Alex, Did You Believe a Word of What She Said?
What did you think about the challenges Meghan Markle talked about in her interview with the legendary Oprah Winfrey?
Amongst other troubling things, she said that when she was struggling with mental illness and suicidal thoughts, the Human Resources department of the Royal family refused to help her out.
She said when she was pregnant with the now lovely baby Archie, some members of the Royal Family were concerned with the complexion of the baby.
Just when the world thought the Royal Family, which is a publicly funded institution that was built upon the backs of black slaves according to historical facts was beginning to embrace diversity through the marriage of such a lovely couple, we now know that above all else, they were concerned about the color of an unborn baby.
While there is an uproar about the perception of racism in this matter, and rightly so, this is the reality of any establishment that is not intentional, determined, and committed to eliminating racism from its roots.
We are currently providing some strategic support to organizations that have also found themselves in what we consider a public relations fiasco and they are realizing prevailing misconceptions about the meaning of and correlation between inclusion, diversity, and equity.
How would you explain each of these words and how are they connected?
Does hiring more black or minoritized people mean your corporate culture is suddenly free of racism?
How much effort have you put into preparing your work environment for the diversity you desire?
For a short video clarification of this common misconception, click here.
FIVE DIVERSITY LESSONS FROM MEGHAN MARKLE’S STORY:
WHAT EVERY ORGANIZATION MUST BEWARE OF
1. DIVERSITY & RACISM GO HAND IN HAND, YOU CANNOT HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER
No matter how small your organization is, taking a stand that racism doesn’t exist in it is being blind to the reality of life, for as long as diversity exists, some are bound to resist differences.
This is why we must move past the traditional way of training to the historic way of learning, of gaining awareness, of igniting the spirit of leadership in everyone.
2. ACKNOWLEDGING EXISTENCE OF IT INDICATES HONOUR
As an executive coach with a global clientele that includes Senators, Judges, Olympians, Media Personalities, celebrity CEOs, our first advice to those who are confronted with a scandal is to first acknowledge the pain and bravery of the accuser and then promise to investigate the matter thoroughly with regular updates.
Humility remains the most important leadership trait. In fact, it is the mother of every other trait of exceptional leadership, as I wrote in my book, The Mystique of Leadership.
3. INSTANTANEOUS DENIAL IS INDICATIVE OF ILLITERACY
To dismiss Meghan’s pain and bravery, therefore, whether by the office of the Royal Family, Prince Harry who bluntly said they are not racist or the overtly-bias Piers Morgan known to consistently use his platform to disseminate discriminatory, hateful, and racist remarks, is premature and preposterous.
Defensive denial is often a sign of weakness – NOT strength.
4. EFFECTIVENESS OF A COMPREHENSIVE POLICY IS CRITICAL
You must have a policy that is inclusive and comprehensive enough to treat all matters seriously, especially regarding mental health, racism, discrimination, harassment, and other highly sensitive issues. Do you have one? How could your organization have done a better job with Meghan’s concerns than the Palace?
5. UNRESOLVED ISSUES ARE BOUND TO RESURFACE
ALWAYS have an exit interview with everyone who wishes to leave your organization to ensure you have an opportunity to rectify and resolve outstanding issues while gathering the required feedback for continuous improvement. The very fact the fine young couple decided to leave the Royal Family establishment was indicative of what Meghan spoke about.
What will your ex-employees say about your organization?
We contacted the ex-employees of some of our clients on their behalf and now using the beneficial feedback we gathered to transform their corporate culture and create training curriculums.
Don’t you know that once a scandal arises, many people will always come out with the issues you failed to resolve?