An Important Book – Belonging at Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take To Cultivate an Inclusive Organization

Rhodes Perry of Rhodes Perry Consulting

In late October, I published the blog, “After Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Comes … BELONGING!” I shared two perspectives; from a North Carolina-based diversity and inclusion consultant (Gracie Johnson-Lopez) who recently spoke at our local HR SHRM chapter, and Rhodes Perry, founder and CEO of a leadership and management consulting firm in Portland, Oregon. I also mentioned that Rhodes was just about to publish his new book about this topic.

The book, Belonging at Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take To Cultivate an Inclusive Organization, is now out! I quickly ordered it and read it, and recommend it to all leaders who need to take that next step of assuring everyone on their team feels they belong so they can contribute their very best.

Rhodes starts the book with a little personal sharing of how his fear of disclosing his being a transgender man, coupled with a general lack of understanding and acceptance of transgender people while working at the White House, stymied his ability to show up as his authentic self at work. This then ended up adding additional stress to his daily responsibilities, foreshadowing his eventual departure for greener pastures.

Starting from his own base of personal experience, Rhodes shares several key concepts along with many practical suggestions on moving from diversity and inclusion to the next step of as he shares, “cultivating a culture of belonging.” Topics Rhodes expands on include:

• The concept of intersectionality; that almost everyone has some aspect of their diversity (gender, race, family status, veteran status, sexual orientation, etc.) that they “cover” at work.

Understanding the difference between equality and equity (graphic from the Interaction Institute for Social Change)

• Understanding the difference between equality and equity. Yes, there is indeed a difference. See graphic to the left and buy Rhodes’ book to understand more.

• The human need for and the power of fostering a sense of belonging at work

• How to apply an equity and empowerment lens by considering people, place, process and power

• How the fast changing global workplace has made belonging even more critical for business success, including the compelling business case for focusing on belonging

• And finally, very importantly, loads of practical actions to take in the workplace to promote belonging; because, at the end of they day, shouldn’t the outcome of reading a book like this be taking practical steps to increase personal and business effectiveness?

In addition to the book, Rhodes has an upcoming 30-Day Belonging Challenge. It offers readers of the book (or future readers) the opportunity to work with the concepts presented and allows them to have a hands on opportunity to put them into practice during the challenge, learning directly from the author himself.

I strongly recommend this book – here is the link to secure your copy. And do consider joining Rhodes’s 30-Day Belonging Challenge.

A 2019 Pride in the Triangle Initiative – LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Toolkit

NOTE: Even though we are “Pride in the Triangle” in North Carolina, corporate sponsorship is welcomed for anywhere and you can still come to our area for the two-day “trainer of trainers.”

Consider starting off the New Year supporting a project coordinated by Pride in the Triangle, a collaboration of Triangle, NC area LGBTQ+ employees and allies from various corporations coming together to share best practices, work together on LGBTQ+ issues in our corporations and in North Carolina, and network with other out employees and allies.

Throughout 2018, the group met to agree on requirements and contents for a Workplace Equity Toolkit, which will be open source and available for any company to use for workforce training, and includes an inter-company training of trainers (TOT). I, along with consultant and trainer Katherine Turner of Global Citizen, LLC, have been brought on board as professional diversity training course developers and trainers to now professionally develop this comprehensive toolkit.

Pride in the Triangle is striving to raise the remaining funds (we already have our first confirmed 2-3 corporate contributors) in the next few months, so that Katherine and I can develop the toolkit and hold the training of trainers in the early Spring, enabling corporations to use the toolkit for LGBTQ Pride Month this upcoming June.

The goal of the training is to create a more equitable and inclusive work environment for LGBTQ+ colleagues by:
• Articulating the business rationale for equity and inclusion in the workplace
• Explaining LGBTQ+ related terminology, concepts, misconceptions and history
• Expressing empathy for LGBTQ+ colleagues and concerns
• Demonstrating their ability to comfortably initiate constructive conversations about LGBTQ+ colleagues and concerns
• Making a commitment to take action to promote equity and inclusion for LGBTQ+ colleagues.

Katherine Turner (left) of Global Citizen, LLC and myself from Total Engagement Consulting have been engaged to develop the toolkit.

These contents of the toolkit provide a totally turn key solution to organize and hold the sessions:
• Facilitator’s agenda that includes facilitation instructions and adaptation guidance for different sectors, timeframes and audience familiarity with the topic.
• PowerPoint slides with presentation notes.
• Participant booklet with handout, worksheets and other resource materials
• Two sample agendas for different time frames
• Sample evaluation form
• Certificate of participation template
• Leadership engagement tips
• Boilerplate email invitation to the training session

Various sponsorship levels ranging from $1,000 to over $10,000 include recognition benefits, with 1-3 guaranteed seats in the 2 day Training of Trainer sessions for the larger contributors.

Please contact me soon (email [email protected] or office number 919-787-7315) for more information and to discuss your organization’s possible participation.