Ms. Deepa Purushothaman (per-shaw-tho-man), the author of the book The First, The Few, The Only, once joined me on my podcast to talk about women of color and their similar lived experiences in corporate America at the C-Suite level.
I don’t mind telling you that as I was preparing for our broadcast, I thought deeply about my own experiences in corporate America and how those experiences have shaped me and fostered the cultivation of my voice in the diversity conversation.
As a C-Suite trusted advisor, my priority is balancing the need to meet my clients where they are with the need to remain true to myself. Striking that balance between the lived experiences I facilitate in the moment, with my everyday lived experiences, is a part of me that my listeners get a glimpse of occasionally.
Sometimes my lived experience involves personally processing the latest hate crime in the news just before facilitating a workshop or conducting an executive coaching call. It’s my job to initiate those conversations with the goal of promoting reflective learning and facilitating experiential activities that may cause discomfort, but in a psychologically safe way. Not because I am trying to make people uncomfortable, but because our shared reality as human beings can be unsettling when we consider the many facets of the vast array of human experiences that we don’t think twice about unless brought to our attention one way or another.
However, if we are willing to become comfortable with the discomfort that comes with raising our awareness in ways that cultivates the ability to be mindful of ourselves and each other, then we’re all doing the work, not just me.