The Role of Reflectiveness in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Part 3 of 3
From the last two articles, we have outlined why and how social-emotional competence is central to the creation and maintenance of healthy relationships in diverse settings but mainly in work spaces and places. Social-emotional competence reflects one’s capacity to interact, communicate, and manage emotions and behaviors to solve problems effectively. We have demonstrated how the RUMERTIME Process®, relates to social emotional wellness. Inherently, the RUMERTIME Process® promotes cultural competence and responsiveness which in turn cultivates one’s ability to effectively engage with others across conspicuous differences in Thoughts, Interactions, Mindsets, and Emotions (TIME). Starting from the Recognize and Understand plots, we learned that one’s ability to be self-aware is fundamental to intra and interpersonal relationships and one’s social emotional wellness. As one navigates through the five-step social-emotional problem-solving process, the ability to effectively manage self and relationships becomes central to the formation of community and connection. As one moves through this problem-solving process of rumerizing one’s TIME, it is important to pay attention to another key component of social emotional wellness and that is social awareness. As discussed in the previous article, social awareness is expressed when you are being “other-focused.” It is empathy in action which is an outgrowth of all the prior plots and another building block in the formation and maintenance of healthy relationships? (Morgan, 2015; GC SCORED, 2021). Notably, one’s ability to live consciously and self-aware influences to some degree one’s ability to be other-focused and socially aware. That is, the RUMERTIME Process® serves as a way to enable one to consciously think about their TIME (self-awareness) and how they covertly or overtly influence and inform their behavior in interactions (social awareness), in this case, the acceptance and promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Consequently, it is in this state of balance that one can consciously evaluate their TIME and behaviors to promote intra- and inter- personal balance and conscious living. As such, it can be outlined that social awareness is the application of self-awareness to promote the creation and maintenance of healthy relationships. However, it is important to highlight that social emotional wellness is a journey and not a destination which outlines the cyclical nature of the RUMERTIME Process® whilst also grounding the importance of the final step in the process, Reflect, which will be the focus of this article.
Defined as the ability to quietly and calmly look back and think, make known to self, and also consider choices, reflecting is associated with responsible decision making. Hence it can be posited that while the other plots created the body of social emotional wellness, reflecting brings life to that body. The Reflect plot ties everything together as it continually motivates and prompts one to consciously evaluate how one’s TIME influences self and others. The Reflect plot, the epicenter of all the prior plots, is where growth, development and social emotional wellness becomes a thoroughly conscious endeavor.
This is especially so since responsible decision-making embodies the skill of making conscious constructive choices on one’s interactions across diverse settings, through the cultivation of effective Mindsets, Activities, Relationships, Knowledge, Emotions, Resources, Skills/Strategies (MARKERS™) (GC SCORED, 2021). Therefore, it is plausible that by promoting responsible decision-making skills, an individual’s inter and intrapersonal skills can positively impact one’s personal growth and development as well as help to create a psychologically safe working environment for the historically marginalized, invisible and voiceless workers. Similar to the prior plots, Reflect follows much the same pathway in how we stay conscious and solve problems in DEI practices, paradigms and policies.
While self-awareness, self-management, relationship management and social awareness skills can be seen to easily fit into the intra and interpersonal categories of the social emotional wellness matrix, responsible decision-making acts as the packaging or even the bow that gives an additional layer of meaning (or purpose) to the first four SECs (GCSCORED, 2021).
The Reflect plot is an iterative plot more so than the other four plots, in that making choices is part and parcel of every thought that you consciously choose to feed or not. You make choices in the type of Interactions you decide to engage in; you make a choice regarding whether the Mindset you decide to adopt in terms of who you are becoming; you choose how you respond to the emotions which are messengers or indicators. So, throughout this entire five step process, you are engaging in decision-making. Depending on where you are in these five steps your decisions or choices could be considered responsible or not responsible. As you reflect on the helpful or harmful manifestations of each of the five plots, you can become effective and efficient in making responsible decisions (GCSCORED, 2017).
In order to become an effective DEI practitioner and/or policy maker, you must commit to being reflective. From a DEI perspective, being reflective aims to help the DEI practitioner and policy-maker to systematically and consciously identify the opportunities and barriers of the daily decisions that are thrust upon them and those decisions that are inherently a
re part of living consciously and intentionally as they practice and implement DEI in their diverse work spaces and places. (The Cooperative Human, 2018). In this way, reflectiveness promotes effectiveness in the work spaces and social places. Therefore, as you reflect on your thoughts, interactions, mindsets, and emotions, in relation to DEI practice , and policy, it is possible to identify which element of your TIME was helpful and which was harmful to your growth and development at the individual level as well as the communal level.
We are innately self-centered beings, which engenders the need for self-preservation. However, given this seemingly disadvantaged starting point, we as rational, connected and community minded beings have an intrinsic ability to consciously manage our interactions so as to produce work spaces and environments that accept diversity, ensure equity and promote inclusion. Even though we may have the best intentions to accept diversity, ensure equity and promote inclusion in our daily interactions, without a reflective mindset or attitude we may consciously and unconsciously project some biases and prejudices. However, by being reflective in these interactions and situations, it is possible to identify our prejudicial TIMEs and by extension promote social emotional wellness. Hence, reflecting ties together all the other plots whilst promoting cyclical learning through iterative development whereby every interaction serves as an opportunity to not only learn, but also apply lessons from previous interactions. By promoting continuous learning, this creates a foundation for the development of social emotional, and cultural competence, and by extension, promotes and ensures DEI both from a personal stance, as well as a communal stance as manifested in society and institutions.