Many of you know that I am a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant and trainer, and also an avid figure skating fan and competitive adult figure skater myself. Over the years I have written several blogs connecting my work with my love for skating and the ties between diversity and figure skating.
In a recent discussion with one of my coaches, she remarked that she is very pleased that I have two primary coaches instead of just one, and that when I travel the country, I try to arrange a lesson or two with a coach at that location.
In terms of having two coaches, they each focus on different aspects of my skating. I started my skating journey with Paula McKinley eight years ago, and she led me through basic skills including ice dance, and she also loves to choreograph new programs. Then four years ago I began working with Robin Harger-Harger, who also loves choreography, improving my jumping and spinning technique, and working with props for showcase events.
My two coaches are excellent with collaborating with each other; they talk every other week or so to compare notes on what they are currently working with me on. They also often see things going on with the programs that the other may miss, and because of these two sets of eyes and expertise, my skating is stronger.
Then when I travel or attend skating camps, I can work with a variety of other coaches. Robin recent remarked that “sometimes different coaches can express or explain things in different ways and you can learn something from each one.” That is so true. I find that as I work with various coaches, I pick up a new tip or technique that further helps my skating.
And this lesson from figure skating ports to the corporate and organizational world. Diverse teams with people with different life experiences, different lenses and different ways of thinking working together can arrive at better products, services and solutions to problems. Instead of being frightened of or threatened by the increasing diversity in our country and our workplaces, we should embrace it as it leads to the best results.
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Check out my dynamic 11-minute on-stage story of my adult figure skating journey at Durham, NC’s “The Monti” Storytelling event.
Check out my figure skating page for my upcoming competition schedule, links to videos, additional blogs and more!