A quote by Maya Angelou beautifully encapsulates the ethos of our recent seminar: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
This week, the PowerHub team embarked on a journey of learning and growth, attending an in-person seminar entitled “Fostering an Inclusive Workplace.” Led by Jeff St. Denis from Culture Catalyst, the session was an extension of PowerHub’s ongoing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training.
The focal points of our discussions were emotional intelligence, intercultural awareness, disability and neurodiversity, mental health, and work-life balance. Jeff’s approach to fostering understanding in these critical areas was interactive and engaging. He introduced each topic with relevant statistics and findings, enriched the discussion with memorable media clips, and encouraged team participation through group activities.
Together, we visualized an inclusive work environment by creating a digital word-cloud that encapsulated what inclusivity looked like, sounded like, and felt like to us. As we worked, common answers such as “safe and vibrant” swiftly emerged and were highlighted.
Upon exploring the competencies of emotional intelligence, we reflected on instances in our workdays when we leveraged empathy, self-awareness, self-control, and relationship building. At PowerHub, we value these attributes as they enable us to resonate with our customers’ concerns. Understanding that a higher aptitude of emotional intelligence strongly correlates with workplace performance, we continuously strive to cultivate a cohesive and inclusive corporate culture. This approach fosters reliable client-centered service.
Intercultural experiences were shared in small groups, with compelling stories that underscored the importance of accessible and barrier-free programming. Notably, some team members recounted their early school days in Canada before they could speak English. Their narratives emphasized the joy they felt in recognizing their names and participating with peers, illustrating the profound impact of inclusion.
Our CEO, Phil Obendorf, expressed the organization’s dedication to healthy work-life balance. He outlined the supportive corporate culture, emphasizing policies, resources, and the flexibility for time off. By sharing personal strategies and encouraging open communication with supervisors, Phil stressed that assistance is always at hand.
As we concluded the session, a final digital word-cloud captured our commitments to implementing the insights gained. Terms like “self-control, listen to understand, acknowledging efforts, welcoming, self-awareness, and empathy” were the most agreed upon.
More than just a personal development seminar, this gathering allowed us to share stories, open up about experiences of discrimination, and discuss handling microaggressions. It unified the PowerHub team and heightened our awareness of the unique attributes that make us a strong and diverse group. Now, when facing issues related to equity, diversity, or inclusion, we are better equipped and likely to feel a little less isolated in our challenges.
In closing, another quote from Maya Angelou resonates with our experience: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This seminar did not only educate but enriched us, building a foundation upon which the PowerHub team can continue to grow stronger and more compassionate.