Session 6: Communicating in Polarizing Times:
Words Matter
November 12, 2019

Communication matters! The words you choose matter if you truly want to create an inclusive environment.  At the heart of this choice is emotional intelligence: “Emotional intelligence skills are leadership skills are equity skills,” says Fleur Larsen, presenter of this session.  

 

This experiential session emphasizes communication in the form of Equity Leadership Skills, necessary skills for building equity, which is the context for how power and privilege play out. The spoken and unspoken cultural norms of communication are key pieces to advancing racial equity in yourself, and in your workplace. Here in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) we have a unique flavor of communication norms referred to as passive aggressive and conflict aversion. Based on WASP (white, anglo, saxon Protestant and middle class), the PNW regionally values indirect and 'watered down' sharing of information. This is significant because it is hard to manage for something if you cannot name it clearly for everyone to understand. Tone policing, vagueness, deflecting, blaming the messenger for bringing up things rather than engaging in the content of the message, civility politics, conflict aversion, etc., are a few forms this takes.

 

Words may convey respect and dignity, or shame and distrust. Words set the tone in the culture of an organization. Participants at this session will come away with greater knowledge and skills for communicating in ways that foster inclusion and equity. 

Learning Objectives:

As a result of attending this session, participants will:

  • Increase their awareness of personal, professional, cultural and regional communication norms

  • Learn how conflict and communication styles affect creating inclusive cultures

  • Recognize and name power dynamics that inhibit inclusive communication

  • Identify how bias is being transmitted in company communication and causing harm

 

Presenters:

Fleur Larsen, Fleur Larsen Facilitation, started facilitating 20 years ago on challenge course programs with youth and adults. Her style is based on sharp analysis, flexible thinking, joy, and purposeful results. Her work is relationship-based with connection, collaboration, and community as integral elements to reach goals.

Currently, she works with several corporate and nonprofit groups facilitating retreats, training's and workshops in addition to one on one coaching. Fleur’s work as a Seattle-based facilitator is focused on equity, social justice, diversity and inclusion, team building, emotional intelligence, experiential education and community development.

Fleur Larsen started facilitating 20 years ago on challenge course programs with youth and adults. Her style is based on sharp analysis, flexible thinking, joy, and purposeful results. Her work is relationship-based with connection, collaboration, and community as integral elements to reach goals. Currently, she works with several corporate and nonprofit groups facilitating retreats, training's and workshops in addition to one on one coaching.

Her work as a Seattle-based facilitator is focused on equity, social justice, diversity and inclusion, team building, emotional intelligence, experiential education and community development.

Andrea Paull, M.Ed., has been facilitating workshops centered on racial equity, building cultural capacity and transformation for the past 12 years, and has dedicated her life to supporting leaders who are committed to creating extraordinary results towards an equitable world. She currently works at a local school district after serving 10 years in higher education, and previously worked in the banking and real estate industries.

Andrea earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Washington, Seattle, and her Master’s in Education from Western Governors University.

Andrea is a Filipina immigrant currently residing in Bothell with her husband, Terry, and two children, Elena and Christian.

NWDLS is Managed by:  The Institute for Sustainable Diversity and Inclusion (ISDI)

 

ISDI is a non-profit organization established for the purpose of educating, supporting and collaborating with key stakeholders on ways to leverage differences and practice inclusion to enhance individual and organizational success.  

 

ISDI was founded in 2015 and assumed the management of the Northwest Diversity Learning Series in 2016, formerly managed by Archbright. Barbara Deane, the original NW Series co-founder, and Effenus Henderson, retired Chief Diversity Officer, Weyerhaeuser are the co-founders and directors of the Institute.  This was the 21st year of the NWDLS!

 

JOIN US in 2020 for the NW Diversity Learning Series:

 

(Please note: the order of topics and titles may shift slightly as we work with presenters.)

Session 1:  Intersectionality: Confronting the Tensions of Our Overlapping Identities, January 29

Session 2: Call it what it is: Eliminating the Impact of White Supremacy in Our Systems, March 25

Session 3: Marginalizing Immigrants is an Old Story: It's Time to Write a New Chapter, May 13

Session 4: Algorithms and You: Decoding the Bias Within, June 24

Session 5: Latinx Rising: Delivering on the Promise, September 23

Session 6: Unsettled and Traumatized: How Do I Deal With Hate Around Me?, November 18