Monday, December 11, 2017

Ability’s Muse: Searching for authenticity

April 1, 2015 by Andy Chen, Camosun College Students with dis(A)bilities Collective

Have you ever gazed upon a portrait of a person and had the figure stare back at you? Did it give you a creepy chill or a warm sense of belonging? That effect is the kind that organizational culture has on us.

A truly diverse organizational experience should be much like a painting; every brush stroke that runs along (or against) the grain of the canvas should convey the mood and depth of character of those who created it.

Ability’s Muse is the Camosun College Students with (dis)Abilities column (graphic provided).

Ability’s Muse is the Camosun College Students with (dis)Abilities column (graphic provided).

This is why, at times, I dislike politics.

We are often debating semantics and word choice while referencing the “spirit” of the motion. We develop a policy or document and congratulate ourselves for having the privilege of drafting it. But, when it comes time to act on those beliefs, I find we often come up short. Very short.

When it comes to organization culture, I have found toxic elements from one organization after another. We can espouse the need for respect in our workplaces and back it up with focus groups and surveys, but ultimately it comes down to one thing: an emotion.

Do you feel connected to your colleagues? Do you feel that your identity was acknowledged and respected? If not, is there a safe place to go to decompress or find your centre?

The more our actions fit the words we use, the more authentic the experience will be.

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