What comes to your mind when you think about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? In this week’s webinar, our panel members Pompi Banerjee, a Life Coach and Queer Affirmative Psychologist, PCC coach Dr. Komal Smriti, and Coacharya CEO Magda Walczak spoke about what comes in the way of people seeing unity.
When I think of unity, I think about the societal norms that so often come in their way. I think caste, religion, ethnicity, and gender create divides between people. It could give people a sense of superiority based on the societal perception of what is considered to be more powerful.
As Komal, PCC, panel member shared about the diversity that exists in India, she also raised a question that I thought was very important. She spoke about the sensitive subject of inter-caste marriages. “Your own family may go to the extent of disowning you just because somebody chose to marry outside their caste or religion. What is that one thing greater than love and compassion?”
This got me thinking, will we ever be able to come to a place of complete inclusion? I don’t know but what Pompi shared resonated with me. Pompi talked about an example from her workplace where a client asked if as a counsellor, she would also hold space for their abuser. In a conflicting situation, what do coaches or counsellors do? “I asked myself why I have to be inclusive, and I realized that it is my need to be inclusive because it’s in my value system. Because I know what exclusion can do to people. Whenever I have noticed myself excluding someone, it has been a product of some deep-seated fear or anxiety.”
Magda raised an essential question about the nuances coaches should be aware of. Are there any rules of engagement with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion that coaches should pay closer attention to? For Pompi, the answer lay in thinking about what would make the client feel heard, seen, and respected.
As a budding coach, I was curious to learn how coaching can create a space for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Everyone wants their existence to be respected and I resonated with the thought of hearing the client out wholly, acknowledging and respecting their intrinsic dignity.
As I close out, I want to reiterate what Magda shared. “ Diversity brings along something we would have never expected or never known. It’s a different experience and that’s where growth occurs. When we are pushed out of our comfort zones, our minds open up to new ways of thinking. We get a perspective we did not have before.”
I encourage you to watch this webinar to know more about DEI and how coaches function with respect to it. Feel free to share your thoughts with us on CoachNook or in the comments below.
Webinar: Being a Coach Series – What Comes in the Way of People Seeing Unity?
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