Episode 36: Embracing Inclusive Leadership: Bringing Everyone to the Table with Dr. Tyrone Holmes

Now more than ever, it is time to embrace inclusive leadership. 70% of Executives now say that diversity and inclusion are important issues to them, and 67% of job seekers say a diverse workforce is important when considering a job offer. Leadership should be inherently inclusive at all times, tapping into the vast resources of diverse backgrounds, experience, and knowledge. Teams that experience their workplace as diverse and inclusive perform better and offer better innovation and decision making abilities. Recently, Crestcom held a live webinar, taking questions from participants all over the world about how to make meaningful changes in their workplaces. It was so great, we decided to release the audio as a podcast!  Join our host, Jenn DeWall as she and Diversity & Inclusion expert, Dr. Tyrone Holmes answer questions about how everyone can embrace inclusive leadership. If you would like to join us for our next webinar, you can register here: Crestcom Featured Webinar

Inclusive Leadership Graphic

Full Transcript Below

Jenn DeWall:

Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us on The Leadership Habit Podcast. Today, we are actually going to be sharing with you a conversation that we had a few weeks back with Dr. Tyrone Holmes. This was actually a live webinar event, where we talked about inclusive leadership and what we can do as leaders to create a more inclusive culture by also understanding how bias plays a role in how we lead now, for those that haven’t or have maybe missed our past podcast with Dr. Tyrone Holmes. Let me just tell you a little bit about him. He is a professional speaker consultant and author, and Dr. Holmes has facilitated more than 1500 paid keynotes seminars and classes that I’ve taught participants to connect with others, despite their differences to effectively articulate their messages, to connect with diverse audiences in groups, and to reduce unconscious bias.

His most recent book is Making Diversity a Competitive Advantage: 70 Tips to Improve Communication, which is a tool that we can use to build powerful connections in diverse organizations. Dr. Holmes and I sat down and had a conversation. And this topic is just so incredibly important to me because I have a very racially diverse family, and I’ve watched, haven’t experienced personally, but watch the pain that can come from discrimination against those that I love. And so I hope as you listen to this conversation, you think about what you can do and how you can show up differently to create a more inclusive space in your organization or on your team for everyone to thrive. Enjoy the conversation!

Embracing Inclusive Leadership

Jenn DeWall:

We are live! Good morning, everyone. Good morning. Thank you so much for joining Crestcom’s monthly webinar. And this month is a very special month for us. We partner a lot for our leadership development, with the hot leaders in the industry. And typically, our webinars are just me kind of, you know, sharing different ideas. But today, we actually have one of our thought leaders with us. We have Dr. Tyrone Holmes. I’m so excited to have him. You are going to be hearing all of his, his expertise, his insight, his way of how we can move forward as leaders, what we can do to create a more diverse and inclusive space, which is so important. We know that now more than ever, that’s what we need. We need to create a culture where every single person on our team can succeed and thrive. So thank you so much for joining us for embracing inclusive leadership, bringing everyone to the table. We’re going to be talking about everything that we can do to make sure that people have the same opportunity that we can get the most out of our people by seeing them for who they are. This is so exciting. So we’re going to introduce Tyrone Holmes for those that may be unfamiliar with him. He is a speaker and consultant, but he’s also an author, and you can reach him at this contact. And we’re going to share that with you at the end, but while I’m just getting started, please just throw in the chat bar where you are from, where are you joining us from this webinar? Are you joining us from Denver, where I am? Are you joining us from Arizona? Where Tyrone is. We want to see where everyone is right now. We have got, Oh my gosh, we’ve got San Diego here. I love that city. We’ve got Delray Beach, Florida, Ontario, Virginia, UK. So many people. It’s so great to be here with you and just know that we’re going to be connecting as a community to figure out what we can do as leaders to make our places better.

So, Tyrone Holmes, he talks all about unconscious bias, essentially understanding our own blind spots and how they can be good the unconscious bias, but sometimes they can lead to really faulty logic and bad decisions, but you’re joining us for just a conversation. So what I want to say right now is I encourage you to leverage that Q&A option at the bottom of your Zoom screen, ask us questions live. We want to be able to answer them. And actually we, I mean Tyrone, because we have his presence for those that have not been on our past webinars. We do these every single month. My name is Jenn Dewall, and I’m a leadership development strategist and facilitator for Crestcom. So that just means that we teach leadership development every single month. And for those that are unfamiliar with us, we are a global leadership development organization that focuses on developing managers into leaders.

We truly believe that leaders will give us the change that we want to see in the world. So to start out, I just want to start off with this quote by Verna Myers, who is also someone that’s a thought leader within the diversity and inclusion field. We’re talking about the subject of diversity and inclusion. And diversity is being invited to the party, but inclusion is being asked to dance. So yeah, diversity is making sure that everyone has a place. They all have that invite, but inclusion is making sure that they all feel connected, that they all have that same opportunity. And if we think about equity, that means that we have that equal playing field. I’m going to go ahead and stop sharing my screen. Now we’re going to get into our interview with Tyrone Holmes. Again, I just want to say, I encourage you to leverage the Q&A because we want this to be as interactive as possible. So we would love to hear from you!

Tyrone, before we go into it, just please, could you introduce yourself because I’m sure I did not do you justice, but could you please just introduce yourself and tell our audience what you do, what your expertise is, and what you love about diversity and inclusion?

Meet Dr. Tyrone Holmes

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

Sure. First of all, thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be here, and I want to thank all of you who are participating for the gift of your presence and participation. And who am I? Basically, I’m asked this question all the time, and the way I answer it is I talk about what it is that I do professionally. And I am a professional speaker, a coach, and a consultant. And what I focus on I’ve been doing this for the better part of a quarter of a century is that I help people build powerful connections. I help individuals develop the skills that allow them to communicate, to resolve conflict, to solve problems, and to reduce bias in culturally diverse settings.

And I think the question is, what do I, what I really enjoy about this? What I really enjoy is being able to work with individuals, to work with teams, to work with groups, to work with departments, to work with divisions, to work with organizations, to help their employees develop those skill sets because the fact of the matter is that we live in a society where we do not always connect effectively.

We live in a society where we do not always bond and build relationships that allow us to be as successful as we can be. And I think that there are probably just a few things that we need to do in order to be more effective with that, to build those relationships and build those powerful connections, to use our similarities as a bridge over our differences. And so I’m excited, and I’ve always enjoyed being able to help people identify a step or two that they can take to do that effectively. And so I’m excited to be here and looking forward to having a great conversation.

Where do we Begin to Create an Inclusive Workplace

Jenn DeWall:

Yes! Diversity, equity, and inclusion is such a broad topic. And there’s so much to unpack there. Where is a place to start? Where do you think that leaders can start to bring this into their organization to create a more inclusive space? Where, where do you start as a leader? Because it can be really overwhelming, Oh, we need to change this. Oh, we need to do that. Where do you even begin to feel like you can chip away and really create that inclusive space?

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

There are a lot of places you can start. And I’m not saying that what I’m about to say is what everyone should actually go out there and do necessarily there, there could be some differences in perspective in terms of where you want to start, but this is what I always suggest. And that is to answer the following question, what do we need to do to create environments that maximize the likelihood of success for a diverse array of people? And of course, the answer to that question can be different for different organizations. It can be different for different teams. It could be different for different departments, but I think a great place to start is how do we go about creating environments that maximize the likelihood of success for a diverse array of people?

Because most environments are actually going to maximize success for a certain group of people first, for a certain type of person based on their race or their ethnicity or their gender or their age, or their background or their, their expertise, their knowledge base, whatever that might be, but it might not necessarily facilitate the success of some people that don’t fit within that particular class or that particular group of individuals.

And so that, that first question I would suggest is, think about, okay, what do we need to do well, do we need to do anything differently? That allows us to maximize the success for a diverse range of people and to have some discussion around that. And ask some conversation around that, because if you do some brainstorming and you throw that question out, was it was a diverse group of people within your organization. You do some brainstorming, and you’re probably going to get some insights about, well, here are some things that we’re not doing that might make us more effective.

How do Inclusive Leaders have Uncomfortable Conversations?

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. Things like making it, you know, even with our recruiting processes or our onboarding processes. I know that you talk about that. You know, a lot of understanding how we can actually remove bias, but you know, one big thing that I think we see out there is that initiating the conversation can be a little intimidating. And so one of the questions that we received, so just for everyone on the webinar, we did actually receive a group of questions that we’re going to be following through, but we still want to hear from you. But one of the questions that we received from someone is I’m not really comfortable talking about race in the workplace. How and where do I start? Especially if you might be like, I know myself, I would be considered the white woman that has more privilege. And I know that there are some people that are like, how do I even initiate that conversation? How do I show people that I am an inclusive leader? How do you start that, that what is perceived to be a very difficult or maybe even an uncomfortable conversation?

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

That’s a great question. And I really wanted us to spend some time talking about this. And I have a couple of thoughts about that. First and foremost, what I want people to know is that it is okay to feel uncomfortable. And sometimes I think that we don’t do a very good job of pointing out the fact that anything that takes us out of our comfort zone is going to, of course, make us feel uncomfortable. And for many, many people talking about issues of race and ethnicity and similar topics, it’s going to take us out of our comfort zone. It’s not what we’re used to. It’s not what we do on a regular basis. And so we’re going to feel a level of discomfort. That’s okay. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. And what I always suggest is to make sure those conversations start and really focus on things related to how we can become more effective as an organization, how we can become more effective as a team, how we can become more effective as individuals.

So, in other words, I’m not necessarily a big advocate, particularly starting out of having general conversations about race and ethnicity. And the reason I say that, and some people might say why I think we should have those conversations. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have the conversations. I’m saying that I wouldn’t start that way. But what I start with is— how can we have conversations as it relates to race and ethnicity, where we focus on— how do we help certain groups of people become more effective in this organization? That’s a slightly different conversation.

We’re not having a general conversation about race and race and ethnicity so much as we’re having the conversation about how we can actually change policy or how we can actually change practices. So we maximize the likelihood of success for a diverse array of people. And I think having those conversations that are related to how we operate as an organization, how we operate as a business, how we operate as an entity and what we need to do a little bit differently to make sure that we are broadening our reach of people who can be included and could be a part of that process are good and easier conversations to have.

Practicing Inclusive Leadership: Start Listening

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah, I appreciate that. It’s not necessarily initiating a conversation about race, you know, Hey this, how do you experience that? But it’s, it sounds like what you’re saying is to reframe our question, what is the question or the problem that we’re trying to solve? How can we create a more inclusive place for all to thrive? And I think that’s great because it’s, you know, I think initially people might say, well, let’s, let’s have a conversation and talk about race, but that’s not necessarily, it may bring some trust. It, maybe it brings some awareness, but that’s not necessarily bringing the action into what you can do to actually serve underrepresented people, which brings us to the next question. How can I, as a leader, create access and opportunity for underrepresented groups within my organization? How, how can I do that? Because I may not necessarily have the title, or I may not perceive myself to have influence, so what can I do as an individual? Or you can talk to different, I guess, levels within the organization, but what can we do to create more opportunities for underrepresented groups?

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

I think the best way to start with that (inclusive leadership) is simply talking to members of underrepresented groups within your organization. And ask them what’s missing. Ask them what are some things here that are missing that would make your experience a more effective one. That would make your connection with your organization a more effective one? What are some steps that we can take that we can help to more effectively bring people within the organization in ways that will allow them to be successful? One of the things that, and just so everybody knows, Jenn and I talked about different questions that we might pose, and we might discuss. And I think we came up with about a dozen working questions that we may or may not get to. But one of the things that really struck me as I went through the questions is that a lot of those questions could be answered very, very simply with just a couple of things.

One is listening. One of the things that we need to take some time to do is to listen to people. To listen to people who are culturally different. To listen to people who might be quote-unquote outsiders in the organization, meaning that they are, they’re not connected within the organization to listen to what their concerns are. Listen to what their ideas are; listen to what they have to say. And another thing that we can do that relates to this is to be empathetic, to genuinely try to understand where people are coming from is the best definition I’ve ever seen of empathy or heard of empathy is putting on another person’s shoes, walking around in them and experiencing the world from their perspective. And it’s not something I think we take much time to do in our society today. And I get it. We got tons of things to do.

We’re always busy. We’re always running around crazy. I totally get that. But if we listen more and if we, we endeavor to try and understand where people are coming from, I think that goes a long way by itself to helping individuals who are underrepresented group members have more of a voice. You have more of a connection for the organization who feel like someone actually cares about what’s going on and what it is that they’re dealing with and some of the struggles that they may be having. So those are just some basic things. On a more procedural standpoint, one of the things that I always suggest is to think about how you bring people into your organization. Think about it from a recruitment standpoint, from an interviewing standpoint list selection standpoint. Then once you make a decision to bring somebody in for an onboarding standpoint, and as you said, Jenn, I’m really big into unconscious bias and understanding how our biases interfere with our ability to be effective within an organization.

One of the things that we know is that various biases get in the way of all those types of things in terms of the process and the interviewing process and the selection process and these onboarding process. And so another thing that we can do is to think about how our biases may negatively impact those who are underrepresented group members, think about how our biases may have a negative impact on our ability to effectively recruit, to select into the onboard individuals. So those are just some, some basic things that we can do, and then there are other things as well. But I think that’s a great start- to listen, to genuinely understand and demonstrate empathy, and to really consider how our biases can interfere with our ability to do those things are all really, really powerful steps that we can take.

Inclusive Leadership and Affinity Bias

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. And I think even for some people just creating your initial awareness of your bias, I know that I worked for a large corporation and one of the biases you talk about is affinity bias and, or the “like me” bias, you know, gravitating towards people that are most like you. And I know that I worked for an organization throughout my career where it was very easy to pinpoint who worked there. I could also pinpoint who was going to get promoted based on what they looked like, not actually, or necessarily based on their competence or ability to do their job. And that is a flaw that is a tremendous flaw. And I don’t think you necessarily realize it because, in the beginning, I think it was like, Oh, look at how many friends I have or how many connections were so similar.

And that’s great. You can have a lot of friends. It’s great for socialization. It’s great for a lot of different things. But what you don’t realize is that there’s someone missing from that picture. There are people missing from that picture that, when you add them in, can bring that growth. So even if you think about, because I think for some people, they may not necessarily realize initially who could be part of an underrepresented group, who are those individuals that our organization is not serving because we might be so acclimated to seeing people look, think, act in a certain way. Not sure if you have any comments about like affinity bias, know, I know you can take that to a different level, but I do think that maybe it’s just my own personal bias, saying that I noticed that so much. So I, I wonder if there are other people that also have that, where they look around their organization, and they’re like, we’re pretty similar. And you know, maybe even talking about the detriment that happens when we’re all the same.

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

Yeah. And I think that’s a really important consideration. And I said affinity bias is my favorite bias. Not cause it’s a good bias or anything like that. It’s my favorite to talk about. And it’s my favorite to talk about— because it is so pervasive, and every single human being is affected by it. It is impossible not to be affected by an affinity bias. And the reason is that, and just so we’re all on the same page by definition, affinity bias is a natural human tendency to gravitate towards those who proceeded to be most like ourselves. And therefore, away from those that are perceived to be less like ourselves, the way I like to put it is that we like to hang out with people who look like us and walk like us and talk like us and think like us and act like us. And I always emphasize that as a natural human condition.

And it’s born out of wanting to stay in our comfort zone. Our comfort zone is the psychologically safe space. And it allows us to be in a place where we’re relatively stress-free, where we will have relatively little tension and anxiety. Where we feel comfortable in our comfort zone, and it’s a place that we want to be. It’s also one of the most powerful forces that keep us separate from people that we perceive to be different from ourselves. It makes it more difficult to build bridges across those cultural differences because we have to step outside of our comfort zone and deal with that. One of the things that I emphasize organizationally, and this actually also help to address a lot of questions that we’re going to talk about is that as a leader, anything you can do to create opportunities for people to interact with those, they don’t normally have a chance to interact with, or learn about those they don’t normally have a chance to learn about we’ll begin the process of reducing affinity bias. It will allow people to begin to expand their comfort zones, and it will also allow people who are culturally different to have opportunities to connect across those differences more effectively.

So it’s a really, really important consideration. And again, and I, and I want to kind of build this theme that none of us has to do the really difficult stuff. I know some of this stuff might be psychologically difficult, but in terms of implementation, it’s not like you got to spend 40 hours a week doing it. If we just actually step outside of our comfort zone and start to connect with people who are different from us, that goes miles and miles and miles to creating environments for maximizing the likelihood of success for a diverse array of people. If we just give opportunities for people to do that, and you can do it by doing simple things like icebreaker activities and team building activities. Or if you’re a leader and you’re assigning work, giving people who don’t normally have a chance to interact with each other, give them a chance at doing the course of their work, to engage with one another and to build a relationship that way. Those are all things that reduce affinity bias. Those are all things that help who are underrepresented group members, build connections within your organization. Those are all things that allow us to build more powerful relationships and build more powerful connections and ultimately be more effective at the work that we’re trying to do.

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. I love the idea of being able to think about how we can educate, how we can share, and how we can initiate conversations or opportunities where people can learn more. I’ve heard of organizations, you know, celebrating different cultural holidays that represented different people in their organization, just as a way to obviously acknowledge, but educate people that we are all uniquely different. And we all do have things to learn and just to share with each other. Because I think there’s a lot that we can share and in a beautiful way that can make us better, make us think differently. But I love the icebreakers, just getting people like what are other things you’ve heard of? I don’t know if you’ve heard of anything else that other organizations are doing, but I know that setting up maybe even lunch and learns. Giving people the opportunity to say, Hey, do you want to know more about what Ramadan is or what, you know, another like religious celebration or just a general celebration? Like, do you want to know more about that?

Inclusive Leadership Builds Connections

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

And that’s a good way of doing it. I’ve actually been a facilitator at lunch and learns for various organizations where we were talking about a particular topic. People can come in, bring their lunch, and just have a discussion around that. There are town hall meetings where there’s a particular topic that people are gonna have a conversation around all of the key to that since you might actually get quite a few people to come to those meetings is to have a really good facilitator that can facilitate that discussion. I’ve seen things like that. I’ve seen basically team-building type activities where you have your tech team spending hours, maybe doing some activities that allow them to get to know each other a little bit better—just doing fun things. And you don’t even need to spend an hour.

You can literally if you have a meeting in your you’re going to have a meeting for the next hour, you might actually spend the first 10 minutes of that meeting, doing something that gives people a chance on your team to get to know each other in ways that they did not have before. So those are all things that help us build more powerful connections and build more powerful relationships and expand our comfort zones. As we get to know and engage people who we may have perceived as being culturally different, but one of the things that are really powerful. And in fact, let me, let me take a step back. I’ll say this quickly, but I have an activity that I’ve done for years, and I call it 90-second introductions. And it’s a really simple activity to do. And it’s really, really a revealing activity and how it works is I’ll have a group of people, and usually I’m doing a workshop or keynote or presentation.

And what I do is I have people pair up with someone that they don’t know. They don’t know it all, but they don’t know very well. And what I have them do is I say for the next 90 seconds, talk about what you have in common. Talk about just similarity. So they’re in a pair, and they’re having these conversations about the things that they have in common. And then I say, okay, great. Now for the next 90 seconds, I want you to talk about your differences. And so give them 90 seconds to talk about what’s different. And then I have everybody sit back down. I asked a single question. That is, what did you learn? And the number one response that I’ve gotten after doing this dozens and dozens of times over the last 20-25 years is that it was much harder coming up with differences and similarities, or we have more common than I would have ever realized.

And one of the things that I use as a teaching point, and I wanted to use this example now is that I don’t care about the situation, I don’t care what the circumstances are. I don’t care what your organization does. The fact of the matter is at individuals who are culturally different will virtually always have far more in common than they have that is different. The problem is we don’t do a very good job of using our commonalities and our similarities to build a bridge across differences. And if we give people a chance to connect and converse and to interact with one another across those differences, they can start to build those bridges, and they can start to interact much more effectively. And then those who are underrepresented, they’re going to actually buy by virtue of having done that, build those connections that allow them to become more interactive within the organization, become more like insiders as opposed to outsiders where they feel like the outside looking in.

Jenn DeWall:

Oh my gosh, I love just the simple, it seems so much more approachable by saying, you know, even that example of the activity that you did, 90 seconds talking about, you know, what you have the same 90 seconds talking about your differences. But really, the point there is, how can you leverage your commonalities to build a bridge to make your team more cohesive and connected? That, to me, is, I know, it seems so simple, like using your commonalities to build the bridge, but it’s also very accessible for people. I, I love, I love, love, love that activity. That’s something that I encourage everyone to do. Go back and see if you can do that on your team and figure out how you can leverage it.

Let’s Take Some Questions from the Audience!

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. All right, Tyrone. Are you ready for the live questions? Ready? All right. So we’ve got one from Elena. Thank you so much for writing in the questions! When looking at a systemic approach involving more than a single department or organization, how have you found the implementation, a person-first language, trauma-informed approaches, and bias training most successful and sustainable?

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

That’s a handful. And actually, let me, let me, let me take a bit of a step back. What I’m going to suggest is two things in terms of creating success first. And you, you identify some really interesting things in terms of unconscious bias training, person-first language, things of that nature, which are really, really powerful and really important. But the first thing I’m going to suggest is that whenever you do this,  when it comes to diversity and inclusion because this is the biggest mistake that I’ve seen people make. And I’ve been doing this for a quarter of a century, and that mistake is failing to connect what they’re trying to do with their diversity and inclusion efforts through their strategic objectives. So the first thing that you want to do is you want to make sure that anything that you do from a training standpoint, from an educational standpoint, you want to make sure that it directly connects to your organization’s strategic objectives.

That’s the first step. And you want to be able to define how that connects so that if you’re doing, for example, unconscious bias training, or if you’re doing training and helping people develop the ability to utilize a person-first language. You want to make sure that you can say, this is the strategic objective. That’s part of the organization’s vision and strategic plan. This is how it’s going to help achieve a particular objective or objectives in that strategic plan or those strategic goals. So you want to be able to do— that’s number one.

Jenn DeWall:

Can I just ask you for a quick example of that? Would it be like, what would an example of aligning that with a strategic goal? Could it be something like by making sure that, or I guess I’m going to leave it to you? What would be an example of that?

Inclusive Leadership Ties Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives to Strategic Objectives

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

One example might be our strategic objective might be the organization wants to tap into some different markets in terms of its sales and marketing efforts. And maybe they want to take advantage of the multicultural market. And they want to actually get clients and customers that are different from historically with some of the clients and customer bases that they’ve had. So one of the things that you might say is that you might need to do certain types of training to give people an opportunity to do that. That’s an example of that. That’s an example of, if you want to increase your, your revenues and you want to increase your sales in a particular area, people might need certain types of training in order to do that. That gives you an opportunity to actually do some diversity and inclusion type work designed to do that.

Another thing that might be— is that I’ve seen organizations where one of their goals is to reduce their expenses and to reduce perhaps their human resources expenses. Because if they’ve been problematic, just by way of example, one area might be turnover. And one of the things that we know from research is that bias leads to bad internal individuals who perceive bias within an organization, or much more likely to leave that organization and individuals who don’t receive bias within that organization. So we’ll another step might be, is proactively work on reducing a bias within our organization. That’s likely to reduce that turnover, which is one of the things that we’re trying to do in terms of our strategic objective, which is to reduce our HR expenses. And so those are just a couple of examples, and you get the idea, but you just want to make sure that whatever you’re trying to do, it connects to those strategic objectives, because if it does it, it’s going to fail.

And I no longer hem and haw about that. If what you’re trying to accomplish in terms of your diversity and inclusion processes within your organization, do not directly and cannot be very clearly articulated how they connect to your strategic objectives. You will fail if people aren’t going to take it seriously. And even if they’re, there is a cohort of people who are really driven to do that over time; they just want to get done. They’re going to be disappointed in the lack of connection and that connectivity to what they’re doing and what everybody else is doing because people just don’t see how it connects with strategic objectives. And so that’s really important. The other thing I wanna say in answering that question real quickly is that the question was framed in terms of you’re trying to do something across various departments and things of that nature.

I’m a big advocate of baby steps. I’m a big advocate of starting out small and making sure it connects to organizational objectives. Starting with strategic objectives, but starting out relatively small in a particular area where, and this is just between us people, it’s just between us, where you can be almost guaranteed when you want to make sure that you have it set up early on to where it is, is connected to strategic objectives. And you’re likely to have some success in terms of people’s buy-in, in terms of people’s participation. And in terms of people trying to make this successful, you want to build up a wave of success. And the best way to do that is to start small and watch it grow as opposed to trying to take it out across department after department, all at the same time where it’s going to be more difficult; you’re going to face more opposition. And, and I’m not saying you won’t be successful because it’s connected to strategic objectives, you’ve got a chance. But it’s going to make it more difficult. And so those are two things that I suggest in terms of that- make short strategic connections, strategic objectives, and look for some early, relatively easy wins to make sure that you can build some successes.

How Can We Address Affinity Bias in Recruiting?

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah, absolutely. Baby steps. You don’t have to have everything figured out, and it’s not going to be a one size fits all for your organization. Like, yes, we wish that we could put that through and say, every organization looks like that because every organization is diverse by the nature of it being its own organization and entity. So the baby steps are again, just another way. I love that you’re giving so many goods, just small ways that we can approach us because it can really quickly get overwhelming. I’m going to go to another question. And this one goes back to your favorite affinity bias, and this is from Faheem. Thank you so much for submitting it. Can you give examples of how affinity bias has been addressed and dealt with by giving positive results?

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

Sure. I’ll give you a really simple example, a big client, and I don’t want to paint the picture that this is the only place that affinity bias manifests itself because it manifests itself in a lot of different places. But I think one of the biggest places that affinity bias manifests itself is in the recruitment process because we tend to recruit people who are like us. I mean, Jenn, you would use an example where you went into an organization. You could actually see that is that we tend to bring people into our organizations who make us feel comfortable fit within our comfort zone. That means that they probably are very similar to us when it comes to how they think, how they act, and so on and so forth. And so one way to do that and I’ve actually seen organizations do this is to look at how you go about recruiting people and one type of recruitment process, which I, I’m not criticizing. I think this is a good recruitment process. But it is rife with affinity bias- employee referrals. They tend to be very common. A lot of organizations tend to use employee referrals when it comes to their recruitment process, and they have, which basically means for those don’t know where employees of the organization actually identify potential new employees for the organization. And it might be that I worked for an organization and I’ve got a friend or someone that I know that I think is a good fit. I know we’re looking for a person that has their capabilities. And so I invite them in and introduce them to people in the organization and see what happens. The reality is that that almost guarantees there’s going to be a level of affinity bias in terms of people doing that. So that’s a potential problem area.

Now, what is a potential solution? Well, there’s a couple of things. One is, and I said this before, we all have affinity bias, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. But one of the things that you can do is that you can ensure that you have a diverse array of individuals who are actually engaged in that recruitment process because while we may all have affinity bias, that affinity bias is going to probably encompass different people. So if you have people of different ages, people of different ethnicities, people of different races, people of different genders, people of different sexual orientations who are engaged in that, that employee referral process, yes. Guess what? You’re going to probably have a pretty diverse group of individuals who are going to be considered for positions coming to your organization. So that’s one way of thinking about the potential manifestation of affinity bias, and then identifying a way to tamp down and to reduce that negative impact. Just having, having a diverse array of people who are actively out there doing the search process, actively out there looking for individuals. And that can be very, very successful.

What About “Reverse Racism”?

Jenn DeWall:

Thank you so much for answering that. We keep getting more questions. So this is fantastic. I’m going to quickly scroll back because, again, remember, this is an open dialogue. We want you to ask us questions. We don’t necessarily want to follow the script. We want to provide you the answers to things that you’ve been thinking about. We want to be able to serve you in the most personal way. That’s why Tyrone is here with us today. So we’ve got another question, and I think this is a good one too. How do you focus- and this came from Jeff. Thank you so much, Jeff. How do you focus on underserved communities without being accused of or having reverse bias? It’s a big question.

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

Yeah, it is. Okay. Part of my personality is going to come out on this one and, and take it for what it is.

Jenn DeWall:

Let it out, Tyrone, let it out. Hey, diversity and inclusion is about us being who we are. Let it out.

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

I hear that a lot about people accusing individuals of reverse racism or reverse any of the isms. And I’ve kind of gotten to the point where it’s a nonsensical accusation. So I kind of don’t pay attention to it anymore. I’m not saying you shouldn’t because you’re in, in the heart of it. And so you have to deal with it on a certain level. And I can give you some tips for dealing with it, but I’ve been doing this for a while, and I’ve kind of gotten to the place where there are things people will say, and there are things that people will do to prevent you from being successful with doing, and that’s one of those things. The other thing that people just, just as a quick aside, and they’ll answer the question, the other thing that people will often say is that we only recruit, select and hire the best of the best, which is also a nonsensical saying, cause that’s what everybody does is they try to identify and hire the people who are to ultimately work most effectively in the organization.

But what that also means is that that’s, that’s another element of affinity bias. When people say, we look for the best fit, what they’re really saying is for people that make me feel the most comfortable and the ones that I want to come to work with, which are the people who look like me and walk like talk like me and think like me and act like me. And so sometimes people say that honestly, and they mean it honestly, but the reality is that that’s what that is. So that was my long-winded way of saying I wouldn’t worry so much about what people have to say as it relates to that. What I would focus on— which is the first part of it— is how do you reach out to underrepresented individuals and communities? And you simply start by having a conversation and listening. I said earlier that a lot of, of what we’re talking about is not cognitively complex, difficult to do, because it really comes down to it.

At least not cognitively. Now the physical act of doing it because we are stepping outside of our comfort zone can be difficult. I totally get that. But the reality is that you start to build connections. You start to build relationships; you start to build structure in terms of your interactions with others, by reaching out and starting a conversation. Reaching out and starting an interaction where you can have some great dialogue, and that’s how you do it. And you can, you can. I actually do it in a structured way. You can actually say to members of an underrepresented group or underrepresented community; this is what we’re trying to accomplish. We are trying to reduce the barriers between what is referred to as insiders and outsiders, those on the inside and those underrepresented group members on the outside, we realized that barriers to access, we realize it’s difficult to get in, and we’re genuinely committed to wanting to create an environment that maximizes the likelihood of success for a diverse range of people.

So we want to start engaging some conversation about what you need from us. What is it that you’re dealing with? What is it that you’d like to see happen? What is it that you like from a resource standpoint that will make, that might make this more effective and more helpful, and to listen and to understand it’s really that simple. To have that conversation or to create opportunities for people to come together to have those kinds of conversations. And I wouldn’t worry. I would do that. And I wouldn’t worry about the small number of individuals who might have something negative to say about that, because they’re going to just have something negative to say about it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to get in the way of what you’re trying to accomplish. And do, I should say, I’ll say one of those things, when you do this type of work, when you do diversity inclusion activities, you’re going to get a lot of people to support it, but you’re going to have some people who don’t do not think or do not feel that you have to have everyone on board before you take off and start to do the things you’re trying to do.

That’s another mistake organizations make. That’s another mistake people who are focusing on the diversity and inclusion process may is that we’ve got to get everybody on board, and we’ve got to get buy-in from everyone before we do. If you get buy-in from everyone, I guarantee its because you are doing something that’s not going to be worthwhile. We’re going to have people that aren’t advocates of it. That’s fine. You can still go ahead and do it. Now. It’s helpful if the people that are advocates are people who, for example, in the C-suite, those of your, your, your CEO, your chief executive officer, your chief operations officer, people like that, those you really do want to get the buy-in from it and want to make sure that they’re on board, but there’s going to be others that are never going to buy into it. You just have to continue to work on what you’re trying to do.

Jenn DeWall:

And I think a big part of that is, you know, trying to understand that reverse racism can exist but also understanding that how you show up your own mindset of just coming from that place of curiosity, I’m here to learn. I don’t have all the answers. I’m doing the best that I can. And come into that conversation also with that, Hey, you know, I just don’t know where to start. And this is the starting point that I have. I’m not; I don’t have the answers. I don’t know everything that we’re supposed to do. I just want, I know that we can do better. I sometimes think, you know, starting with that and that common ground. Hey, it’s, and it’s what you said. It’s not like you have an agenda. You’re not just trying to play with the trend of diversity and inclusion. You’re here to learn to understand and to connect.

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

Can I add one more thing, Jenn? This is on account that you have to keep in mind— there’s no such thing as reverse racism, reverse sexism or reverse ageism or any of those kinds of things. Racism, sexism, ageism simply ARE. There is no reverse to any of them. That’s number one. Number two is, and I think this maybe is going to be helpful is that sometimes to make the argument and I kind of get intuitively where people are coming from. I don’t agree with it, but I kind of get where they’re coming from. They make the argument that if you proactively do things to help members of a particular group, then you are hurting members of the other. So, for example, if you proactively try to help underrepresented group members, what represented members are being treated unfairly. But one of the things that I learned a long time ago is that equity is not treating everyone the same.

It’s treating everyone fairly. And that means you may want to treat some people differently because they may need more assistance than others. That’s what equity is really about. And that’s what, that’s something that I always suggest that you really, really get in your mind and be prepared to have that conversation. Because you may have to have that conversation is that equity is not about treating everyone the same. It’s treating everyone fairly. And that means the behaviors you exhibit may have to be a little bit different simply because some individuals may need more assistance than others. So just, just be mindful of that.

Equality Vs Equity by Angus Maguire

Doing a Survey of Your Team? Make Sure You Plan to use the Data.

Jenn DeWall:

That’s a great point to add in, you know, and I think that you know, it alleviates some of the confusion that people have around what really equity is and what that means for your organization. Right? I, to go to another question, this is from an anonymous attendee. I work for a state government agency. And for the first time, our senior leadership is asking employees to fill out a survey about equity, diversity, and inclusion, but employees have seen little results of many other surveys. What are you, how would you encourage employees to ask the C-suite leadership? What are the plans for the data collected?

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

I would simply ask that. I would simply pose the question. What’s the purpose of this survey, and how will the data be used? One of the things and I get where the question’s coming from because the leadership in that organization has made a mistake. You do not ever. And this, this is kind of like a data collection 101 if you will, you do not ever ask people to participate in a survey, get the results and then never do anything with it. That’s just setting yourself up for failure. It’s just like I said; it’s data collection 101. And it sounds like they’ve collected data, but they haven’t necessarily done anything with it, or they haven’t announced plans for what they’re going to do with it in the future. And so I think it’s a perfectly valid question to say, what is this data going to be used for? We really like the idea that you’re trying to collect some information, but are you going to do anything with it other than just collect the data? And so that’s a perfectly valid question. And as, as an external consultant, one of the things that I would say their leadership is don’t ask questions that you don’t want the answers to. And don’t ask questions that you don’t plan on doing anything with those answers because it just sets up- you’re much better off not doing anything at all than doing a survey and doing nothing with the survey.

Jenn DeWall:

Hey, they gave us another survey again, that they’re not going to do anything about. It’s just— it can create that a little bit of disengagement. You’re why are you asking this? You’re showing us that you’re you, you care, right? Those are your words, but your actions are totally different.

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:


What are Underrepresented Groups Missing in the Workplace?

Jenn DeWall:

I’ve got another question, and it says, this is going back to Tyrone’s comment about asking the underrepresented groups, what is missing that would make your experience here better. What type of answers do you think they would give? And that’s from Tali. Thank you so much, Tali.

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

That’s a great question. I think there’s a broad range of responses. I mean, some responses that have, I’ve seen the answers to some of those questions. And one of the things we fixed it back. Well, before I did this work, I actually worked in higher education. I was a cost professor for six years, four years at Wayne state university in Detroit, and three years at Eastern Michigan University, before that. And I also worked in student affairs prior to that, where I was at first, a director of residence halls where I was responsible for three different residence halls. I was a coordinator of residence hall programs, and I also worked as an assistant director of student activities and the student union. And the reason I went back to that is that a lot of what we did was do that work was really trying to find out about students’ experience and what, what would allow them to be more successful.

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

And there’s a connection here in terms of working with at that time, underrepresented students within the university or community, as well as doing the same thing within a business setting, corporate, governmental setting. And one of the things that strike me is it’s almost hard to describe in terms of specificity, but it really comes down to the feelings people have. And it’s feelings of disconnect; its feelings of this are really for me, it’s for someone else. And one of the things that I struggled and still struggled today with is that it’s hard to put into words

Jenn DeWall:

Back up for a second. I lost a little bit of your audio, and I just want to make sure we get that comment.

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

Okay. It’s how far back you want me to go?

Jenn DeWall:

Probably a minute back, so you don’t have to go with it.

Inclusive Leadership Creates Opportunities for Mentorship and Connection with Significant Insiders

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

Okay. So just real quickly it was, I was bringing in my experience working in higher education where we would ask similar questions of students, and we would get the students, the underrepresented student of elite members who were students who would have similar responses. And those responses would be around the idea that it would, and it would be somewhat ambiguous. It wouldn’t be there wouldn’t be specificity to it. It would be some ambiguity to it. And it would be things around, “this doesn’t seem like a place for me. This, this doesn’t seem like it’s, it’s, it’s designed for people who look like me and who come from where I come from.” And I think that it’s similar. In some instances, when you ask those questions of people in the workplace, and they’ll say, well, I just don’t feel a connection here. So what I really think people are saying is that culturally, they have existed in a different space than what they’re experiencing in the workplace.

And so I said all that to say the following. I think one of the things that are important when you do this kind of work is that you have to bring out the, and you have to; it isn’t always easy to get to. We, you have to bring out, okay, what would that actually look like? What would we be experiencing? And I found out when it was students, what they would be experiencing is more students who look like them. That was a big part of it, but this place doesn’t seem like it’s for me, it’s because they didn’t have a lot of students that look like them. And it would probably be the same case in terms of employees, employees who look like them. But in addition, giving them opportunities and, this, here’s some specificity giving people opportunities to build connectivity with individuals in the organizations in some type of systematic way.

Now I’m going to give you two quick examples. One of the things, or two of the things that can be solutions to helping underrepresented members and build connections with organizations, are mentoring and employee resource groups. Now mentoring is more of a one on one relationship where most of us know mentoring is where, where there’s a mentor, and there’s a protege. And that mentor works with that protege to help facilitate his or her psychological career and otherwise other elements of their development. So that’s that relationship. Employee resource groups are actually groups designed for a particular cohort of employees. So it could be African American employees. It could be veterans; it could be older employees. It could be individuals with particular skill sets, but they’re designed to get people who are typically underrepresented group members, a chance to connect with similar underrepresented group members and build relationships with significant leadership and significant insiders within the organization that said all that to say the following what’s typically missing for people who are underrepresented group members, is the ability to build those connections.

However, they articulate this, and this is my long-winded way of arriving this. But however, they articulate it. When they’re asked the questions about what’s missing, that’s what’s missing. Their ability to build connections with significant insight is within the organization. That’s, what’s missing two ways to do that is mentoring and employee resource groups, and both can work tremendously. Well, the thing about mentoring is that the problem with mentoring is that if you’re an underrepresented group member, you’re less likely to get a mentor than if you are a quote-unquote representative member. It can be a little bit more difficult for you to find a mentor, which is why there are formal mentoring programs in many organizations, but they work very, very well doing that. And so what typically is missing just, in summary, is the inability to effectively connect with key insiders within your organization. And mentoring and employee resource groups are or way of actually addressing. So it kind of took a circuitous route was a little long-winded, but that’s, that’s what typically when people are saying that what’s missing a lot of times, it’s ambiguous, but what they’re really saying is I’m not building the connections with people. I need to build the entities. I need to build connections to be successful in this organization.

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. I don’t feel connected. And we know that as leaders or the basic human needs, we want to feel seen and heard. And at work, we want to feel valued and who wouldn’t want to feel connected. Every single person wants to feel connected. Even that person that might be a little, you might think they’re resistant, we all want to feel seen and heard. So just remembering that I love the idea of mentoring and employee resource groups. We’ve got another, we have so many questions coming in, and I don’t know if you’d be willing to do this, but I can also send you these after. And you could maybe, you know, send out a video to our group to answer some of them. How can you increase the diversity of your leadership pipeline, both from outside and internally? And it kind of goes with another question that someone had asked really about how can you dispel or erode nepotism? So I’m going to put those two together, and that’s from Evan and Yogi. Thank you so much.

To Recruit a High Quality, Culturally Diverse Team- Go to Where They Are

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

Let me start with the second one. The nepotism one is hard. And the reason is that that’s a manifestation of affinity bias and there, there there are some structural things that you can do. So, for example, you can add, some companies actually have anti-nepotism policies that basically say, if you’re related to a person at a certain level in the organization, you can’t work in the organization, or you can’t work in that part of the organization. So that’s one way you can start to do that other organizations have done. Another thing you can do is if you don’t want to be that stringent, you can actually make sure that the person who is related to a candidate is not at all involved in their selection process for them. So those are a couple of things that you can do. The first question is really, we could do a workshop on that, and I’ve done workshops on recruiting and retaining a high quality, culturally diverse workforce.

Let me, let me try to simplify it the way you do it is you go to where they are. I’ll say that again, the way you recruit a high quality, culturally diverse workforce, you go to where they are. Now. Here is why relatively few organizations are actually effective at recruiting a high quality, culturally diverse workforce is because they utilize traditional methodology, methodologies, and traditional techniques for their recruitment and selection process. And that will tend to get a relatively mono-cultural group of individuals. That doesn’t mean they get a bad group of individuals. They may have some very, very good individuals there, but they don’t cast the very broad net. One of the things that you have to do, if you want to recruit a high quality culturally diverse candidate pool, and you’ll notice that I keep saying high quality, culturally diverse, it’s easier to distribute a culturally diverse candidate pool.

But if it’s not high quality. Then you’re doing yourself a disservice. You want to make sure in your efforts to recruit a high-quality, culturally diverse workforce, that you are really getting top-notch people. And so you have to go to where they are. So just by way of example, if you’re looking for somebody who is in a leadership role in the insurance industry, just, and this is just one example, this is not the only way of doing it, but you’re looking for a leader in the insurance industry. There are undoubtedly organizations that cater to quote-unquote underrepresented members who are leaders in the insurance industry. You start to build relationships with those organizations. You start to go to some of their meetings. You start to interact with the individuals who are a part of that association. Guess what? Sooner or later, it’s going to be sooner. You start to identify people who are really good candidates for positions within your organization.

Same thing, if you, if you are looking for a better, or looking for really good women leaders, there are tons of women, leadership organizations, and associations. You start to build relationships with them. You start to let them know about the positions that you have available. Go to where they are, when you know that there are individuals that are going to be there that meet the qualifications. You’re looking for. You actually start sourcing those individuals, and you start tapping into those resources. It’s I don’t want to make it sound like it’s really easy because it takes work. This is something that does take work. You’ve got to actually spend some time doing it, but it’s a relatively straightforward process.

Jenn DeWall:

Well, I think if I go back and reflect, I know that there are some organizations, I’m from Wisconsin. I went to a Big 10 school, and I know that there are actually a lot of organizations in the Midwest that will say, well, we’re just going to go to the Big 10 schools. And that’s where we’ll post up. And that probably is a sign right there that you’re going to have a more similar group of people. Then maybe expanding your search, going to different universities and colleges that have different specialties, or just are in different areas. So I know that that could be a blind spot. You know which again, everything’s going through. I’m like, Oh, that’s why we were also connected because we all went to the Big 10, and we all did this, and that’s not doing anything for innovation. That’s not doing anything for diversity.

Do you know? So I, I love talking about this. Go, you know, look at your recruiting processes, where are you going? What are you missing? What are your blind spots and break the mold? We’ve got another question. And I think this one’s actually pretty serious because this whole topic, and even around affinity bias, or even around, let’s say that I’m going to address it in a more general way, addressing inequality in any of the facets of your organization. I’m going to read the question. There are a lot of affinity bias promotions at my company. When employees bring this up, there’s actual and fear of retaliation. How do employees create their own safe space to address this inequity in workforce development and retention? Because it is hard when you may not have the power, and you have to go up to try and lead. How do you start to push some of those things through and create awareness? So then people understand that there’s a bias there, or that it’s not an equal playing field for everyone.

The Importance of Allyship

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

That’s a great question. And the first thing I’m going to say is that I’m never going to say to somebody do something that you think or put your job in jeopardy, or put your status in jeopardy even if you still have a job. I would never do that. We never do anything to get damaged somebody’s career. If you genuinely feel fear or great concern, that if you raise certain issues, it will be used against you. Then I’m not going to say, raise those issues in that way. What I’m going to say is that your other alternative is to find someone in leadership that can be an ally, and you have to identify an individual that isn’t going to have to worry about retaliation. And there’s not going to have to worry about someone doing something negative to them if they bring it up and try to try to have some conversations with that potential ally about your concerns and how they might be addressed.

Because the reality is I’d like to say, and I do say, this is that to the extent possible. If you have a concern, you should, you should air that. You should be able to sit down and have a conversation with someone in leadership about the concern. And you should be able to articulate why not only is that going to be beneficial to you, but beneficial to the organization for them to address that concern. But I, I recognize that that’s not always an option for some people in some certain circumstances and that there are- there’s bad leadership. There are organizations that just flat out have bad leaders or ineffective leaders or leaders who are vengeful for lack of a better word in terms of how they engage people. And so you’ve gotta be really careful with making sure you keep your job, and you can continue to feed your family and feed yourself and do all those kinds of things. But in those cases, you’re only really other option is to find an ally in leadership and have that, have that conversation with them so that perhaps they can, without fear of retaliation, bring that up.

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. And allyship, you know, in alignment with the diversity, equity, inclusion, the social unrest that’s going on. Allyship is so important right now to find people that you can connect with that you can talk to that can support you. And that can be there too. Maybe they don’t necessarily directly experience it, but they can be your advocate. They can be someone that, you know, leads the way for you. So absolutely creating that allyship. We’ve got another question. This is probably a big one. So maybe I’m not sure if we’ll end on this one, but we’ll see. If your organization includes law enforcement or similar entities that may be under more pressure and scrutiny at this time. For obvious reasons, with George, George Floyd, and everything for at this time, sorry- how do you increase their buy-in while taking into consideration why they may or may not be comfortable with transparency, change or self-reflection, and while also trying to understand their own office culture?

Inclusive Leaders are Genuine

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

That’s a great question. And we haven’t talked about this and that this would be something good to close on as a conversation around. A single word—and that is genuineness. You have to be genuine. And genuine means being your real self. It’s being straightforward and being who you are. You have to be genuine, and you have to be honest. And I think the key to success in any of these types of endeavors is to be and to be straightforward about what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. There are entities, and the police would certainly be a good example of this who would be very, very skeptical of any kind of conversation about topics like this, because, and again, I think it’s understandable because they’re under fire. And they would see it as another opportunity for someone to put them under further fire. And if that’s your goal, okay, then you’re not going to get anywhere anyway.

But if your goal is genuinely to facilitate change in a way that is going to be beneficial for all, you have to be genuine, upfront and honest about that and about what you’re trying to accomplish. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work. It doesn’t mean people are gonna necessarily believe you or buy into you. What is it you have to say? But I think that is a big key in all of this is to be genuine, to be straightforward. And to have a discussion about what you mean. I’m going to give you a really quick example. I was doing a pretty significant diversity intervention last year for a client of mine in Idaho. And we were having; we were in a full-day session. We will be doing a number of things in terms of their data collection and doing some discussion around unconscious bias and things of that nature.

Someone posed the question. It was a very simple question about, cause we were talking about one of the things we want to focus on is diversity recruitment because they were really, really, mono-cultural organization. And so we talked about the diversity of recruitment and what that looks like and things of that nature. And somebody asked them a very honest and a very good question, and basically said, my concern is that we’re going to go from what I think is an organization that really was about hiring the best person, to a pulley system. And so what I did at that moment was I thanked him for the question as that was a very good concern and very great valid question. And what I did is I gave them an example of the approach that I take and what I do, and I said, you know what? There are people who will, who will do that one, turn this into nothing more than a foolish system.

But I gave them an example of a presentation that I was doing probably 10 years earlier for a major university. When someone actually said that they, there was an open position. Someone said we should just hire somebody who was a person of color or female and leave it at that. Not even consider hiring a white male at the time. I said that I have a problem with that. I find fault with that. The reason I find fault with that is that what you’re doing then is one you’re not genuinely trying to hire the best person. You’re just trying to hire a person that’s going to fit certain characteristics. And two, all you’re doing is instead of actually as an organization, becoming an organization that recruits and hires a high quality, multi-diverse workforce, you’re going to become an organization that for certain positions hires that underrepresented group member and then goes back to doing what you normally do for all the other jobs. Is it an effective way of doing this? And I don’t think that philosophically or practically it works very well.

And I gave them that example. So I said all that state, the following, I was genuine about who I am and what I’m trying to accomplish. And it resonated very well. They bought into it very well and they, they recognize that, okay, this is what, this is an individual that’s genuinely trying to help us improve as an organization and as genuinely trying to help us utilize some different resources and techniques to get a high-quality culturally diverse workforce, it worked very, very well. And I said, again, is my long-winded way of saying this. I wanted to point that out. Because I think the key in all of this is to be genuine, to be honest about your motives, to be honest about what you’re trying to accomplish, and to be forthright about how it’s going to affect your organization and what you’re trying to.

And I think that that doesn’t mean you’re always going to be successful because there’s going to, they might be, they don’t want to do it. And that’s okay. I’ve, I’ve run into that as well, but you want to be successful well, more often than not. If you’re genuine if you’re honest and you’re straightforward with who you are, what you’re really trying to do. Because there’s going to be skeptics is going to be people who are people of goodwill who want to do something, but they’re skeptical, skeptical because they’ve had bad experiences. And so you want to make sure that they know who you are, what you’re about and what you’re really trying to accomplish, and that you have really good intentions. I’m trying to make it something successful for everyone.

Jenn DeWall:

Oh my gosh, Tyrone, you killed it in this conversation. You can see in the chats; you’ve just given people so much. And I know we’re a little bit over, so thank you for being with us. You have given people so many different insights to be able to walk away today. You know, obviously, I love the closing piece of genuineness, understanding our intent and being transparent about that, but also remember it’s all about building on our commonalities and creating that bridge, taking baby steps, focusing on our recruiting process or other places where we may have a bias that we can try to mitigate or manage. Also, thinking about how we can create those opportunities for people to connect, whether that’s employee resource groups or mentoring. I can’t even go through everything that you shared, but for those, Tyrone’s contact information is on the screen. Tyrone also does workshops. He’s a keynote speaker. He’s an author. He gave you his personal email address. So if you do have questions that are not answered, please feel free to connect with Tyrone. You see it at drholmes@sbcglobal.net. He is someone that we as Crestcom have loved working with. So, and just as a reminder, if you want to connect with Crestcom, you can sign up and contact us for a free Leadership Skills Workshop just to check them into your organization. Maybe we can uncover some of these topics, and last please, don’t forget to subscribe to Crestcom’s podcasts, the leadership habit. We’ve actually done an episode with Tyrone, and hey, maybe we’ll do some more. This one’s going to actually be recorded and put onto our podcast. So if you want that refresh, know that it’s going to be there shortly. Thank you so much for everyone for joining us today. We’re so excited to go ahead and do this again in a few hours, Tyrone. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, insight, all of these and best practices. We are so grateful to have you.

Dr. Tyrone Holmes:

My pleasure. Thank you all!

Jenn DeWall:

Hi everyone. Thank you so much for listening to my conversation with Dr. Tyrone Holmes today, all about inclusive leadership and what we can do. It was a great conversation. I hope that it stimulated new thoughts or new ways that you can connect with others around you. If you want to connect with Tyrone and book him, have come into your organization, you can go to drtyroneholmes.com or you can find the link in our show notes. If you liked today’s episode, please share it with your friends. Tag us on social media, and don’t forget to write us a review on your favorite podcast streaming service. Thank you so much for listening until next time. Bye.