The Power of Inclusion
Leading with Love,
Meditating with Compassion,
Circling with Courage
Cecilia B. Loving
Inclusive leadership is the cornerstone of inclusion. Without it, the vision, mission and goals of an inclusive culture cannot be sustained. We are all leaders. When we lead with integrity and vision, realizing the importance of our connections to everyone and everything, we change the world. How we lead ourselves will determine how we lead others. If we cannot lead ourselves, we will not be effective in leading others. Whatever we are able to give to ourselves, we will be able to share with those we lead. Authenticity, appreciation, transformation, and compassion are the cornerstones of a powerful leader.
We measure biases through mechanisms like the Implicit Association Test (the “IAT”), developed in the mid-90’s by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald. They discovered that IAT data revealed that 88% of white Americans have implicit bias against black people and that 48% of black people hold the same bias towards their own race. The toxins of bias run so deep that we cannot reduce them unless we change our consciousness, and the only way to do that is through the practice of meditation, which is included under the broader umbrella referred to “mindfulness” or listening without judgment.
One of the best tools available to address harm are healing circles, based on the indigenous teachings and values of the Tlingit and Tagish people of Canada who taught author and teacher Kay Pranis and Elizabeth Clemants and authorized them to teach the peacemaking circle process. Circles are equally important to build community and heal harm. By passing the talking piece, we can listen to concerns that we would not otherwise hear. We can offer resources to those we would not otherwise know are in need. We can renew ourselves and regain awareness of our purpose through the process of sharing our truth with others
Lessons on Leadership
“Ten Tools for Positive and Effective Leadership”
“Leading Through the Pandemic”
“Uplifting Presence, Purpose, Positivity, and Power Through Emotional Intelligence”
“Excellent Leadership is Inclusive Leadership”
“The Power of Inclusion”
“Mindfulness and Implicit Bias”
“Managing Stress to Manifest Success”
“Courageous Conversations on Racial Inclusion”
“#metoo: Its Moment, Its Movement and Its Momentum”
“Tips for Coping with Coronavirus-Induced Anxiety”
“Eliminating Bias Through Inclusive Leadership in the Law”
Thoughts on Meditation
Meditation is not meant to silence us but to strengthen us. A holistic approach includes inner work, interpersonal work, and intercultural systemic work—working within ourselves and between ourselves—to make society more inclusive from the inside out. We can’t end racism and other forms of hatred in the world until we heal it within.
The Power of Circles
Restorative circles, used by courts, prisons, schools, and others, are based on the belief that the relationships we need to enhance or even repair, will evolve naturally, through dialogue in a circle. The “Circle Keeper” formulates questions for the circle. A “talking piece” is passed to give everyone a chance to speak but only from their own experiences. No one interrupts. No one is required to speak, but everyone is invited. All participants are treated equally, regardless of rank or title. By building a foundation of wisdom based on shared stories, experiences, and perspectives, the circle becomes a container—strong enough to hold emotions that are difficult to process.