3 Reasons Why “Bring Your Whole Self” Is Such Bad Advice For Diversity

When people talk about Inclusion in the workplace, sooner or later someone always says that you should be able to bring your whole self to work. This is often discussed in a very lazy way, because the truth is why would anyone want to bring their whole self to work? Today you’ll find out why 

In todays show we discuss several things including:

  • Why bringing your whole self to work may be a bad idea
  • The misleading argument against bringing your whole self to work
  • The difference between your best self and your whole self and much much more

Here’s some of what I share in the show:

Bring Your Whole Self to Work

I discuss why the phrase “bringing your whole self to work” is so commonly used around the world

“Bring your whole self to work, this is one of those tried and tested statements used by diversity champions all around the world. I know this because I’ve heard people say it all around the world”

The Relationship between Your Whole Self and Identity Work

I explain why bringing your whole self to work is indicative of the need to do Identity work:

“When people talk about bringing their whole self to work, I think of it as a way of saying people shouldn’t have to do unnecessary forms of identity work based on their social identities”

Defining Your Best Self

I explain the importance of defining your best self on your terms:

I’m my professional self, which is not necessarily my at home self, but that’s fine. When I walk through the door its work, you know there are certain levels of professionalism that needs to go with that and that’s who I am.”

Show Notes

Ashley Berg Jensen Linkedin

Bring Your Whole Self to Work: How Vulnerability Unlocks Creativity, Connection, and Performance

Bring your whole self to work | Mike Robbins | TEDxBerkeley – YouTube

Be Authentic Bring Your Whole Self to Work – Sheryl Sandberg YouTube

Diversity Councils and Business Resource Groups: The Coca-Cola Company

Identity Work and Employee Resource Groups 

The Elements of Inclusion #4

Leaders must collaborate innovatively to leverage cultural expertise and drive business performance.

  • Why inclusive outcomes are driven by innovation
  • How developing a business case for diversity and inclusion specific to your organisation is a competitive advantage
  • Why novelty is at the heart of your inclusion journey

The Elements of Inclusion #3

Leaders must establish systems to ensure that everyone shares the same advantages and benefits. These processes will create incentives for inclusive behaviours.

  • How to augment your team with the tools and insights they need to prevent structural disadvantage
  • Why reinforcing generative norms ensures everyone belongs in the organisation
  • How inclusive representations can be embedded to promote an inclusive culture

The Elements of Inclusion #2

Leaders must redefine career development relationships to support inclusive performance.
  • Why traditional mentor relationships must be revised for an inclusive workplace
  • How leaders must embrace networks of developmental relationships for individual growth
  • Why established workplace norms must evolve for inclusion in the modern workplace

The Elements of Inclusion #1

Leaders must properly socialise people and socialise inclusive ideas by providing an environment for the cultural learning needed for an active role in an inclusive organisation

  • How your socialisation processes must evolve to encourage the sustainable cultivation of inclusive competencies
  • Why Leaders must consistently negotiate the line between organisational commitment and personal authenticity to promote performance
  • How developing intersectional self awareness can help leaders to leverage individual employee experiences