Intolerance Is Expensive: Why not Investing in Diversity is Costing you Money

okay all right we are live welcome welcome today we are talking about why intolerance is so expensive so we’re really talking about the ROI for Dei and we’re joined here with Jen we’re very excited to have Jen cronenberger with us um and so I am Jasleen if you haven’t joined us before and so I’m a career coach and I specialize in women’s Career Development and yeah I’ll pass it on over to Alexandria if you want to introduce yourself yeah I am Alexandria I am an executive leadership coach I work specifically with people from underrepresented communities my favorites are those who are new to leadership so that we can get you on the right path in that human-centeredness from the get-go I am also the co-founder with Jasleen of the disruptors the job board that supports those underrepresented communities finding companies they can thrive in and we are so excited to have Jen with us today and we’re going to let her tell you a little bit about her awesome so good to be with you all uh I’m Jen cronberger and my company is called Jalen Consulting Group we work with companies large and small uh really talking about leader leadership and culture my background is in sports and Human Performance psychology and some of my clients have included professional athletes and seven-year-old kids everything in between uh is where I kind of found that it was all the same stuff and all of that is to say you know I think it’s it’s so much about how we show up every day um that creates our culture and really lays the foundation for the kind of leader we can be and I think that all of that has been so critically important moving forward in my career and I know you know growing my business and working with companies large global companies even um at that level to say you know there’s there’s a human element here that we often miss when we’re talking numbers and that’s really our Focus we focus on bringing that human side back into business and um you know building leaders and cultures that are more inclusive and more empathetic and compassionate that’s the focus yeah I love that whole human first element right like that shift that third evolution of leadership that we’re in right now moving very originally from business first or business only really into a business first like yeah I mean we we get you’re a human you can have human this outside right but now being in that human first element specifically I think is is we’re in the moment of it and we might as well modelize and that’s right that’s right yeah and one of the reasons we really wanted to talk about this today the cost of it is not to really take away from that human element but to really create an urgency around this because I feel like and I spent over a decade of my career in HR and so I’ve always been passionate about Dei work and it always has felt like it’s competing with the other business needs right and so today we’re here to really talk about this isn’t about Dei being in competition or being human-centered being in competition with you know increasing your margins and really you know outperforming your competitors in terms of financials I think that’s where there’s this misconception of okay if we’re gonna do all of these are like a nice to have you know the touchy feely stuff and so especially for the leaders who are joining us today who have struggled with this in in terms of you know being like okay it’s the right thing to do but really kind of lighting a fire under all of your leaders in your organization because you know it was a joke with um one of my previous leaders we’d call it like pushing the wet noodle it was it’s just so hard to get people engaged and so and it speaks to one of the things we talk about a lot is like really having to have that really authentic vision and why for why you’re doing this work but also how we’re integrating it with the business so really that brings us to our first question is around what are the hidden costs of not investing in Dei what should companies really be thinking about here so I’m going to take us back real quick because you brought up touchy-feely and I want to just share this really quickly my story uh about that because I think this really brings us into where we are now um I remember when I first started my speaking career um probably I don’t know 12 14 years ago something like that and uh I got a phone call from a woman who was found me online wanted to hire me and I remember it was one of the first you know big speaking engagements that I had done and um I was helping a friend move and I’m literally standing in the back of a moving truck when she called sweating you know the whole thing and I answered the phone and and she said you know I wanted to talk to you about hiring you for this event and I thought okay um let me get into a quiet space I get in the front of the truck shut the door now it’s mid-july in the Northeast I’m sweating and sitting in this box and so um as we’re talking and you know we’re we’re having a pretty good conversation I was feeling really good about it and you know we talked fee and all of that and I thought wow this is this is awesome and then at the very end she said so one more thing I don’t want anything too touchy-feely our people aren’t really like that

the moment

I’m picturing like this room full of robots or something like what what are we really saying here and from that you know I started to recognize that that’s that that idea of saying we have to be two different people in the workplace is is long gone it needs to be long gone if it’s not long gone in your in your workspace we are whole people and when we walk out the door and into our workspace wherever that is even if you work from home who you are in those moments is not someone else it can’t be because what we’re seeing today is this onslaught of you know people leaving in droves people uh changing jobs people walking out people just saying no I’ve had enough and the number one reason we’re seeing this happen is toxic culture so you know Bank of America um Global did some research that I found interesting this was recent and they published a published a report about um really what this is the price of lack of diversity uh in American companies they were looking at specifically and they broke it down into three categories okay and what was fascinating to me is looking at how it affects each category one of them was looking at the US economy as a whole and that’s a big topic today right where we stand in the economy and and what’s happening for us and while there’s different numbers floating around one was you know 23 trillion dollars in in US GDP 70 trillion um in economic output 172 trillion in lifetime earnings over the the lifespan it doesn’t really matter how it’s measured what was interesting is that it limits National economies and it reduces GDP that to me is what I took away I thought wow okay so this is this is far reaching this is not just you know at the local store down the street I mean this affects everyone for companies Bank of America found what we’ve already known for for a long time now those of us especially in this space the lack of diversity leads to less Innovation weaker Revenue weaker cash flows and the big one right now like I just mentioned is lower employee retention and that’s an issue so if we know that’s an issue and we’re seeing that this is something that that is absolutely a catalyst for that yeah why are we not solving it right and then let’s go to the individual because that to me is I believe where everything begins is our own personal um you know space in this and so for individuals a lack of diversity causes you know you think think across the board um it’s a detriment to educational outcome to physical and mental health which is a huge thing right now I mean I could probably spend all day talking to you about burnout and mental health today um you’re seeing that across the board uh lifetime earnings Lifetime Achievement well disparity that’s passed down over Generations I mean all of this individually affects us so incredibly greatly that to not act yeah is it is a trickle effect to to you know the entire population yeah and even like you know we’ve made strides when it comes to diversity and I think a lot of organizations want to be like okay we’re done we’re gonna Pat ourselves on the back we’re one of the good guys we’ve got all these folks but if they don’t have that real like that culture that where people feel like they can belong or if they still at certain levels don’t have a critical mass of representation of each group there’s studies that show that until there’s that critical mass and I can’t I don’t know what the magic number is maybe it’s 30 percent I’ve I’ve heard different numbers out there but there’s what happens is for that underrepresented group is they tend to model or code switch the behaviors of the dominant group and so if we’re really trying to get after Innovation and and make more money in terms of disrupting in our industry then diversity isn’t enough and I think that’s why it’s so important to have this conversation with you Jen because it’s about also that belonging piece because I know you you speak a lot about belonging and how how can leaders really know like how do how do they get on this path that’s a great question and a huge question um but I’m going to try to try to make it uh as succinct as possible for you uh from my opinion anyway so one thing that we’ve seen and again going back to um the summer of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor and and walking through that in this country watching that unfold watching it happen um you know listening to um it it ignited this racial Reckoning Reckoning right it’s it was something that needed to happen it was something that was too late obviously um in happening but it it also not only are they challenging conversations but they’re valuable conversations to be having and we need to be having them so we started to see that happen but what I what I noticed and I think all of us can attest to this are exactly what you’re saying jesley and those companies that said hey you know what we need to do something we need to say something we got to put a sign out we got to put a something on our website uh you know and put out our flag have a Dei Summit something we got to do something and the problem with that is now we’re a few years removed and what actions have happened we’re watching you know companies who just put all this money into that start to cut budgets for that I’m watching it happen and you’re thinking you know okay was that it so you just threw a whole lot of money at it to check a box guess what your people feel that they know that and they’re watching it happen too and when that happens now the diversity piece that’s simple that’s a head count right that’s looking at you know who’s in the organization and that that’s easily fixable mm-hmm what’s not is the feeling that goes along with this and when we start to talk about inclusion and belonging I think now we’re talking about that whole human element that we miss when we’re just looking at numbers right so um there was some research um his name was Evan Carr I want to say um I’ll start my head I think it was Evan Carr and he did research on he’s a Behavioral Analyst and he did some research on the cost um you know belonging of of what it looks like when you actually have high belonging in the workplace one of the things that that belonging was actually linked to high belonging was linked to was a 56 increase 56 increase in job performance a 50 drop in turnover risk and a 75 reduction in sick days wow if you think about that he went on to talk about for a 10 000 person company that’s like the equivalent of saving over 52 million dollars a year yeah it’s huge so the the business case for belonging is enormous the opportunities to create that and not just talk about it yeah enormous we have a lot of work to do yeah and at the same time I think you know as we start to do it going back to what I started talking about where you know checking the boxes hasn’t been enough look just just saying that you have a Dei department or you change policies or whatever it is isn’t enough it’s just not enough because what’s happening now is you know it’s almost like I equate it to trying to plant a tree on concrete it’s not going to take hold it’s not going to work and that’s what we saw happen we have to make sure that you’re watering the soil you’re you know tilling the soil you have the sun you have the right angles all of the things that you need to make that grow well that’s your culture mm-hmm that’s what culture is right and so if you don’t have the culture to be able to sustain that work it’s never going to work and actually you might do more harm than good yeah I really appreciate pointing out the hold the checking in the box right we did the thing we had the committee we whatevered if you don’t follow through if you don’t invest in it in the time and the money and all the pieces that need to be there it does cause more harm absolutely and people get excited and they’re like okay things are changing I have hope again every time somebody’s like I have hope and then it’s crushed it is way harder to come back and have that hope again and to trust me

do it from the get-go and you don’t know what you don’t know right and which is why we are here at the disruptors why you are doing the work that you are doing we’re here to help with all the pieces that you don’t know maybe you don’t know what that sun looks like you don’t know what tilling the ground looks like yep that’s okay to ask for help and admit that you don’t know yeah and start with hey we need help great there’s plenty of resources to get that help unfortunately uh leaders are are not always really good at that especially when it comes down to those emotional topics right um I just saw something actually talking about burnout which is so closely related to what we’re talking about today about compassion empathy and really understanding The Human Side and it was astonishing to me it was something like um 95 of those that were studied it was um through Harvard Medical uh said that they had experienced some kind of burnout over the last year 95 percent uh 30 some percent said it was really bad and then 11 only 11 out of the 95 percent asked for help or did anything about it that was eye-opening to me because I’m like well that explains so many things we have developed a culture and in in this society that um it’s not okay to not be okay for help it’s it’s we that’s weakness right brene Brown talks a lot about vulnerability and how you know most of us were raised believing that that’s weakness it’s real strength yeah and we have to get to that place where we can talk openly about these things where we can discuss you know how this stuff affects us mentally physically emotionally and why it does and those are the conversations we need to be having yeah and and really bringing it back to the ROI conversation as well because obviously like if this is how your employees feel like you do not want this to be going on this way we want to have psychological safety we want to have all these great things but thinking about the cost because we’re talking about retention right and so the recruiting costs the cost of training and onboarding a new employee the cost like it’s just the administrative costs the the the Gap in terms of performance all of that is is super important to remember and I know I watched your Ted Talk Jen and and a a stat that really stuck out for me is because we’re not just seeing people leave we’re seeing people check out but stay in the company and so we’ve heard about this quiet quitting it’s not a New Concept necessarily but it’s become very very much a norm to say okay if the company is not going to be loyal to us we’re not going to be loyal to them and I think the the study that you quoted in the Ted Talk was gallop and that’s at 85 of people are disengaged from work and so what let’s talk about the cost the how expensive that is to a business and and what leaders should be doing about it so what was so interesting and I think that report was you know the what I quoted in the Ted Talk was pre-covered um when I when I started doing research for that specific talk uh I was really focused on understanding why is this happening first of all and second of all the epidemic of loneliness that had really started to get some some traction and was was being declared an epidemic by psychologists around the world so during that period of time I was looking at it from a standpoint of you know if we’re looking at people in the workplace who are feeling this idea of loneliness now being lonely and you know being alone are two different things right there’s a lot of times we think oh you can’t be lonely you’re in a you’re in a room full of 50 people well guess what I’ve been in a room full of 50 people before and felt completely lonely right so I think um what was fascinating about that is that our tendency to shy away from those things to you know just keep it to hey let’s talk numbers let’s you know we come on these meetings and we discuss um where are we what are our goals are you hitting your metrics blah blah right the very first question we should be asking when we get into a meeting as a leader is how are you doing hmm how are you and waiting for a response we use the words how are you as like in passing right I don’t know if you ever knew it but I’ve done it right like hey how are you and you just keep walking and it’s like did you ask me a question are you just yeah I don’t care right so we have to not use that as a pleasantry that needs to actually be a question totally I’ve seen so many leaders ask the question but not be prepared for the answer well here’s here’s the thing with that let me let me just take this one step further what I encourage people to do is how are you okay and then you know what will you get you’ll get um well it’s Wednesday it’s cold out there isn’t it doing okay you know we we kind of do that and then we should ask the second question which is how are you doing really and as a leader I want to lead with you know hey it’s been a rough time hasn’t it you know I’ve struggled too yeah I want to read lead with that vulnerability and empathy because I have to you know going back to what you mentioned at psychological safety leaders who can build that uh the strongest I think have the best results yeah because with psychological safety it can’t exist without uh trust right psychological safety vulnerability all of these pieces exist in the hands of trust and so when we’re building trust well what does that mean that means as a leader my words and actions match when I say that this is important to our company I mean it and I follow it up not just with words or with you know a nice phrase on the website but I followed up with action right I mean let’s be honest nothing changes until behaviors change yeah and what are those behaviors that’s that’s what we focus on and what are those behaviors that we need to really build out yeah I love what you said like it takes time too because yeah you might try this and you might get nothing and you might say again no really how are you and get nothing and so don’t take that as oh I must be doing a great job I’m going to Pat myself on the back check in the box Dei done the silence or no feedback is a signal that you’ve done a lot to break trust and so it’s going to take a lot more time to build that trust back I think that is really important when you’re in a space and not even like it might not have been you it could have been the organization as a whole has done things to because I’ve definitely experienced this going into a new client population where there were things that were out of my control that happened before I was there and the trust was just gone right and so sometimes it might take a whole year to build that trust back up especially with what we’re seeing with how you know companies are dealing with layoffs these days right like that is a huge that’s a huge takeaway from trust that’s a huge takeaway from psychological safety plus when we’re talking about underrepresented groups where there isn’t that critical mass and you don’t have that diversity or you don’t have that support or or freedom to be authentic in the workplace there there’s there’s trust like as a society that has been lost correct and that’s coming into these spaces and and understanding yeah I did raise my hand before I did say what was wrong and what I was noticing and either I was ignored or I was punished directly or indirectly yeah yeah it may not have even been your organization we are also dealing with people who have been dealing with the business first culture for a very long time right so what harm came before that now we have the opportunity to heal and the the ability to have the patience for that and hold the space for it that’s it I think you just touched on something really important um holding the space is Paramount in this conversation as is really understanding empathy um you know I it’s so funny you know I I’m so fascinated by the idea of empathy versus sympathy and and all of that conversation that we could have um what I found to be true with empathy is we aren’t good at it we just aren’t good at it um I think that we have we all have an innate ability to feel empathy um I think we we know what just like we know kind of what belonging feels like right um which is you know you go back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that’s in the center love and belonging is a is a basic human need this is not people just whining because you know they feel left out this is real and empathy I think sits in the hands of that which is why um we what we created was we call it the brave human Leadership Model Brave stands for belonging resilience authenticity vulnerability and empathy I love that and for us why we we created this was because exactly what I was talking about before with the checking of the boxes with the Dei um you know putting that out there and saying hey yeah we’re going to do this but not having the culture to to be able to you know let that grow and the brave leaders to sustain the culture and so we’ve really set out to work with companies to help create that brave culture and help create leaders who can actually sustain that culture in your workplace and what we’re watching um you know for me I think what lights me up every single day is watching change happen is watching those light bulbs go off for people who maybe really didn’t think about the fact that empathy is a learned skill it is a learned skill it’s something that we like I said we I think we have an innate ability to know it’s there to feel it to know what it feels like but I’m not sure truthfully if we have ever really been taught it so to speak yeah I think we can learn it yeah by actually sitting down and saying wait okay so what does that look like how can I practice it and I think that’s you know part of our program is is sitting I mean we have these compassionate listening circles and we sit and actually really learn how to listen that’s the biggest part of empathy is knowing how to listen and to sit in the space with them to hold that space and not have to rush to fix it right up right there is that there’s like two-fold I think that we do get taught some empathy skills like this is actively taught out of us once we reach school once we reach work to be highly individualistic to be driven to like you gotta get yours before anybody else that’s right and so we have all of these triggers and associations that then encourage us to not be empathetic exactly yeah but I mean as far as you know as we’re as we grow through this process of all of those things that you just mentioned I mean I worked with competitive yeah excuse me competitive athletes for a long time that would show up sometimes you know it was like I have to be number one that’s what I’m here to do so reminding you know finding that empathy finding that Grace and compassion was Paramount to be able to practice those skills but yeah I think that it’s something we have to relearn I love that we’re talking about the practice one of the quotes that really resonated for me Jen and your Ted Talk was compassion is empathy in action and so what we what the the parallel that I drew was when we talk about it’s not enough to be not racist so I think a lot of people say you know what I’m not racist I’m empathetic right empathy is not enough yeah right we need to have compassion as well and and The Bravery like you said to actually act upon that empathy and that’s what it takes to be actively anti-racist or actively anti-homophobic or actively anti-misogynistic right and so it’s not enough to say yeah I really care about those women struggling or that you know the black community struggling that community over there I’m very empathetic but my my compassion is centered around myself I’m only going to act when it is serving me or the business and so and like really coming back to this this whole Roi conversation is it can be both it can be centered around marginalized groups and centering it around the work the the action that needs to happen and benefit your business but it needs to be done authentically it needs to be centered around those who need it most right it needs to be done with an equity lens instead of right and so I don’t know what do you think because I another thought that came to me Jen was why are we seeing so many leaders that lack empathy when we know this is like a universal thing that as humans we all have it why are we seeing a lack of it in action in leadership or even inherent to the leaders that we are promoting yeah that’s a great question um I wish there was an easy answer but here’s what I see in working with companies that um might struggle with that a little bit there is such a pressure right now especially right now put on leaders to perform um it goes back to that idea of you know if you’re not busy you’re not successful right it’s that whole um I have to be working 24 7. now I’m gonna be completely honest and vulnerable and authentic I struggle with that I’m trying really hard to break myself of that I should be working when I’m not you know and it’s really easy to get into that when you own your own business right so you know my team literally will say go yeah take a breath we got this and I need to hear that sometimes but that practice I think you know finding the focus um on the numbers on the results on the output on you know we’re jockeying for position to try to get into um you know different markets where you know and if I’m a big company I’m trying to you know not just uh attract the right people but keep them that’s what I’m struggling with today so we’re forgetting I think sometimes that by by wanting to do that attracting and keeping the right people is actually about the people and not the numbers right I say it all the time but a company’s greatest asset will always be their people what does that mean well what that means is that you can’t have anything else without the people right the numbers don’t happen without the people you can look at any tech company in the world any AI any of that you still need people you still need the people and that human aspect I A friend of mine um has a really amazing business where she’s in the tech industry but really focusing on you know how do we think forward uh how do we think about tomorrow while really focusing and and utilizing the strengths of of our people today bringing that into that next step so you know I think there’s something to be said about again going back to the root of everything we do and that’s the people it’s focusing on humanity and focusing on how can we show up as our best selves in spite of it all in the middle of whatever because somedays my best is here other days it’s here other days it’s here and that is okay having a leader say that to you changes the whole landscape of everything it gives you the permission it gives you that Grace and compassion to show up authentically hey I’m going to give everything I have it might be less today because yeah or I just you know I’m going through something at home or whatever the situation is uh I think it’s it’s critical that we we’re doing that we’re doing that more effectively yeah we’re human we’re human and we need rest we need space we need compassion we need all of these things to thrive and I love like kind of going back to your metaphor of having that right environment and so what if we were to shift from this mindset of and I just see this so much especially in the tech industry of hiring for fit like as if there’s like this you’re a cog in the wheel and you need to stay but like when you think about it from that aspect of like okay we’re gonna put people in and we’re gonna have them fit our culture and be a cog in the wheel where is the agility in that in what you’re building where is the Innovation where is the creativity where is the joy right there’s the engagement where’s the space for Creative tension to get you from where you are to where you need to go as a business and so it takes out so much that we know and that we as Leaders we’re working on these skills of Storytelling and all these all these tools that center around the human that center around emotions yet why are we operating and trying to treat the people within the organization as if they aren’t human makes no sense no it doesn’t and even if you think about commercials and ads and all of those things most often what are they focused on they’re focused on emotion they’re gonna pull at you one way or another whether it’s funny or it’s you know you really feel it there’s some sort of emotional pull to why we put things out there that’s storytelling right I say all the time you know I think become the best Storyteller you can of your own story yeah you bring that to the table to a company that is built of storytellers well now you know yeah Innovation can’t not happen you know it’s it’s we’re bringing all these different perspectives I mean every single one of us look through different lenses when we see the world right we all have different experiences about things we have different backgrounds we have different beliefs we’ve grown up differently all of those things and we call them our belief windows and when I look through my belief windows they’re going to be completely different than yours what I think we have to be good at is saying hey you know what come with me and let’s look at this together let me see as best I can by you telling your story through your lens so that I can understand seek to understand yes seek to listen yeah yeah that’s I love that I love that that’s a big distinction and I I will you know being vulnerable I back in the day I was a terrible listener and I think that came from my own culture you know in in the Indian culture there’s a lot of talking over people being very loud and I learned at a young age that I needed to interject right to be heard and it almost comes from a survival State as well and so recognizing that culture for me it I really needed to you know listen to understand and take a beat and say have I really understood everyone’s perspective in the room as a leader have I really understood or am I coming from a place of ego and fear where I’m afraid that if I don’t have all the answers where I’m afraid that I have to explain and like going back to you know asking how are you know really how are you and like you have to create the space you have to shut up you have to you really have to and that can be super uncomfortable if you haven’t done it before because you’re going to hear a lot of things that you don’t like and that you haven’t heard before but it’s part of building that muscle of empathy is depersonalizing from someone else’s experience right their experience is their experience you don’t automatically have to start defending yourself or or justifying or like it’s not a question when when people are telling you that they have been hurt when they have been harmed when they have you know been LED down a path of mistrust that it some of that does have to do with you but it in that conversation it shouldn’t be anything about you it should be the listening it should be the validating because that’s what I see a lot in in our culture is we invalidate people not because we want to invalidate them it’s because we’re protecting ourselves we’re protecting our our vulnerability um I think that points out the intention and impact are not the same thing and they keep that in the Forefront all the time right you maybe didn’t intend to cause harm to somebody you didn’t intend to show up at somebody’s idea down or you didn’t intend to isolate or to not include someone doesn’t mean you didn’t that’s right and it doesn’t mean that that’s not their experience and it’s funny that you talk about the interjection and the talking over and that being how you were brought it into the world I was brought into the exact opposite I actually struggle to interject and I actually struggled to speak up because the culture I was brought up in is I was meant to be seen and not heard and then if I had something to say it had better be on point and unfallible yeah but most likely just not say anything at all yeah even this far into my life doing a lot of unpacking being a therapist originally it’s still there I think that’s why the corporate world was so hard on me because I was raised to have a voice I was raised in a diplomatic family where you were allowed to have a different opinion and then I was conditioned to be like no you can’t have a different opinion unless you have a PowerPoint of data that proves to us and so like and I didn’t get good at presenting data and and facts around this but then that was a really that was a path to burnout for what you know wasn’t always my core role or you know as a HR generalist especially trying to bring Dei to the center while everyone’s trying to push it to the margins it was just exhausting right well you know what’s fascinating about what you both just said um and and seeing again those are your belief Windows right you come from two totally opposite places um and I think I can relate probably to both of you oddly enough uh I was the youngest of five children all four of them a lot older than me so you know they’d be talking and having and I was just this little thing that they were like go away you have nothing valid to say that matters to this conversation that’s how it felt to me as a child anyway again a lot of unpacking with you know all of that is fun right um and funny I ended up being a speaker for this is what I do for a living so I guess there’s something to that um but what I what I find in that that’s fascinating is how we how we navigate through that um in the corporate space and being able to say look we all come from different places we’re all bringing that with us that’s that’s not something we can leave behind and so how do we account and make space for all of these different perspectives and backgrounds and ideas and thoughts one way is again you know going back to that listening one thing that we practice is we literally have two people face each other and in some of our our workshops and one has to tell a story one’s the Storyteller and they share about a time when um they had to overcome something in their life and the other person can only ask questions clarifying questions but can’t interject can’t say oh I know about that I had it’s not about you in that moment you’re just listening um and it is so powerful to watch when these people just kind of lean into each other and they’re listening and then we debrief at the end and how many people say gosh that was really hard I don’t know if I’ve ever done it quite like that before you know I’ve never really listened at that level or you know it was hard to not give those moments of like oh I feel you you know not to give any of that feedback to that was weird and they said well imagine though just being able to sit and not have your voice be the one that’s heard to elevate the voice of the people that we need to hear their stories we need them to be telling their stories in the workplace and and understanding that listening to that and be able to say even if if it’s you know tell me more yeah tell me more I use those words all the time I want to understand tell me more I love those love those three words and I think and you know going back to like my coach education we we learn about the levels of listening right and and most people won’t get to that highest level of listening but that’s what we should be striving for is not just listening to the words right but paying attention to the body language paying attention to the trends and the stories and the things that aren’t being said right because there’s a reason why they’re not being said it could be because it’s something that’s unconscious to them or it could be a symptom of an environment that lacks psychological safety in mind the Project Oxygen that Google did and the research study that showed of all the different leadership skills the number one predictor of good leadership was coaching skills and so being able to sit in that moment and ask clarifying questions if you don’t know anything about coaching and you’ve never been trained in it its core is curiosity and questions that’s it and you don’t even have to be trained as a coach to be able to ask clarifying questions and to just understand and be able to hold that space for somebody to just be heard in and of itself is powerful yeah and judgment and curiosity cannot coexist that’s what I was gonna say yeah activated at the same time that’s been a like a good mental model for me yeah because if I’m trying to listen to respond or if I’m now thinking about oh I and it’s coming from a good place often right like I went through that and so I want to share this with you yep but that’s not that’s not true empathetic true empathy right that’s sympathy I’m sorry but you’re not de-centering yourself and what I found in those moments where I can remove my ego and truly listen is that their experience is quite unique and their path will be quite unique and their strengths are unique there’s so much like not just the belief windows that are differing but also that you know the core values and and who that person is and and what value they are going to add to your work environment when you give them full Reign to be authentic and perform in the way that they were meant to so so I I want to just mention something about values because you just brought it up and I think that that’s um it’s such a core of what we talk about as well um one of the things that I think is so fascinating is I do this exercise where I ask and this is usually kind of in the beginning where we’re trying to figure out uh you know I I believe strongly that as a leader you can’t lead anyone anywhere until you know where you’re going and who you are yeah and so we get really focused on that in the beginning one of the questions that I ask uh and I have them just kind of stand up walk around the room find somebody you don’t know and ask one simple question who are you um I give them a minute they talk to each other they come back and then I just pick some people okay so who did you meet oh I met Amy all right what can you tell me about Amy she’s a mom she’s a data analyst she’s a you know Avid golfer she’s uh all of these things she’s a wife she’s a sister she’s a great friend and I say okay great who did you meet and we go through the thing and it’s always the same stuff right we give the list of of who we think we are what always fascinates me and this is part of that taking that next step to values is that really who you are or is that what you are because that list are the roles that you play for everyone else in your life yes right that’s not who you are that’s what you are so now to answer who you are we have to talk about non-negotiables we have to talk about those values those those uh you know things that you don’t compromise for anybody yeah it’s Faith it’s Integrity it’s whatever it is for you everybody has those this is all a part of belonging this is all a part of understanding why this stuff is so critically important yeah why this this makes you know businesses who focus on this stuff are exponentially way ahead of the curve you know the the ROI is is uh uh you know it’s so big that I think those companies are like hey we get it we’re off and running and you know what’s fascinating a lot of those companies are the ones that hire us yeah like we want to we we get it we’re in it we have the money because we know it’s important we have to spend money on this because it’s about spending money on people how can you help us take care of our people drawing attention to what you just said right the profitability that comes from investing in these things is huge right and I actually have noticed we’ve used Roi a whole bunch of times for accessibility sake that’s return on investment yes thank you I was like yeah we’ve said that a lot I know sorry yeah

so what you’re what you’re investing into the business you’re going to get a return on it and so the same goes for Dei there’s actually a financial return that you’re going to get from investing thank you very much equity and inclusion um

diversity equity and inclusion are seeing 30 to 35 more profit the companies aren’t so you’re moving money on the table and to just recap some of the other costs that we’ve talked about retention right to bring in a new employee if we’re just talking about base average for uh recruiting Administration all of that stuff it costs just over four thousand dollars per person that you need to bring back into your organization and then the hidden costs of lost knowledge and reshuffling of teams and production that is lost it can cost you 213 percent more than the annual salary of that employee to then replace them so they’re very serious Financial costs and consequences of not doing this investment and the money being left on the table which I know that it’s hard to conceptualize and be like oh well I didn’t have that money anyway but your lack of innovation your stagnation and what happens when your company Falls so far behind that you’re no longer competitive in the market and you close that’s right you’re you’re really at that point um you know you lose a lot you lose a lot I mean just from a standpoint of not being competitive uh you know you can see the numbers and the research being done about you know especially our um as people start to come into the workplace uh or you know newer Generations coming into the workplace and how many people you ask these questions what do you want to see in a company the top answer is I want to feel like my company stands for something yeah I want a strong sense of belonging I want these things to be a priority to the company that I serve yeah so uh you know that alone again going back to uh even just attracting the right people right you’re not going to attract those people if that’s not a priority in your company or if you’re not clear about it right if you’re not clear in your own executive team because that’s it comes from the top down yes and you’re all your microcultures across your departments and everything you have going on if you’re not clear about that then you can’t convey that out and then people don’t know and I think the other thing that I want to highlight here is not all cultures are the same not all cultures are a fit for everyone right what I value as a company that is prioritizing belonging for me does not mean it’s going to be perceived the same way as lean or as you Jen that’s right we all have different needs and so there isn’t a cookie cutter culture there isn’t a cookie cutter way to do belonging or inclusion exactly to meet your people where your people are and if that their customers your employees they’re your people that’s who you should be prioritizing definitely enough that is the title of the book that I’m Midway through and where they are oh oh I love them I thought it I was like oh yeah okay that’s perfect that’s a great plug it’s not out yet but it’s coming nice tell us a little bit more about it and then please shamelessly plug your Consulting Group and how people can reach you awesome well thank you um yeah so this book came from I I did write a book this is my first book over here there it’s called these five words are mine and uh after I wrote that book I took like 10 years to decide to write the second one not for lack of anything other than really doing this work uh really took all of my time but I what I recognized was there were pieces that I really wanted to to sit down with and get deeper on and research and ask questions of you know leaders and companies and really try to understand how we do this well how can we do this how can we do this better right building those relationships and so I’ve been working on this book uh hopefully it’ll be wrapped up soon and uh and then out um but that will be called meet them where they are and I’m I’m excited for that um so a lot of the work that we do I know I touched on our brave human Leadership Model we just created um a brave index and it’s an opportunity to really get a feel for where are you on those five components we’re we’re putting that out into the world as we speak we are building out a breed of human leadership course and we run which we have been doing for years um you know different workshops um we do intensives for leaders we do um you know full day two day even workshops for um you know leadership levels and we get creative you know one of the things that I that I think in our business model that just works is spending time with people um you know that’s something that I pride myself in uh when when we work with a company I roll up my sleeves and I start out by doing some listening sessions I want to know what people are feeling I want to know what really is happening so you know I want to be on the ground listening and understanding so that we can help you know fix whatever problems there are in culture and Leadership and so one of the things that I love is you know when I’ve spoken at places and people have said to me afterwards you know we want more of you what can we do how can we do that and you know we’ve created these relationships where they have me signed on to to run leader Roundtable calls um you know I do some spot coaching um I’m also certified executive coach so a lot of that work for me has been um you know in in what exactly that company needs like you said this is not cookie cutter stuff we use our brave model but through that we can weave all of the the pieces that go along with uh you know the Dei Journey as well as whatever it is that you’re dealing with in your company what we really spend time with yeah I love that I love the the meet them where they are because that’s when you really start to get those light bulb moments right just conceptualizing it and hearing all of what we’re saying it it doesn’t really start to gel or it really doesn’t start to resonate and and become part of your belief system until you see it in action and you see it working right and I think I think that’s like the key is to really if you take anything from our conversation today is to really make that a part of your belief system that this is an investment in your people but it’s also an investment in your business and I just want to share real quick so McKenzie did a study um with 15 countries uh over a thousand organizations large organizations and basically what they found was racially diverse companies are 36 percent more profitable than the other organizations in the study and gender diverse companies are 25 more likely to outperform non-gender diverse companies and it’s interesting because only five percent of the companies were true diversity leaders when it came to gender and only 15 percent were leaders when it came to having different races represented in the organization so when you think about that not just the profitability but in terms of your competitors right how much room there is for you to really become because when you get really good at de-centering and listening and observing the trends and knowing people that’s not just you know a nice thing to do it it actually is going to transform your company and I love that you know Jen you you’ve got all sorts of tools that help people do this in practical ways and meets everyone where they are because it does need to be relevant for their business and their people the issues they’re seeing their demographic what kind of representation they’re seeing because you might say oh yeah I’ve got lots of people of color but are you lumping everyone into one category Are there specific groups that you are are not inclusive towards that you’re you’re missing something that you might be doing not just with your employee group but with your customers right so so yeah well this has been a delightful conversation and we are coming up to the top of the hour so if you want to work with Jen and the brave inter um Brave leadership index is interesting to you uh she does have her website listed right there we will put links in the chat uh if you know somebody who this live or a podcast would benefit please share that with them the podcast is available on Spotify and apple podcasts and please subscribe follow and rate it so that we can reach as many people as possible to hear this message we have our checklist is a great way to get started so you can head over to to get that checklist and if you are a company who needs help and support in finding what will work for your company for Dei fill out that higher I’m hiring form on the website and we can get in contact with you for your evaluation yeah and if you’re watching this on LinkedIn live please go to your favorite streaming service and subscribe to this is a podcast as well and share the podcast if you’re listening to this in podcast format thank you please subscribe and leave a review it would really help us with visibility and our reach we’d be so grateful for that well thank you everybody for joining us we will be back next week and we hope to see you with us thank you take care foreign

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