By its very nature, our own truth is unique and cannot be the same as others.
For some, speaking our truth feels painful, intimidating and challenging at times. For others, owning it is a peaceful, and grounding experience. The beauty of dialogue is that the process often welcomes participants to dive into their "emotional potholes" - to drop unexpectedly into a deep connection with what's meaningful to them. This reinforces the reality of everyone's own unique lived experiences and that this ability to own who we are - the good and the not so good - is a lifelong personal journey.
Through getting to know ourselves better, we can become better equipped to trust ourselves and our experiences and see these as worthy and valid. This journey of self-awareness and owning our truths
brought up a number of important questions we recommend everyone asks themselves regularly:
- What does it mean to be me?
- What is my truth and how is this different to “the truth’?
- What does it mean to be black/ transgender/ gay/ female/ a senior employee/ a millennial/ an immigrant?” – a few examples of the diverse realities we all experience and the difficult questions we may have to ask ourselves
When we bring this into the professional realm, we are met with even more challenges.
What does it feel like to speak my truth in the workplace?
The topic of self and self-love, and bringing our whole self to work is very much aligned to the question of speaking our truth. This begs the question; “how can we further engage with this topic more meaningfully and explicitly within our own circles at home and at work…?”
The workplace is not well-known for being a safe space to express individuality in all its extremes. This is why Diversity and Inclusions exists - to protect and empower differences to be included - and even embraced within organisational cultures.
Society has an influence on what is acceptable and what is not. The pressures from Social Media to be, for example, the “perfect woman,” is another example of a distraction and influence that can impact our ability to understand and stay true to ourselves. When we have the courage to move away from these societal expectations, we create distance and clarity that makes it more digestible to understand and own our own truths. Organisations can support this process in the following ways:
- Leadership needs to appreciate that creating a space for this kind of conversation in an organisational context takes patience but the results are worth it. When you show you are listening – really listening – your employees are more likely to open up if they feel heard and seen. And when employees feel heard and seen, productivity, morale, collaboration and creativity, flourish.
- When people speak their truth and this conflicts with others in the organisation, conflict will occur. However, constructive conflict - acknowledging people’s lived experience and respecting it is not necessary to agree - is necessary as it leads to growth. People can only have constructive conflict in an environment where they feel secure.
We will leave you with a quote that truly encapsulates how we can live together in harmony whilst owning our own, very different and often conflicting truths.
“We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.”
- James Baldwin
If you are not familiar with the dialogue process, this quote by its founder, David Bohm, encapsulates it perfectly.
“It is proposed that a form of free dialogue may well be one of the most effective ways of investigating the crisis which faces society, and indeed the whole of human nature and consciousness today. Moreover, it may turn out that such a form of free exchange of ideas and information is of fundamental relevance for transforming culture and freeing it of destructive misinformation, so that creativity can be liberated.” David Bohm
This type of facilitated dialogue we use is rooted in 3 core principles.
- Listen actively
- Be curious
- Suspend judgement
Bohm looks to the collective to create new meaning in an environment that welcomes productive conflict, silence and discomfort. Our facilitators are extremely experienced and understand how to manage multiple dynamics with the least amount of interference to new meaning emerging in the process.
Click here for more information on our upcoming dialogues that are driven by the Bohm technique: