Looking for Blind Spots

| by Bert Armstrong

Happy New Year!  Happy leap year!  Happy new decade!  I hope you found just the right balance of celebration and reflection on the year that has passed, mixed with a strong dose of readiness and anticipation for what lies ahead in 2020.

Our Armstrong McGuire team is starting off the new year with some planning time as we seek opportunities to strengthen and expand our services to our nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. We would love to hear from you with any ideas you have for new services or improvements to what we are doing as we support our nonprofits and philanthropic clients.  Click here to share any thoughts.

We kicked off the new year with some discussions designed to better understand and appreciate the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in our personal and professional lives. We are excited to be studying the many ways in which we are impacted by our understanding of these issues. A huge shout out to Rev. Lisa Yebuah for her amazing facilitation and insights as our team launches this intentional journey over the next year. As we ended a discussion earlier this week, Lisa challenged us to make personal and team commitments that will guide us in our self-reflections through this process. Several of these have really stuck with me and I hope you find them helpful:

  1. Be aware of your blind spots. Deepen your understanding of why you think, speak, and behave the way you do. 
  2. Be your own role model. Learn to be honest about shortcomings and where you need to self-correct.
  3. Discover what your social networks look like. Examine the times in your life when you were the minority in a room or a situation. Think about what that feels like.     
  4. Be congruent with your “why.” Let your public self be a reflection of your true self.  People can sniff ‘B--- S---’ from far away.

We all want to believe that we are personally and professionally committed to the ideals of fairness and inclusiveness in our work and personal lives. As a team, we hope that our work over the past 15 years has reflected that ideal. We also believe that committing to this type of ongoing self-discovery work will help maintain an intentional and authentic approach to being in relationship with those who look, act, learn, and believe differently than ourselves.

The goal is not to be perfect on this journey and we embrace the discomfort we may feel along the way. We are eager to learn from others as well as from our own self-reflections and our mistakes. There will be times when we experience not being the best version of who we want to be, when we don’t have a good response or when we unintentionally use language that offends, when we lack the courage to stand up and speak up, or when our outward behavior may not reflect our inner desire for fairness and justice. During these times we will try our best to recognize our blind spots, be honest about our shortcomings, and self-correct. We will also invite discussions with our clients and colleagues that can add to our discovery. It's a journey and we welcome your company along the way.  

Have a terrific start to the new year and new decade. We look forward to crossing paths as together we strive to #DoGreatThings for our community!

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