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Conscious Inclusion: We Expose How We Spark An Inclusive Mindset

Katie Adams

May 09, 2019

We’re really proud to have embarked on our second annual road show into regional NSW, delivering Conscious Inclusion workshops to an awesome client with sites across regional NSW.

If you have millions of people in one place, you’re naturally going to experience greater diversity, like in Australia’s capital cities.  Some people have a perception that Australia’s country towns are monocultural and not as diverse as the city, and there was some initial hesitation from participants as to the relevance of how conscious inclusion applies to them. However, we’re really pleased that at the end of the first two weeks, participant feedback has been overwhelmingly positive confirming conscious inclusion really is applicable to everyone.

So, how do these sessions run?

There are 3 basic components:

  • Theory
  • Putting into practice
  • A-HA! moments

We begin our sessions by exploring the way our brain processes information, which has evolved over time to protect us from harm and therefore feel safe with familiarity (aka our tribe); however, it has not kept up with the rapid technological advances that has revolutionised our current world.  Understanding how we form information-processing shortcuts is the first step to identifying our biases, so that we can become aware of them and how they affect our decisions.  It is only in slowing down our thinking and being aware of our biases that we are able to move to a more inclusive way of working.

While we use evidence-based research to increase cultural awareness in our participants, we know that learning only becomes knowledge when it is put into practice, so our sessions are less about educating and more about experiencing.  We facilitate in-depth discussion with our participants and work through case studies together, so that they leave the session with a deeper understanding of biased decision-making and are comfortable in adapting conscious inclusion in their everyday work lives. 

We have found that fostering an environment where we are able to have courageous conversations ensures that our participants feel safe to share their thoughts and concerns without judgement.  With a topic that can sometimes feel like a minefield where no one wants to be politically incorrect, finding comfort in honest communication is where we can really deep dive into the complexities of diversity and overcome our automatic thinking patterns.

What we really love at A Human Agency is that when we work in regional areas, we can unlock the diversity that already exists within the community.  Every person is unique and becoming more aware of this is one of the first steps to creating a more inclusive culture, whether in the community, at home, or at work.

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