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Prior to leading or facilitating meetings and groups, it is important to get yourself ready emotionally as well as technically. A well-designed agenda is great, but plans can go awry when difficult issues come up. “Getting ready” means spending time reflecting on your own emotional landscape. Learn to understand the factors that trigger your distress vs. those that open you to connecting, learning, and growing with others. Armed with this self-awareness, you will be ready to show up as a leader for equity.
Constructivist listening is a powerful strategy for engaging in conversations that are both intellectually demanding and emotionally challenging. The purpose of these listening structures is to allow new and clearer ways of thinking and acting to emerge. In constructivist listening processes, we put aside our own needs and “agendas” to offer the gift of deep listening to another human being, and the results can be profound.
Systemic oppression manifests on the individual, the interpersonal, the institutional, and the structural level. Using the Lens of Systemic Oppression can help us to think critically about our decisions and increase the predictability that our actions will lead to more equitable outcomes.