What happened to the two black men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia is an ongoing experience for African-Americans, but rarely understood by white Americans. Stories upon stories of racial bias, whether triggered by unconscious bias or overt racism, either are not believed or are questioned by white Americans. Even when the incidents are caught on camera, there is still doubt that African-Americans are treated unfavorably due to the color of their skin. [Read more…]
The most frequently asked question I get in harassment prevention training is, “Are hugs okay in the workplace or could someone view a hug as sexual harassment?” [Read more…]
I partner with a colleague on facilitating unconscious bias workshops for employers. One question we deal with upfront is, “Does unconscious bias actually exist?” [Read more…]
Recent surveys show that men, in particular those in management, are uncomfortable mentoring women or even working alone with a woman. The most recent survey is from LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey who partnered with #MentorHer
I’ve facilitated sexual harassment training workshops for over 25 years, to thousands of people in hundreds of businesses and organizations. I’ve realized it is time to ask provocative questions in a facilitated dialogue between women and men to talk about what needs to be said about sexual harassment. [Read more…]
It is tempting to succumb to despair, in the midst of the mass killings at the Florida high school last week. I can feel my own despair and anger drag me into a dark abyss with no hope for light. But when that happens, then I cannot be in a state of mind to act with conviction in response to this tragedy. [Read more…]
Have you had the thought that you are caught in quicksand? The more you struggle, the quicker you get sucked in? [Read more…]
I am facilitating several workshops on mindful leadership. A concept I will be using comes from Janice Marturano, Founder and Executive Director for the Institute of Mindful Leadership.
Now, I ask you to take her words to heart and ponder what that really means to you as a leader.
Kevin Pokorny and Renee Hardman have been friends for years. As Kevin says, “If you’re going to take on a topic like unconscious bias, you better not be afraid to talk about it, which we had over the years — it’s just a part of who we are.”
Early in their careers, Kevin and Renee worked together doing training for the Iowa Department of Personnel. “So there was a great deal of trust between the two of us,” said Pokorny. Hardman and Pokorny felt that unconscious bias was not getting the attention it needed, even though it can create friction in interactions in the workplace. They decided to create a workshop using a three-part approach that begins with helping people recognize that they have unconscious biases. On December 22, 2017, The Business Record, and on December 26 the Lift IOWA Leading Insights on Female Talent published an article about their work with challenging unconscious bias in the workplace. (excerpt below) [Read more…]
As I reflect on 2017, here are quotes that inspired me on my journey in life and in my work. May they do the same for you in 2018.
“But life is every grain of sand in the hourglass. And it is running. And once run it is gone forever.”
~ Sr. Joan Chittister, author and international lecturer [Read more…]
Dozens of Greater Des Moines, Iowa leaders shared words of wisdom and lessons learned from 2017. Here is Kevin Pokorny’s excerpt published in The Business Record on December 29, 2017.
Receiving feedback with humility
The lesson of humility in receiving feedback that raised an unconscious bias I have as perceived by others. It’s hard work because I want to challenge and be judgmental of the feedback. To be humble is to be ruthlessly honest with oneself. I will try to do so, which will deepen my understanding of others and myself as a business owner.“