Reinvesting in Women: The Future of Nonprofit Leadership
DonorPerfect Community Conference 2023 session with speaker Tycely Williams
Categories: DPCC, Tools
Reinvesting in Women: The Future of Nonprofit Leadership TranscriptPrint Transcript
DonorPerfect community conference. I hope that you are feeling as refreshed today as I am. My name is Jonathan and I will be your host for this session. You’re in track number two, attending the session reinvesting in women, the future of nonprofit leadership. Before I Read More
DonorPerfect community conference. I hope that you are feeling as refreshed today as I am. My name is Jonathan and I will be your host for this session. You’re in track number two, attending the session reinvesting in women, the future of nonprofit leadership. Before I introduce your speaker, I want to remind you to stick around at the conclusion of the session for a q&a. You can submit any questions you have during the session. And don’t forget to take the poll in the sidebar to submit your interest in learning more about this topic. That poll will be available as soon as the session starts. Tyson Williams, CFR E is an award winning C suite executive leads inclusive, innovative and high performing happy teams, she has raised and managed more than $600 million in her 26 year career. As Chief Development Officer for the Bipartisan Policy Center, she crafts strategies to fuel common sense solutions that promote health, security and opportunity for all Americans. Nicely, go ahead and take it away.
Jonathan, I want to thank you for the excellent introduction. And I certainly want to extend an enormous dose of gratitude to all our fundraising friends who have joined us to refresh. So before we get started, I wanted to begin with an introduction, not only of myself, but for while we are all gathered, which is to refresh, which essentially boils down to our shared interest in restoring our strength. I want you to sit with that for a second. What does it take for you to restore your strength? I’d like to invite you to drop in the chat. What it means to you to refresh. For me it’s vacationing. So if I were to introduce myself through this lens of desiring and needing a refresh, I would turn to the amazing benefits of a vacation. I would love for you to share a little bit about what enables you to refresh? How do you create space an opportunity to regain your strength. And while we’re doing that, I’m just going to shift a little bit more to talk generally about why we are gathered for most of us strength, rest, and our ability and our understanding not only of ourselves, but our understanding as it pertains to how we show up and various situations in circumstances. As fundraisers and relationship builders, we must often rely on the ability to form, forge start and sustain trusted relationships. What’s really important to denote is that relationship building is something naturally that occurs between two human beings, often for the sake of pushing and pressing forward, a shared goal or interest. Within your work environment, there are various identities that exist. And within those varied identities, you also have varied interest, and strengths. You’ll see in the chat box that many of you have denoted ways in which you restore and refresh. And you might see that there’s some commonalities, and there’s some variances. What makes not only the chatbox diverse, but what also makes our environments diverse, is the representation of difference. Today, we’re going to spend a little bit of time talking about the need to not only recognize what it means for certain women who are underrepresented. But what it means for the entire organization to create a culture by which those of us that may be underrepresented can still find a space that we can bring our talents, our abilities, our strengths and our interest, all for the sake of advancing our missions. So at the very top, I want to underscore The reason why we’re having this conversation isn’t to simply point out differences. But to create a sound case for why inclusive leadership is important. Jonathan did a fantastic job centering my success, and actually quantifying it by the number of dollars that I’ve raised. What Jonathan didn’t disclose is the secret sauce tied and connected to the way in which I’ve been able to raise dollars is by building diverse teams, and oftentimes relying on the untapped abilities of underrepresented identities. And we’re going to talk a little bit more about that. I want to begin with this defining notion that your belief, what ever belief it is that you possess, it is going to influence your behavior. So think about that for a moment, what comes in, comes out. And so when we are depositing things in our minds, we actually act in accordance to what we’ve accepted as true to what we’ve encountered, and to what we may not even consciously know, has been deposited. The first thing I want to underscore whether you yourself are like me, and you represent an underrepresented identity. Or if you are someone of the majority, that it’s really important that once you look at your set of circumstances, through that relational lens, that you never adopt a defeatist mindset, simply because your identity may be underrepresented. Does it mean that you don’t have the competency and the ability to project to affirm to contribute to win, we’re going to talk a little bit about how you can adopt coping mechanisms, so that the perceived element of the majority does not force you to discount or discredit your own abilities. And it’s also important if you are sitting in the seat of someone who happened to have identities that reflects the majority, that you to understand and recognize that the way you win the way you set your team up for success, the way you bring in the most dollars for your mission is to ensure that you’re diversifying your strategies and tactics. And I’m not just talking about the sources of income. You see, we talk a lot about diversification as relationship builders and as fundraisers. But oftentimes, our reference to diversification ties to corporate, foundations, individuals, I want you to hold on to the notion of what diversification is, which means introducing variants. And I want you to look at the term diversification through the lens of identities. So because our beliefs will actually influence our behavior, let’s ease into ways in which we can adopt a mindset of victory. When you learned a little bit about who I am, you hear that I spend my day as the Chief Development Officer at the Bipartisan Policy Center. But you don’t necessarily know a lot about my journey. And what led me to this space. As I talk to the beliefs that have influenced my behavior. I’m going to center one of my favorite teachers. And I want to invite you to also think through your sources of inspiration and information. Because your mentor, role model, aspiring human being may be different than mine. But I want to introduce you to one of my college professors, Dr. Maya Angelou, who had lots of claims. Dr. Angelou would often say to us, I believe I learned that people will forget what you said. People will often forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. As relationship builders, one of the Most prominent, and the most pronounced commitments we have is to ensure that as people invest in our mission, that they feel appreciated, and that they feel and sense our gratitude. I want you to ask, How often have you signaled that same spirit of gratitude and appreciation to yourself? Seriously, we spend countless hours a day forming and forging solicitations. And then we pair them with stewardship. And we do it all for the sake of ensuring that those wise investments are likely to continue, month over month, year over year.
Financial resources are not possible without human resources. And you, my fundraising friend, are one of the primary reasons why the financial resources are deposited and invested into the work. So one bit of advice that I have, as we give thought to how will we refresh and restore our strength is that we begin by acknowledging that our individual contributions should first be affirmed and appreciated by ourselves. I want to make sure that you’re shifting the power dynamic a bit. And realizing and recognizing that work isn’t about stepping into a set of circumstances, and making sure that you’re receiving praise, whether it’s necessary or unnecessary, but you yourself are seeing your work. And you are depositing good thoughts into your mind as it pertains to the individual contributions you’re making. Because we are relational, and we’re building relationships, we also find ourselves spending a lot of time contemplating whether or not the people we work alongside of whether it’s our colleagues, whether it’s board members, whether or not they actually make us feel appreciated, make us feel as if our contributions are meaningful, and make us feel as if we belong, even when we’re underrepresented. Introduce a visual prior to rolling out a five, our framework that has really helped me as someone who often finds herself being underrepresented, increase my sense of self, when I’ve had to combat and deal with those things that try to subtract my strength that try to withdraw my superpower. And I’m going to share this framework in hopes that it’s going to help you refresh, renew, and continue to find the energy that you need to not only win for the organization, but to win for yourself. So friends, I want to start with a very simple visual. You’ll see here there are some wooden cutouts, and I first want you to reflect on the question. What do you see? That’s similar. And for those of you that may need accommodations, please drop in the chat box, if so, and we will make sure that we’re able to express what’s before us here on the laptop in the screen. So what do you see that denotes commonality, you probably would recognize that the sizes of the cutouts appear to be the same. You might also denote that the height, the width that the material used appears to be the same they all appear to be wood structures. Now I may ask what do you see? That’s difference? Where is the variants? There’s a probability that you would denote the color. Some shapes are actually turned a different direction. You may also denote that the lighting hits differently on different cutouts. Regardless of what you’ve identified, I would like to adopt the word community to speak to what we have gathered here. You See, I believe whenever people come together for a shared purpose, the ultimate aim of relationship builders is to form and forge community. And you’ll see here in the font that I’ve identified and centered for you right at the bottom of the screen. At the end of commune, you will see the word unity. And they’re smack dab in the middle, you’ll see the capital letter I, I’d like to believe that the eye and community often denotes individualism. And I think that the individualism is the most important piece for us to hone in on as it pertains to creating a sense of belonging. What’s really important to introduce as we continue talking about identities, is a scientific term known as intersectionality. Many of you are probably familiar by the term by now, it was actually introduced in 1989 by an esteemed Law Professor Kimberly Crenshaw, she used the term intersectionality to describe how race, gender and other individual characteristics intersect, and often compound as it pertains to the presence of conscious or unconscious bias. I referenced earlier that we all get up, we find our way to work, whether it’s virtually or in person, and we’re grinding it out day in and day out, and we bring our whole selves. For me, one element of my identity, that’s intersectional is my race, as well as my gender as well as my age. So I am a black female, who is also over the age of 40. And there within all those intersecting identities, I have the ability to either feel as if, as I’m looked at as a whole, that I’m part of a community that represents my identities, or part of a community that does not.
Here’s the piece that I think that’s really important. Whether you are represented in the spaces where you’re forming community, or whether you’re underrepresented in the spaces where you’re forming community is that my wise professor Dr. Angelou used to say, if you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Here within comes a really difficult and often delicate set of circumstances as it pertains to who we are. And that which we can and cannot control in work environments. All of us get up every day, and we grind it out in exchange for compensation. And even when we’re working internally, to try to write set cultures that may not be best suited for us, we are still oftentimes working within environments that may be stressful, that may cause undue strain. And that may make the work of fundraising even more difficult than it has to be. Here’s the reality friend, I wish I could say to you, there was a magic wand, where we could just erase all microaggressions, where you would never have to deal with feeling less than or being offended. The reality is there’s a high probability that the offense you experience today will likely be repeated tomorrow, there’s an even greater probability that someone’s going to have a stereotype as it pertains to the visual identity markers that rest within you when you enter a room. When you begin to make a comment. When you’re contributing to a project. The piece that you can control are the internal reactions to the external conditions. So think about it. If your belief influences your behavior, the first thing that you’ve got to safeguard against is that you are not letting those externalities tell you and falsely teach that you are less than even when other people may send signals even when they explicitly say it in ways that are offensive in ways that discount you in ways that exclude you. You must make sure But that you are maintaining the proper perspective, and that you’re recognizing the power you have over the situation in your set of circumstances. Because you’re a lifelong learner, and we share that in common. You’re here because you signed up to refresh, you wanted to restore your strength, so that you could step back into fundraising with a renewed sense of encouragement, and an increased sense of support. So before we go any further and before I roll out the scientific framework, I want to applaud you for devoting your time, effort and energy to being a lifelong learner. The other piece I’ll say, is what has worked well for me, is to determine what’s major and what’s minor. As a young girl growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, my mother would often instill teachable moments. And she would often encouraged me to just discount people who thought that I was unable to achieve things because of my identity. And I learned early on that what matters most, if my beliefs are influencing my behavior, if I know that I have the ability to raise my fundraising goal, if I know I have the ability to lead happy and healthy teams, what matters most is that I am speaking that truth to myself. And then I’m not majoring in the minor. And in work environments, a lot of what’s minor is tied to what other people think, and to what other people say. And I know that it feels as if I’m deducing this down to a very simplistic perspective. But friends they’re within is the secret sauce. It is. And I’m going to step into what I have adopted as five stages and tips for self reflection. So if we’re going to build on the need to refresh, and we understand the value proposition tied to increasing our strength, we’ve got to recognize that we have to arm ourselves with the proper perspective, that our mindset is equally as important as the skill sets that we possess. As frontline fundraisers and relationship builders. I’m going to walk you through an evidence based reflection exercise, there’ll be a link for you to learn a little bit more about the social science tied and connected to this. This five, our framework was actually introduced through the University of Edinburg. And it really centers around when you find yourself in environments, and there tends to be this repeated situation. How do you set yourself up for success by reflecting on the occurrence so that when you see those types of things occurring in the future, you are able to maintain control, and to ensure that your beliefs are influencing behaviors that are going to be constructive, and behaviors that are going to serve and suit you. So we’re going to talk through these in a simplistic way. And the good news friends is that I’m going to leave time, probably about 15 minutes to open it up for questions. I want to hear from you. And I want us to have real dialogue around how we can adopt this in our working environments to be of use. So the first piece we’re going to start with is reporting, then we’re going to shift to responding, relate relating, reasoning, and reconstructing. So let’s begin talking about reporting. What does it mean to report and how can we set ourselves up for success?
So, oftentimes, we find ourselves dealing with conscious and unconscious bias. Of course, the conscious bias is often tied to people having an advance or an eventual understanding of the offense. Unconscious This means they may not have known that they offended you that they belittle you that they created an environment where your belonging was questioned. But here’s the deal, whether it was conscious or unconscious, it still stings. It still hurts, it still is damaging, we still find ourselves on the receiving end of that questioning our worth questioning what we did, wondering, is there something about me, when in actual reality, the offense is tied to the individual who is the offender. But here’s what I do friends, because I, too, am a lifelong learner. I set into these, I step into these circumstances, with an attempt to learn and not necessarily to learn more about the offender. But to learn more about myself. Because if Dr. Angelou is correct, and trust me, in all sets of circumstances, she has always proven to be 100%. Correct. If I can’t change something, I have to learn how to change my attitude, so that I’m not self sabotaging. And then I’m protecting my mental state. And I’m setting myself up for success. So in the reporting phase, I kind of give a description of the experience or the problem or the issue. Maybe it was something simple, like a colleague said something that offended me. And so I would really give a brief description of what happened. What were some of the key aspects of the situation? Was there something that someone else said? Or did? Was there something that I said? Or did I actually define the actors, the people who were present when the situation occurred, and I also report out on what I did, in some instances, maybe I had a reaction or response. In some instances, maybe I swallowed it and internalized it. And no one may have heard me speak to it. But maybe I had a reaction physically, or maybe I reacted to something else. That wasn’t really pertaining to that issue. But it was pertaining to another issue, which was actually tied to an offense earlier. What’s really important in the reporting stage, is to the best of your ability that you are posing open ended questions only for you to have insight into, to do your best to understand what happened. And communication is really important in this phase. And friends, you’re not communicating with anyone at this stage, you’re only self reflecting on what occurred. And so you want to do your best to find words or to find ways to describe the instance, after you have a clear sense of the incident, and you’re able to report out on what happened, it then is important to shift into the response stage. And this is where you provide your personal response to the situation. So once you’ve decided I’ve recapped who was involved? I recapped. What happened? Now I’m going to respond and actually speak to how did what happened make me feel like we’re not robotic human beings, grinding it out, day in and day out. We’re raising money for great missions. And in the process of doing things, we’re feeling things along the way. So I want you to like give thought to how the offense the incident, how it makes you feel. And then what did you think? Were you thinking something adversely about yourself? Were you thinking something it firstly about the offender? Were you thinking about how ridiculously unfortunate circumstances are? How did it make you feel and think it’s really important to center feelings? Because as frontline fundraisers we focus so much on how donors and partners and volunteers and board members, we are so so prioritized on everyone else’s feelings, that we’ve suppressed our ability to feel anything we because we’re conditioned, we’re rewarded, we’re taught that the only feelings that matter are the feelings tied to those who are investing in our mission, once you have a clearer sense of what occurred, and you’ve reported that out, and then you’ve used expressions to actually give an understanding to yourself on how you responded, what you thought and how you felt, it’s now time to shift into relating. The relating phase is actually tied to the provision of your understanding of how that particular situation related to your own knowledge and past experiences. You see, friends, for many of us, we’ve been at this frontline fundraising for a wild, we’ve been building relationships with people who look like us people who don’t look like us, people who understand us, people who don’t understand us people who like us, people who don’t like us, people who wants to get to know us people who don’t want to get to know us. And all of those circumstances compound into our present day mindset. So we want to relate the current present situation, to whether or not we’ve seen this in the past. And was there something similar or different about it? We also want to like, seriously challenge ourselves to question, do I have skills and knowledge to deal with this? I think one of the greatest growth moments for me in my career, was realizing and recognizing that I didn’t have to solve problems in a cocoon and on an island and by myself, even the problems that dealt with my own interpersonal related issues. So whether that was whether or not I could agree with a colleague on a fundraising goal. Whether or not it was can I reach shared understanding with a prospect researcher on what an appropriate ask should be?
It’s important to pose those questions about the past, as it relates to the present, to make sure we are cataloging what we need, and possibly what we don’t have an order to confront and deal with the issue at hand. You see, the piece that’s important about the relating phase, is you really reflecting on your own knowledge, and your own ability to grass and gain assets to help you push and press through the current set of circumstances. So again, we’ve reported, we’ve responded, and now we’re trying to relate to the situation. And in some instances, maybe you can’t relate. Maybe this is the first time where you’ve experienced sexual harassment as a fundraiser with the donor, placing their hand on your leg. Maybe that’s like, Wow, I’ve never seen this before. And this is different, because in my 20 years, I’ve never been touched. And maybe this offense is leading me to feel a certain way. And again, once you’ve processed through all of that, the question is, do I have the skills and knowledge to deal with this. And friends, this is where being a lifelong learner really comes into play. You don’t necessarily have to have the skills, the knowledge, the supports the resources, but you’re going to leave here with increased confidence and knowing how to activate courage to advocate for yourself, because the unfortunate piece is you would think that we would journey through life with people having enough good sense to since a know what we need to ensure that there’s an element of fairness where we don’t have to advocate for ourselves. Well, the reality is, we oftentimes have to reason not only to influence our own beliefs, so that our behaviors are influenced so that we can self advocate so that we do know how to defend ourselves. But we also have to activate reasoning so that when we engage in conversations with other people who have offended us who don’t understand us that we’re able to form and forge an understanding of what’s most important to us. And again, we are in seats of power. This exercise is not about processing through what’s best for the organization. This is about processing through what’s best for you, as an ambassador for the organization, who is tasked with bringing in the financial resources that are needed. So in the reasoning stage, you’re beginning to explore and explain the situation or the experience. And here, you’re beginning to ask questions like, What is the most important aspect? Are there people who can help me make sense of the situation? You know, I have set with it on my own. But do I now need to step into having conversations, difficult, but necessary conversations, sintering experiences, asking people to help us better understand their reactions. And you also maybe need to just affirm that this is the way I reacted. But maybe I’m going to ask for different opinions and perspectives from people that I trust that I know, just to differ just to discern that my thinking is clear here. You know, the thing about bias friends is that we all experience bias. And we all discriminate, even those of us who are underrepresented. This is not one of my finest moments. But it is a time that I think helps to provide clarity and a sense of understanding around discrimination. I was back in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. And I was actually going to a private club to meet a dear friend for dinner. While doing so, I was driving a spare car that belongs to my mother. And if you know anything about my mom, you know, she is the supreme queen of utility. So if it runs, it functions, it’s fine. So it didn’t have a brand new spiffy rental car, I was literally using my mom’s spare car. And I drive up to this private club. And immediately behind me, here comes an older white gentleman on a golf cart. And before I could even say, or do anything, my mind began to form and forge a narrative around what I was experiencing and what is happening. And it was a likely reaction because as a black woman growing up in the Deep South, more often than not, when an older white man is following you. It is usually to pose a question about whether or not you belong, and especially being at a private club. And so I pull into the parking space. And I had already formed my thoughts and my opinions and my perspective on what was about to go down. And as I got out of the car and locked the car and started walking in the direction of the golf cart, already arming myself to have yet again, one of these conversations around, what are you thinking and doing, asking me about whether or not I belong? As I approached the gentleman, he said, Hi, I was following you to make sure that you didn’t have to walk all the way from the back of the parking lot. Because this time of day, we’re always full. And since you’re at the back of the parking lot, I wanted to be the first to warmly welcome you to the club, and to make sure you were dropped off at the front door. Now, I was shocked. And that actually challenged my thinking and it challenged the past perspectives that I had about that particular identity. You see, in my mind, I was forming a thought that an older white man driving a golf cart at a private club would confront me about my presence and actuality this gentleman was actually helping and not harming me. So in this reasoning stage, this is maybe where since I don’t know the gentleman maybe I go to someone and say, Hey, this situation went down and before I fall my thoughts and my opinions and maybe even before the gentleman can ask or say anything, maybe I say, Do you have any different perspectives on how I’m interpreting this? Is it possible that it may have gone down a different way. And so you’re inviting people to help serve as thought partners, as your reasoning what has happened, you then want to find yourself in this reconstructing phase. And for frontline fundraisers, I think the reconstructing kind of goes two ways. The reconstructing can be centered internally with self. And it can also be an external reconstruction, where you’re engaging in conversations with others. And essentially, in the reconstructing phase, you want to reframe, or just kind of reconstruct the conclusions, you want to go back to the previous four stages. And you want to kind of develop a plan of action for what comes next. Because as I’ve shared with you, your beliefs are going to influence your behavior. And inevitably, when you’re working with other people, whether it’s your internal colleagues, whether it’s external relationships, we’re going to have to form and forge connections. And we want to make sure that as we reconstruct things, that we have a deeper understanding of what we’ve learned, and of what we’re trying to achieve, really honing in on the relating, and the reasoning stages to help us set ourselves up for the future. And in the reconstructing phase, you may ask questions like,
what may work in the future? Are there things that I should do should have done? That may help me better address my own reactions? Or are there things that I can reconstruct, that I might need to express or share with offenders? Now, here’s the deal. Friends, a lot of people when I talk about reconstructing save, yeah, but it seems really simple and really silly, that the onus has to be on me to go to a fender and say, hey, I want to break down this offense. And I want to help you reconstruct your silly reaction so that in the future, you won’t offend me and you won’t offend other people. What I say to you, friends, is that you should not reconstruct every set of circumstances, you need to process through what’s high stakes, what’s low stakes, who are people that as long as you’re in that environment you’re going to have to deal with and what is worth you exerting this level of energy, for you to partner with someone to help reconstruct their reaction based upon you helping them gain deeper insights and understanding of their offense. That’s where you open it up for questions, I want to end with something that my amazing professor would always say. And it is that nothing will work unless you do. I wish I could say, there’s a magic wand that we could wave when we find ourselves exhausted, and overworked by people who have offended us and misunderstood us, and who have literally not created a sense of belonging. And all of that just draws our energy versus empowering our strength. But the reality friend, is that you do have choice. You’re not required to stay in any environment, you don’t need to be a martyr for the mission. If it feels as if it’s too heavy of a lift, then you know how to step forward and exclude explore other career options. But until you land in a healthier set of circumstances, or if there’s one or two individual offenders that you’re dealing with in an environment that is otherwise healthy, you have to discern whether or not the work is worth it. Maybe there are other mechanisms that you adopt. And you say, I’m not necessarily willing to do the work. If you are willing to do the work. I hope you will recognize that there is strength in supports. One of the most important things you can do for yourself, as you’re reflecting on what you need in the five. Our framework is to recognize when you have what you need, and to recognize when you don’t and Oftentimes what you don’t have is something that can’t be gifted in granted solely by yourself. Sometimes you have to advocate for what you need internally. So I want to make sure you recognize that as you shift into refreshing, that strength comes from being strong, from advocating from seeking support. And I don’t want you to overlook the importance of assistance. With the spirit of summer, being right around the corner, I want to share three resources that I also think will provide tangible ways in which you can refresh. And I want to thank my dear friend, Sophie, who’s amazing, and always helping me to understand how I as a lifelong learner can continue to find peace, and my own individual sense of belonging in places where I feel and sense that I’m underrepresented. Each of these are especially useful and helpful for women of color. So you’ll see here, there are books that provide information and inspiration. And I hope you’ll take a moment to give yourself an added bonus this summer, that picking up one of these must reads. And with a dose of inspiration before we open it up for questions, the unfortunate piece is Dr. Angelou would say that we may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated, it may even be necessary to encounter the defeat, so that we can know who we are. And it is in that spirit of knowing who we are, I want to invite you to also download at no costs. This amazing resource that DonorPerfect has put together. It’s an actual nonprofit leadership workbook for women, it allows you to sit with some of these open ended questions to learn more about who you are, who are your What are your core values? How do you make decisions against those, what’s the vision for the aspirational self that you want to be and the career goals that you want to accomplish? I’m confident that you’ll get more insights on how to download the workbook. But I also want to encourage you to use this as a support. And I also want you to see the highlighted lift experiences of many women who are also in our shoes, their fundraisers, and relationship builders and mothers. And they identify in a variety of different identities that are underrepresented. And with that, I’m going to open it up for some questions.
Tastefully thank you so much. I cannot overstate what a great job of that presentation was the the self reflection that you mentioned, it’s so practical and so helpful. And I am sure everyone attending is going to benefit from that just as much as I am. Before we jump into questions, I want to give everyone a reminder that the keynote speaker, Jun Gary will be her session will start at 3:30pm Eastern Time, which is 11 minutes from now. So we’re going to do questions just for about seven minutes. So we can wrap up and give everyone a break before the keynote speaker starts. The first question I want to jump to is there’s an anonymous question that came in. What do you do if you come to the realization that you are holding on to resentment for someone that you work with regularly? Should I follow the self reflection steps from the beginning? What if you can’t let it go? Is it time to move on? Can you speak about some of this prep what goes through your head when you hear that?
Yes, well I want to sin, you know, a virtual hug and that’s in a really hard and difficult place to be in. I would say you want to sit with your true feelings. And even if you want your feelings to be something other than what they are, you have to rest with where you are at this moment in time. The other piece is you have to give yourself permission to realize and recognize that sometimes there are people that we are unable to form and forge healthy relationships with That doesn’t mean that the person needs to be discounted. But the relational value and the way in which you react, it’s definitely that some types of modifications are going to have to occur. It seems like when you find yourselves in those set of circumstances that more often than not, it is time to pose the question, is it time to move on? Is there an opportunity to advocate to work within a different department? Is there opportunity to consider a different reporting structure? And if the answers to those questions are no, I think you naturally find yourself reflecting on the trade off. Am I able to work with this environment recognizing the pain point that exists here? Or is it time for my own self care, my own empowerment, my own ability to cope, to begin to make choices and decisions that will land me in a new working environment?
Really well said that it’s a tricky thing to navigate. And I think that you get some really practical help. for that. I think we probably only have time for one or two more questions. But please don’t hesitate to type your questions in the chat or in the q&a. For those that are attending. Here’s one more question from the q&a. What are the best ways to encourage organizational diversity when the leadership does not reflect?
Yes, that’s a really, really hard one. The one piece that I’ll say, I often turn to the data. No matter what country in the world you’re living in, and especially here in the US, we are dealing with change. The future is more diverse. So whether you’re looking at racial and cultural diversity, whether you’re looking at sexual orientation, and I oftentimes encourage us to serve as internal advisors who demonstrate to decision makers, that the choices we’re making today is actually leading to who and what we will be tomorrow. And we want to build a brand and an organization and a mission that is embraced by as many people and identities as possible. And we begin by forming and forging those relationships by making sure the people that we are forming community with that they can see themselves in the community that we formed. And in the event, we haven’t made progress in diversifying our community, we should begin with recommendations. And you can do that by looking at the data and saying, Hey, by 2033, from a racial and cultural perspective, the millennial generation will actually the majority will be people of color. We don’t have a lot of representation. You may also give consideration to other underrepresented identity markers, and what is the data telling you about how the future is being formed and shaped to actually include more of those identities? I think it’s important for all organizations to do some internal audits, to say, hey, we need to start with some benchmarks. If we’re not where we want to be, let’s at least create shared understanding around where we are. And let’s adopt some aggressive but realistic goals on year over year. How do we make progress towards diversifying our community from identity markers. And again, diversification is something that we know a lot about as fundraisers, but I want us to challenge ourselves to think about it through the lens of identity, and not just tied to the sources of fundraising.
Well said, tightly, thank you so much for all this information. Um, we’re gonna end with one last question. And then I’ll give you an opportunity to make some closing remarks before we end this session. So on behalf of all of us, thank you, thank you for speaking today. So last question here. How would you manage competition between women coworkers, when a leading woman as an executive director won’t let you grow professionally or doesn’t believe in your capacity? What would you say to that?
Wow, I tell you, the queen bees are real. I will say that it’s important to not internalize the reactions that you’re getting from a woman who is not building you up, but yet gearing you down. Recognize that you aren’t delusional, that if you’re able to form and forge such an articulate expression of what could be happening, that that is what’s happening. And the question is, how do you parachute up and out, versus using your energy to change someone who is not worth you trying to convince them to change? What needs to change in that set of circumstances is you moving on to an organization that is going to value you looking for women who are going to champion your leadership, and recognizing that at this particular moment in time, you don’t have that within your organization? You are worthy and you deserve to be affirmed, not only by yourself, not only by men, by women, and by individuals who have varied identities. So don’t be a mission for the martyr. Don’t overlook what is happening. Just begin to start slowly using this time to develop your exit strategy.
And it’s excellent sage wisdom and very empowering advice. Totally. Thank you so much. We’re gonna go to a break now and everyone please join us at 3:30pm for the keynote speaker, John Geary, reigniting innovation within your organization. Thank you again so much.
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