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  • Writer's pictureSusan & Renée

Challenging Comfort Zones

Updated: May 23, 2023

“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” ― Malala Yousafzai

The standard of what it means to be a strong and responsive business leader is rapidly evolving in these tumultuous times.

For the past few months, COVID has tested the boundaries of professional and personal relationships. When the work world became virtual, leaders sought to support their colleagues as they struggled to balance their professional and personal worlds. Business leaders were challenged to develop new strategies to build unified teams.

Company leaders and their employees are now being called to confront the pandemic of racism which again challenges them to develop new strategies. We have all been exposed to harrowing images of violence along with inspiring expressions of support for the idea that black lives matter and that systems must change to reflect this.

As with the COVID pandemic, team members are being impacted by the events of the outside world. How your team members respond will be influenced by race, ethnicity, culture, developmental stage, life experience and current emotional state.

This is a time where comfort zones are being challenged and the opportunity to be better is at hand.

This is a time when business leaders are called to cultivate a compassionate, inclusive, authentic dialogue that is responsive to the people they serve.

While words of encouragement are important, it takes more than an impassioned statement posted on a company website to create lasting change.

A wonderful resource is Harvard Business Review’s article, “U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism

It outlines how business leaders can thoughtfully lead their organizations towards a more equitable work environment. It provides a framework for meaningful action that allows employees to feel safe and respected while systematic change is implemented.

What actions can you take that will result in a more inclusive and equitable workplace?

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