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We accept in others what we accept in ourselves

Tuesday October 19, 2021, By Manasa Sai Sekar

Self-acceptance is the art of embracing our capabilities and limitations without criticism. Self-acceptance plays a role in diversity, equity and inclusion because we accept in others what we accept in ourselves. Self-acceptance requires work, courage, self-esteem, and a growth mindset. We thrive through connections and relationships with those closest to us to help define us as people. However, our inner-dialogue or inner-critique too has a role to play in this. Acknowledging how we feel about ourselves becomes key in DEI. Research has proved that self-acceptance has led to a more inclusive and productive organizational culture. Some ways to foster self-acceptance in employees:

Listen to understand: The virtual world creates opportunities for collaboration that require listening skills. All of us listen; however, how many of us listen with the intent to understand? We listen to complete tasks, or add financial value to our organizations, or be polite. However, listening with the intent to understand is the key here. Wanting to understand requires focus, empathy, and a non-judgmental attitude.

Encourage employees to make mistakes: Avoiding re-work saves time, cost, and effort for everyone within the organization. However, wanting to deliver a task perfectly also creates unrealistic expectations for everyone involved, resulting in less tolerance for mistakes. Employees will start disliking aspects of themselves that will eventually lead them to be less receptive to giving and receiving constructive feedback.

Let employees take ownership of their work: It is a boon when employees take ownership of their work. However, organizations must be willing to give that space to their employees. Following up continuously with them as soon as the task is given derails their confidence. The “follow-up” approach discourages employees from fully exploring their capabilities on their own.

Some ways to foster self-acceptance:

List things you want to change: Enlisting what we dislike about ourselves will enlighten us on aspects that we neglect in ourselves. This task will then translate into the “why” factor of those aspects. It will result in accepting the differences in ourselves and others.

Spot attractive qualities in others: Consciously identifying the qualities that attract us towards another individual will help accepting others. DEI thrives on the willingness to tolerate differences of opinion.

Assume positive intent: Our brains are hard-wired to perceive threats around us. Assuming positive intent about our actions first is more important. The quality will translate into an empathetic approach towards differences in perspectives.

Accepting one’s mistakes leads to the acceptance of others’ mistakes. Self-acceptance builds tolerance to accept the differences that DEI brings to the table.

Author Profile

Manasa Sai Sekar
Manasa Sai Sekar
A Senior Consultant from Consulting & Solutions team at Avtar, has worked in four different industries such as Retail, Telecommunication, Agriculture, and HealthCare.

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