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Are You Inclusive?

People often ask me how we can measure the change that inclusion can have on a company’s bottom line. We get very caught up in measurement and calculations and analytics because we can measure multiple aspects of what it feels like to be included or belong in an organization.

If we take out all the checklists and queries and check-ins and questionnaires, fundamentally inclusion is found in how people feel.

Simon Sinek makes a great analogy comparing how we prove someone is a good leader to how we prove that we love someone. There is no simple metric for proving that we love someone; it is in the building of trust and consistency that we prove again and again in the smallest detail that we genuinely love someone over time.

Love is the things that we notice, know, and continue to learn and be open to discovering individually and together. No one falls in love without exploring themselves, their partner, and their combined impact and potential.

I would say the same thing about organizations trying to prove that they are inclusive.

There is no finish line, no checklist that says you have arrived; it is in the consistency of small mindful acts every day.

It is an invitation, not a command, to consider other perspectives in our interactions, to be prepared to have new conversations, say it, do things differently for the first time, and be open to asking questions instead of deciding between right and wrong.

Like falling in love, inclusion is a process, an investment not a product of a single training or book learning.

Inclusion is personal and collective, not fast food delivered to your door in a neat package.

It’s time to recognize that sometimes the journey requires us to have awkward first conversations about where we have been and where we are going. To step mindfully and be prepared to say and do things we didn’t realize would cause hurt or harm…and to apologize and try again.

Inclusion is for a lifetime, not just a moment in time.

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Brandi Heather
Brandi Heatherhttps://www.brandiheather.com/
I have always played outside the lines. With a Master’s degree in Physical Education and Inclusive Curriculum development. I've taught 1000’s students at colleges, universities, community organizations, schools, and businesses the value of inclusion, most often by helping them find first the value in themselves. I was often considered the quirky college professor who taught the "soft subjects" alongside the serious academics. I was known for showing up to a class with carts full of “unusual tools” including playdough and plaster to teach kinesiology, communication, and human service principles. I thrived in spaces where people didn’t quite fit because often, I also did not quite fit. My goal is not to make every space and person the same but to demonstrate the strength of difference. I am a Therapeutic Play Specialist, I speak locally and internationally on the power of play for growing from diversity to inclusion and igniting innovation and engagement in all levels of education, business, and community programming. In 2018 I left the world of “college professor” to start a journey into entrepreneurship. I have fallen down many times to get back up and do what I love. In the past 10 years, I have founded award-winning not-for-profit and for-profit businesses grounded in diversity and inclusion, mental health, and play. I am now my own company, Brandi Heather Consulting, helping to build organizations where people want to be by unleashing the extraordinary potential of people. I unpack the aversion to playing and unstructured play by utilizing the science of play to change the way we take care of ourselves, connect with others, and solve some of the greatest social challenges of our time. I wrote Return To Play, Rebuilding Resilience, Risk and Reconnection in 2021 to share my lived experience, passion, and dedication to getting the world back “in play".

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