Nikki Watkins_Purple hair and belonging.

Purple hair and belonging. #DIBs

How do we feel when we belong? How many times do we have belonging moments that matter? What belonging moments are we creating for others?

In the words of Pat Wadors SVP of Global Talent Organisation and CHRO at LinkedIN these are the new questions we need to be asking ourselves and others. The opening session at a recent workshop I was running for the female talent from their Global sales and marketing organisations, consisted of Pat story telling for 90 minutes. Personal, Insightful, meaningful stories, that touched the hearts of every woman in the room, and set the dynamic and expectation of authenticity for the next 2 days.

I have worked with many leaders in the last 18 years, and was moved to tears, laughter, surprise, excitement and joy during a roller coaster ride. Her stories are from her heart, not designed but manifest from within, and brought forth to elaborate on her journey to create D.I.B.s. It is not longer enough to talk about Diversity and Inclusion, we need to be speaking about Belonging. Meeting a deeper human need for social inclusion, this concept is being recognised and built on by the best academic institutions because the research Wadors has done so far demonstrates that belonging is in fact the key.

Imagine a world where you feel like you belong, that people around you bring you into relationships with others in a way that is not a brief introduction but is delivered in a way that brings meaning to why you belong at that moment.

This is a movement, a movement for belonging, the organisation already uses Acts of Inclusion as a mantra, now Pat is encouraging Acts of Belonging or Creating Belonging Moments. The women on the workshop were so moved by the conversation that surface level conversation dissolved and they brought their true selves to the room and the cohort around them.

I run workshops regularly for different leadership teams and experience true open hearts in many of them. The difference with this was the speed with which that happened. On reflection I wonder if this is because when we belong, we can truly be ourselves, be ready to share stories with others and be prepared to be truly seen.

Belonging has to become the new mission of every one.

I belong. I matter. I am worthy.

Dibs – Urban Dictionary Definition: – The most powerful force in the universe – it is used to call possession of a certain object or idea.

By Nikki Watkins, Chief Evolution Officer at Tyche Leadership Consulting Ltd