Our approach - living with compassion
Georgina Brown speaking at the first-ever KindFest conference on the 5th of November 2020
Both the alleged perpetrator and alleged victim in any scenario of discrimination, harassment, or victimization are experiencing negative destructive emotions that keep them in an uncomfortable zone, but for some reason, it is often the case that neither of them wants to move out of that zone. The discomfort has become comforting, familiar, and proves they are right.
There is a similar truth for EDI specialists and organisations. The pain of continuously being the person that highlights and tries to open individuals' eyes to the discrimination (whilst supporting those that are being discriminated against), and the awkward discomfort of the majority group trying to desperately hold on to their prevailing view of life and privilege.
Seeing so many people holding themselves in such painful situations, that hold back their organisation as well as themselves, proved unbearable. As a compassionate individual, with a big heart, I want to see everyone respected and appreciated for the wonderfully unique individuals they are. Yet, as soon as you try to enforce a new point of view, thought pattern, or belief system, like a cornered animal, individuals will often dig their heels in and can become passive-aggressive, resorting to flight or fight mode. For too long EDI has been seen as confrontational, concentrating on the negative and based on a deficit model. This, in turn, has resulted in a hostile attitude towards EDI, a defensive, divisive, blame game that benefits no one.
So, how do we approach these highly emotive situations? How do you engage with individuals who are set on clinging on to negative emotions to validate their beliefs? Reluctant to carry out self-reflection, or in denial. How do you move things forward, so that business and individuals can flourish? How do you become truly inclusive and create genuine equity?
Everyone needs support, kindness and a place to be heard. I certainly did. If it wasn't for a supportive EDI network and woke colleagues and friends, I would have crumbled. So as a result BARDO was born. Somewhere to provide a safer space for EDI specialists to support each other and for businesses to find a positive relationship with a specialist to help move their inclusive practice forward.
We believe the answer lies in working together with kindness at the heart of what we do. Building a relationship that is able to demonstrate tolerance and understanding of each other... no judgment, just awareness, and compassion. And as a result, create a bespoke solution and achieve results together. In short, being kind but strong. I have been challenged on several occasions in my life for being too kind, but I see it as a strength and it has always obtained results for me when dealing with highly emotive topics.
You will find our approach is positive and unifying. We work in partnership with our clients to look at EDI in a holistic way, guiding and strategically enabling the whole organisation. EDI to us is all about self-reflection, of the individual, the team, the department, and the organisation. We have a shared responsibility to proactively look at ourselves through an inclusive lens, in a positive way and take steps together towards a more collegiate and progressive environment in order to achieve genuine meritocracy and social cohesion. We aim to work with an organisation through the 'Deloitte' EDI maturity model, from a compliant and programmatic approach, towards a leader-led integrated experience of EDI.
Our inclusive hub of inclusion specialists was created to provide support and compassion for each other, and our connections hub for organisations to connect with, ask questions of, and then choose to work with if appropriate.
We look to guide organisations and show them the opportunities for inclusion, and strategically enable them to reap the benefits. And we are always above anything else, kind.
Watch the video to find out more...
BARDO was born out of love.
Having worked in the equality, diversity, and inclusion sector for over two decades, it never ceases to amaze me how the same challenges rear their heads time after time. Different clients, different people, different context, but the same scenario and resulting pain. The situations that I was witnessing and consulting on in 1998, I am still confronted in 2022. Why? Is society not moving forward?
They all have one thing in common, they all grow out of negative emotions. Fear, greed, pain, hate, anger, jealousy, sadness, and a desperate need to hold on to those feelings in order to prove a belief system, a position in life, an achievement or just to keep the individual in an uncomfortable 'comfort zone'. And as a practitioner, you absorb that negative energy, which after a while, unfortunately, starts to take its toll. Emotional fatigue starts to affect our mental health and wellbeing.