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Take a look at any leadership development curriculum, and you’ll see a range of courses — organizational behavior, strategic management, coaching, etc. — aimed at developing effective employees and fostering workplace culture. And when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), one thing is conspicuously missing from yet integral to that list: Courageous Conversations.

The degree to which an organization welcomes, or avoids, conversations that many consider difficult plays a major role in building, or inhibiting, a culture of inclusion. Without courageous conversations, a culture of silence can fester and limit an employee’s sense of belonging.

What is a…

Last week, a colleague of mine sent me an article that really resonated with me. It was called Why People of Color Need Spaces Without White People (written by Kelsey Blackwell) and dove into that discussion head first. I loved every bit of it! It also hit home because I was in the process of creating such a space for my fellow clinicians. The article was timely. My conversation with my colleague (who sent the me article and happened to be white) was timely. And so was the space I created for clinicians of color.

As clinicians we’re in constant…

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Some of the most traumatizing things a person can experience can happen in the workplace. Many definitions typically reference events such as layoffs/job losses, workplace violence, natural disasters, and the death of a colleague. These don’t account for the more pervasive, targeted actions that happen at work. Employees can also experience trauma as a result of discrimination while on the clock. What makes it so dangerous is there are too many opportunities to hide or explain away the actions of an employer… too little support and relief offered to an employee who’s subjected to harm. Or worse, no space that…

Throwing out inhibitions, practicing forgiveness, and expressing appreciation in an unlikely place — these risks will help you get out of your comfort zone and into the life you really want to live.

Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

I’m pretty sure my life sucked until I decided to take risks. Just thinking of the unknown made me want to stay in my shell. I felt comfortable there. It was safe. While there is nothing wrong with being safe, I couldn’t shake the feeling in my gut that told me I was missing out on life. It was passing me by. So, last year I decided…

Charmaine Utz, LCSW

Charmaine Utz is a consultant and bias coach for leaders and clinicians based in San Diego, CA.

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