125. How Our Values and Natural Preferences Help Us in Times of Disruption with Alethea Fitzpatrick

April 9, 2020

“Acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like it. It’s about confronting the truth and saying ‘this is what it is and these are things I can’t change’.”

Back in December 2019, when we were finalizing our new year resolutions and coming up with vision boards for the new year, who’d have imagined 2020 turning out the way it’s been?

But this is where we are. The good thing is, as much as the world seems intent on disrupting everything, there are a few things we count on to help us get through this madness. Two of those things are our personal values and our natural preferences — what makes us who we are.

I invited Alethea Cheng Fitzpatrick back on the show to explore the role our personal values and preferences play during times of disruption. Alethea runs Co-Creating Inclusion, a diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting firm that’s focused on helping companies drive equity and shift culture.

Alethea and I talk about how being self-aware and understanding of our natural preferences can help us manage our frustrations and anxiety level. We also examined how we can lean on our personal values, particularly for those in supervisory or managerial roles, to help manage our team sand community during this disruptive time.

Listen via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get podcasts.

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Here are a few highlights from this conversation:

It’s really about being reflective and being able to process what’s going on and understand and make sense of it. And I think under trauma and stress, it’s hard to create that time and space to do it, which is why it’s much so much harder to do right now. But I have found that it’s worth creating a little bit of space for me to be able to do that because ultimately that’s going to save me time. Because once I figured out why it’s so draining, I can shift my mindset around it.

Acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like it. Acceptance is really about confronting the truth and being like, ‘this is what it is and these are the things I can’t change.’ And so from that place of acceptance, not endorsement, we can then figure out how to move forward.

If you’re feeling at the end of your rope, then there may be more basic self-care… it’s not even self-care. It’s just basic survival that people might need to do first before they can get to the more reflective place.

Assimilation is different from inclusion. Inclusion is where you have a sense of belonging and you’re valued for who you are. Assimilation is when you kind of trade-in who you are in order to get that sense of belonging.

This is a time to give your staff grace, to give your team members grace. This is not a time to go into surveillance mode and to ask people to check-in or provide a log of how they spent their time and what they’re working on.

This is a global crisis. There is going to be a loss of productivity. We need to step out of that relentless push towards productivity and efficiency. It’s not happening right now. And asking or expecting that of yourself or your team is really inhumane right now.

My hope is that we can rise as a society. I hope enough of us can emerge out from this. I think we have a responsibility to those who are going to lose their lives during this, to learn from it and to keep a better world.


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