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Saying Yes to Difference

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In a time when we’re progressively addressing division and bias more openly, there are still public and private moments that serve as a reminder that we might not be as far along as we’d like. Together, however, it seems that we’re becoming much more aware. Aware of ourselves, of each other, of the differences that separate, and the common ground that connects us. The subjects of diversity and inclusion are growing topics of conversation with meaningful purpose. More and more often we’re using that to examine what it means for each of us individually and collectively.

A mainstay of inclusion is that everyone matters—equally. It means that we each have a reason for being and that together we’re made stronger by the diversity in our experiences, backgrounds, and approaches to representing ourselves.

Prism is a celebration of the right differences. It’s an equalizer for finding common ground and holds no bias for gender, race, heritage, socioeconomic status, age, experience level, and so on. Prism is meant to be a window into the true spirit and character that resides within each of us. For decades it’s been widely used as a starting point for bringing people together. It’s a common language set that stitches together a narrative of our most defining attributes to depict the whole person through a holistic picture.

While data like this is intrinsically valuable, it only comes alive to others when the people whom it represents use it to tell the human side of the story. Opening up about yourself by sharing life experiences can be a powerful way to build community through a convergence of empathy, trust, and common understanding. In her TED Talk, My Identity is a Super Power, Not an Obstacle, America Ferrera discusses the importance of self identification as seen through the stories of others. It’s through those stories of defining moments that gives us the ability to see past ourselves and into the context of possibilities.

https://www.ted.com/talks/america_ferrera_my_identity_is_a_superpower_not_an_obstacle#t-473212

This week, consider the story of you. What must be told to others to help bridge a divide? What truth resides beneath the surface that could create more unity and provide more color to the context of your relationships? What might others need to say but are too confined to find the courage to say them? What can you do to better listen? The differences between us were not chosen, they just are. For that reason, they should be celebrated and held in a high regard for the humanity that they represent. The next chapter in the story of us starts with you.

“Who we see thriving in the world, teaches us how to see ourselves, how to think about our own value, and how to dream about our futures.”

– America Ferrera

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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