Elizabeth Buch

Your Trusted Circle

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Having this knowledge helps you understand whether you are mostly surrounded by people who are like you, and how easy it is to exist in a bubble that’s devoid of diverse perspectives. As an inclusive leader, stepping outside of this bubble will help advance your inclusion journey.




    Write down the names of your trusted inner circle in the first column of a grid (provided below). Next, fill in the top row with various diversity dimensions (e.g. ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, education, abilities, parenting status, political beliefs, socioeconomic background, etc.). Then, place an X for each person where their identity differs from your own in any given category. Follow the example grid.


    Inclusive leaders traveling the continuum must make a regular habit of examining their inner circle of contacts. When they do this for the first time, and even subsequent times, they often find that this circle reflects a positive bias for those who are most like them. We all have our go-to people– they may be coworkers, friends, those we mentor, as well as those who mentor us. It might be easiest to think of this list as those we talk to the most frequently, whether the setting is work or not. 

    The simple exercise of inventorying the diverse dimensions different from ours forces us to look for patterns in our relationships, our tendency to seek comfort in sameness, and our discomfort with the unknown.

    From the Book How to Be an Inclusive Leader - Jennifer Brown

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