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Teachable Moments

If you are interested in elevating the conversation around race in your home, school, or workplace, tune in every Monday for Teachable Moment Mondays. Together we can change the world and spread a lot of love along the way!!

Today's teachable moment takes a look at how we can move through our feelings, acknowledge them, and then find a way to lift the person up in love so that we can release the energy and not take it personally. This especially applies when dealing with race-related issues. The journey to spiritual enlightenment (aka, living in love) is not one-size-fits-all. Sometimes we have to do a little extra to arrive at the same place, or as I like to say, "roll on the training wheels until we can roll on our own."

I realize that it's not so easy to stand up for someone else when standing up for yourself is next to impossible. Today's Teachable Moment explores a brief segment of my life when I was afraid to stand up for myself in the corporate environment because I didn't have the tools to do so diplomatically. Once my mentor provided me with those tools it became easier and easier to not only stand up for myself but to also do so for others in the face of injustice.

Last week I considered that my bias against another Black person indicated that I wasn't "woke." Several people assured me I was definitely "woke," but I got the feeling that I was being compared to the mainstream idea of "woke." So, today's Teachable Moment takes a look at Spike Lee's, "School Daze" and what I really meant when I questioned my "woke-ness." Take a listen and if this resonates with you, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts. What does "woke" mean to you?

Today's Teachable Moment was an Aha! Moment for me because in it, I discovered where bias showed up in my life, and I share this experience because it makes it painfully clear that no matter how "woke" I think I am...bias lives in me too! Bias is a dangerous thing that lives in our psyche and drives just about everything we do and experience. It drives prejudice and racism, which means even though we may not be actively racist or prejudice, bias is there making decisions about how we connect to one another.

Teachable Moment (not) Monday. I just witnessed a blatant act of racism on the beach while walking my dog, Tashi, and felt compelled to step in. I let LOVE lead the way and I took action. I can't tell you how good I feel for having done so. This is an excellent example of spreading a little love along the way. While the person I encountered didn't feel the love, the people I was speaking up for certainly did. Take a listen and let me know if you would have done the same thing? If not, why? Or, what would you have done differently?

Today's teachable moment discusses an experience I had with a "Karen" in the workplace and how I almost allowed this behavior to run me off what turned out to be the BEST experience of my career. It also taught me what it means to be a courageous leader and made me reconsider some sage words of advice from the best leader I've ever had - my mother! I hope this experience is helpful if you are dealing with your own "Karen" or perhaps leading one in your organization. Take a listen and if this resonates with you, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

What People Say

"I don't even know where to begin! Glodean, you called it; those companies not only missed out but were completely unaware of the talent they didn't get as a result of their bias. (Yeah, I'm hoping, perhaps naively, that it wasn't conscious bigotry.) Did no one at the temp agency recognize you when you wore the wig? To be seen is such a universal human need. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom and helping teach folks like me (white folks like me) to remember to look FOR and INTO the PERSON and not just AT the IMAGE we project onto others."

"Bravo, well said and well received. Reactionary responses based upon feelings can and often do result into confrontation. A loving and kind response wins every time and I feel like I walk away from any situation a winner, each and every time. Thank you for this very important lesson in love."

"I’m trying to do this too. When I hear what I THINK people are saying, it turns into a cascade of negativity. If I remove my (all too often) incorrect assumptions, it keeps my feelings regulated and allows me to reply and not react. Malcolm Gladwell’s most recent book “Talking to Strangers” has some really interesting insights into our inability to know what others are thinking when we listen to their words. I always used to tell my staff, ‘if you need something, please be direct with me. I truly can’t read minds.’"

"Glodean, these were powerful words about truly seeing one another. You raise a truly compelling question about whether I as a white person would expect someone black to walk around me on the sidewalk. Everything in me wants to shout, "Hell No!"...but I so appreciate you raising the question and I'm committed to being fully present next time to pay attention. Thank you for bringing forth hard topics, Glodean, and for leading with love."

"First thing I must say my Sista is Lovely Ankh You are wearing. Second- In order to love the black self and all its greatness, you must "Know Thyself" as our ancestors left as a reminder on the pyramid walls. Knowing your true history not lied "twistory" will empower each "black is beautiful" person beyond imagination. Proudly know that the entire world operates and survives from countless contributions born in the black mind. Peace"

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