Bring Your WHOLE Self
While writing the most recent chapter about my son, I quoted an email from his teacher.
“I just want to reach out to you to thank you for encouraging Isaac to fully be who he is. He comes to school in a different outfit creation each day, and he never looks like any of the other kids his age. Many parents would feel embarrassed and insist their children change to conform to what is ‘normal’ in their classrooms. I appreciate that you see Isaac for who he is and never try to mold him into someone else.”
I know she sent this message to me in appreciation, yet it made me feel sad. I thought of all the kiddos out there who do not feel like they can go to school fully expressing who they are.
Then I thought of the workplace. If each person cannot bring their whole self to work, how can they ever be truly engaged? If we want to lead inclusive environments, we need to enable each person to arrive as their whole self while ensuring safety, respect, and appreciation for differences.
As an employee, do you feel you are able to bring your whole self to the workplace? Why or why not?
As a leader, how do you demonstrate that others can/should bring their whole self to work?