’s some recognition and understanding and maybe education behind. When I value other people in a very inclusive way, things go better. I make more money. I have a more stable business, I have happier employees, employee turnover, it goes way up when you have a non-inclusive environment. And as employee turnover goes up, so do costs. So profitability goes down. So, you know, it’s it always sounds a little cynical to say everything ties back to money. But at the end of the day, when you’re running a business, that’s something that you always have to keep in mind, because if you if you don’t have the money, you don’t have a business. That’s just kind of the hard truth about that.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:47:21] The other thing that I wanted to touch on, and I think it lends to leadership and Mason kind of talked about if you’re in a leadership position within an organization, I like to make the distinction between somebody who is a leader and somebody who is placed in a leadership position. They’re not. Yeah, they’re not always the same thing. And when we talk about leadership, we talk about leadership is a set of behaviors that results in people doing what you need them to do within the business, people performing highly. And it’s not necessarily in terms of like a control. It’s more of a when you see effective or good leadership, you see employees that are performing highly, that are excited about what they’re doing, that, you know, are happy to come to work each day that enjoy what they’re doing. And and that’s very different. You can also get high performing employees that hate everything that they’re doing. That’s not a reflection of good leadership. So, you know, I think that’s important. And as Mason said, like, you can’t have effective leadership without being inclusive. Like, those things just don’t go hand in hand. So it’s it’s a no brainer. But but I think if we pull leadership out as its own set of behaviors, it really is all of the things that you do to kind of influence and encourage train and all of that to get people performing very highly.

Paul Peebles: [00:49:11] True. True. You you can definitely see leadership that operates in the exclusive realms, sometimes fairly easy because you’ll see that leader that he or she wants to have complete autonomy on all operations, on all tasks, on everything that’s daily. They don’t want to include others in even assisting with these tasks. So when you see a leader that’s inviting others to participate, you’re seeing that they’re being more inclusive. So a lot of times that exclusive leader, they’re maintaining a complete autonomy by doing their own task. They’re they’re challenged by others differences a lot of times. So they feel threatened by others. So some of those behaviors we talked about earlier, today’s podcast, we’re saying you have to value other differences.

Paul Peebles: [00:50:11] And quite honestly, a lot of times you’ll find that this exclusive leader, they feel threatened by that immediately. And that’s why they, you know, consider this complete autonomy to be their safe havens.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:50:25] I think the last thing that I’m thinking about is we’re talking about leaders and leadership as a as a set of behaviors is I don’t want to lose out on kind of the personal. So if you’re not in a leadership position, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a leader. You know, we see leaders kind of rise all the time out of their peers. I know we’ve we’ve gone into environments. One stands out to me in particular, where we were working with a fire district and one of the squads walked in and there was someone in the room that everyone deferred to. We would ask a question and everyone would look to that person first and we would, you know, ask them to do an activity. And everyone kind of waited to see what that person would do before they made the decision about whether they would join in or not. And this person was, you know, same rank, same position as everyone else in the room, but definitely displaying those sets of behaviors that resulted in kind of the. Once the you make me feel good about what I’m doing, you bring me in to be part of the team. All of those things. And so when we when we. Think about leadership, you don’t have to be in a leadership position to be a leader. It’s more about how you influence the behaviors of those around you. And then we have what our last behavior, which is management and everyone, not everyone seems to frown up a little bit when we say management. I don’t know why the word management has such a bad rap at this point.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:52:25] But, you know, it’s one of our core behaviors that we clearly don’t think it’s so bad.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:52:34] Paul, what comes to mind when we say management? What do you start thinking about?

Paul Peebles: [00:52:38] Well, personally, I think about myself.

Paul Peebles: [00:52:41] How do I manage my own biases, my own behaviors? But typically, when you say management, other individuals thinking about, well, what do you mean, somebody’s going to manage my behaviors?

Paul Peebles: [00:52:54] We’re really talking about an internal core set of behaviors where, you know, I have to know my own triggers. So we spoke earlier about each one of us have our own biases. And we have to understand when we come in contact with other individuals, different settings, environmental settings, we have a set of triggers and we have to understand internally what triggers us, you know, and we have to know how to manage our own behaviors, you know? So we want to create an environment that’s going to make it easier and more feasible for us to work collectively with others. You know, you have to be aware of your own impact on others. So regardless of if you’re in a leadership role, if you are just starting out as a janitor, you work your way up to front line entry level position. We have to all understand we have to manage our own triggers and behaviors and understand that we have to take accountability for our actions. So a lot of times, you know, we may have an outburst going back to the communication again without listening to a person. So we have to understand that there are going to be consequences for that.

Paul Peebles: [00:54:16] So management should start with identify your triggers, know your biases and respond appropriately.

Mason Washington: [00:54:29] Now, I think that’s good. Again, as we’re talking about this, I’m starting to remember all of the discussion that we had and I remember Natalie being very passionate about wanting management to be one of those core behaviors. When we look at our model and talking about the core behaviors, we also, you know, need to put in perspective that we typically look at things from a self, then others, then organizational perspective. So how I manage myself, how I manage others, and then how will I manage an organization if I’m at that level? And so what I think Paul initially was talking about as it relates to management was, OK, well, how do I need to manage myself and what are my own triggers? And then that next layer is OK, how do we manage others in an inclusive way? And so the thought process for me there is is that we have to be mindful of. What other people do and really kind of elevate our thinking as it relates to understanding how we go about looking at the people that we’re working as leaders. It’s important for us to be able to empower others as we as I mentioned, you know, in a couple of previous podcast, both Paul and I are firefighters and we’re we’re placed in a leadership role where both captains and I feel like this comes up often in what we’re doing at work in that capacity.

Mason Washington: [00:56:14] I often have to be really intentional about. Putting my employees and putting the people that work directly with me in positions where they can be successful, that’s an inclusive behavior and that’s part of managing others. If I have an individual that really excels at training us in high angle rescue, for example, well, I might not be as versed in that, but it’s also a win and a quick win. If I empower that employee and say, hey, bro, I like for you to train us in high angle rescue and within the next couple of weeks. And that gives that that person an opportunity to kind of take the lead and to show their expertise in an area that they’re really versed in. That also helps to to provide some inclusion. Right. Where they can be included within the group. And so I think when we’re talking about managing it, that’s just maybe a tangible example of how we we talk about and why we feel that management is a core behavior when it comes to inclusion.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:57:30] And I don’t think I have anything of value to add to that. I think you guys hit that one perfectly.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:57:39] One thing that I was thinking about just throughout our time talking today and is that in our in our number zero podcast where we introduced ourselves, one thing that we said that we were going to be intentional about was getting vulnerable and creating spaces where we model that vulnerability, but also provide some kind of safety and experience and that vulnerability, because this is a topic that is easy to talk about when we say intellectual, as we’ve kind of done today. But it becomes a little scarier when we when we get a little vulnerable with it. So one question and you guys can change the question if you have a better one, but maybe that that forces us to get a little bit vulnerable is as we look at these five behaviors, you know, education, communication, values and ethics management, leadership. If there was one that you feel you still have the most growth to do. What would that be?

Mason Washington: [00:58:50] Wow, that’s a that’s a really, really good question. And I mean, I guess, Paula, I’ll take a stab at it. First of all, I think I would say probably there’s definitely more than one that I that I would definitely feel like there’s things that I need to grow and get better at. But for me, I think the first that jumped out in my mind is education. And I think from this perspective, for me, it’s education is constant and continues. I feel like I’m always able to learn more about different people and why they behave the way they behave. It’s something that I’m just super interesting and I’m constantly amazed daily when I find something out that I didn’t know. And so. I think it also really appeals to me because I am someone that definitely feels like I get better by being around other people. And learning from others, and so that is just something that I’m super passionate about and selfishly, I relish the opportunity to get to know me. People be around me, people and really get to learn from them because I feel like, honestly, it’s going to make me better. So that would be my thought.

Paul Peebles: [01:00:23] And that’s that’s that’s awesome. I mean, definitely, I would say more than one, but for me, education is highly high up there, but management, I think for me, I want to pursue that point where I can always respond on a level that’s conducive to be inclusive of all individuals. So there there are times where, you know, you might be in an environment.

Paul Peebles: [01:00:58] And I feel like I have to understand my environment. And I want to make sure that when I respond, I’m not responding based off of any of my own biases or own triggers. So, you know, it’s you got to find that happy medium. And I do find myself at times, you know, I have to take a deep breath. I have to take a step back. You know, my father always taught me. He said, you don’t have to be the first to speak. Some, he says, sometimes take a step back, absorb what’s being said, think about what’s being said and then you can speak. So a lot of times I know I might not be the first to speak. A lot of times I’ll be the last speaking, and that’s really helped me, just something that basic that my father taught me. You know, don’t be bitter, be bitter.

Paul Peebles: [01:01:55] So for me, management is something that’s a focal point for myself, because I just want to make sure that when I respond, I’m always responding appropriately. And I do, I think being accountable for my own set of behaviors and actions, that’s very important to me. So for me, that’s my area that I think I have to really focus on and really work on.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [01:02:25] Excellent. I like your your perspectives and just listening to you, I’m doing a little celebration in my head because when I tell you kind of my first one, I’m going to tell you in a second. But the celebration that I’m having right now is overpowering anything else. And it’s because one all three of us initially said what I’m saying now is I’m in full agreement is that we have we have all areas or many areas to improve upon, which I think signals just the ever going journey of of of improving, whether it’s our self, whether it’s how we’re interacting with others or leaning organizations, but also doing a super celebration because we all picked a different number one, which shows that we have a different set of strengths, which shows that we have a team that I kind of already knew. This is just, you know, kind of showing that that that we have a diverse team and an inclusive team and and we’ve done a good job of making sure that we did that, even with the three of us who work very closely together. But my first choice is actually communication. And the reason I say that is the times that I find myself going back and replaying things.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [01:03:57] And I am definitely a person that if I misstep, I am replaying everything in my mind probably a million times for weeks and even months. I can even think of something, truth be told, from like graduate school, which was a good 18 years ago, that like I did something and I still replay it, like I could have done this better. I could have had a better outcome. And and I think for me, it’s really I would love to get to the point where. When I say something, whether it’s me vocally saying something or me typing something or writing something, that the message that I’m sending is at least almost always the message that’s received by the other person and. For me, at least too often, I see something, and from my perspective, I haven’t said anything that’s triggering or insulting or exclusionary in any way, but but then someone is triggered and and that emotion comes out and there’s just that part of me that’s like, hmm, and I can usually look back on it and most often say, like, OK, I can see where I overlooked this or I didn’t take that perspective into consideration and so forth to me that a lot of that was the communication. It’s when I’m most upset, I think I do a pretty good job managing myself, probably a little too much. But it’s more when I’m relaxed. And for some reason I start overlooking other perspectives and I get kind of into that frame of like everybody knows me and knows my perspective and understand what I’m about to say. So I’d like to continue to improve and communication and really everywhere else, too, but definitely there. So thank you guys for getting vulnerable with me a little bit.

Mason Washington: [01:06:08] That was a great question, Natalie. Excellent job.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [01:06:12] Well, thanks. I appreciate that.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [01:06:15] Thank you all for listening.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [01:06:17] Today, as we were talking, I came up with a really cool topic that I’m hoping Mason and Paul will think is just as cool. So I’m not going to tell you what I’m hoping we’ll talk about next time, but stay tuned because it’s going to be awesome. And until then, we are inclusion junkie and we look forward to spending some time with you next time.

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