Inclusive Leaders are well-practiced at the skill of “Connecting With Circles.” We learn how to easily, safely and enjoyably leave our familiar circles and travel to other groups. In the process of exchanging and adapting to diverse cultures and sub-cultures, Inclusive Leaders build vibrant networks of respectful and positive intercultural interconnections.
This post about connecting with circles is submitted by Inclusive Leader Lisandre Gendron-Boilart (2nd from the left in the photo to the right).
Lisandre Gendron-Boilart here – currently traveling in New Zealand. I recently was asked to write a short blog post about the Inclusive Leadership experiences I’ve had so far in my travels. I sat in front of my laptop with my hands ready to dance swiftly across the keyboard, but had nothing to write. ‘’You haven’t done anything inclusive so far,’’ I thought to myself as I stared blankly at the screen. What I failed to remember, at first, was that you don’t have to be in an Inclusive Leadership workshop setting for Inclusive Leadership skills to come in handy.
Something I’ve come to encounter quite a bit on my travels so far is … wait for it … people from everywhere. I know, how shocking! The Inclusive Leadership skill of connecting with circles shifts the shock into culturally responsive appreciation and personally responsive self-care.
Part of becoming skilled at connecting with diverse circles of people is to always remember that no matter how many different nationalities, religions and ideologies, we can always find a way to connect with and through those differences and have a great time.
This is often through the sharing of international foods which is something that has always been a big part of my life. The first dinner like that I had in New Zealand was for my 21st birthday. There were thirteen different nationalities from three different continents. A few weeks later, for Canadian Thanksgiving, there were sixteen different nationalities from five different continents. At this dinner, French, Spanish, English, German, Portuguese, Croatian and Chinese could be heard from every corner of our flower-shaped table (we improvised and put a bunch of round tables together which ended up being in the shape of a five-petal flower).
It didn’t matter that there so many languages, the conversations were still constant, loud and enthusiastic. Laughter and smiles were the universal language connecting us. And the food! (I love food, and I will try almost anything at least once, which sometimes surprises people and is cause for more conversations)! And the discussions about different cultural aspects of other countries! (I love intercultural connections). One of the beautiful things about all these encounters is making friends from all over the world. These friendships are giving me more reason to keep traveling and are also broadening my mind.
When I was growing up I was attracted to Inclusive Leadership because accepting people no matter where they came from or what they believed was not even a question, we just did it. This is how I lived in my family, my community and at Inclusive Leadership Adventures. While traveling, this concept of connecting through our differences has become an even bigger part of my everyday life.
Whether you are traveling through your everyday life at home, traveling domestically within your own country or traveling abroad, connecting with different circles is something you can do every single day.
And with this will come more and more Inclusive Leadership skills involved in embracing inclusion, communicating with compassion and standing up for diversity.
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