Over the past few years, you have likely heard about internet challenges. (You may also find the internet challenging, but that’s an entirely separate issue. HELPFUL HINT: NEVER READ THE COMMENTS!) If, by chance, you are unfamiliar, the concept is relatively simple. Someone out there issues a challenge, generally via social media, and others capture video of themselves executing the challenge.
Some internet challenges are designed to raise awareness for a cause. You may remember
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge where participants dumped bucks of ice water over themselves then challenged friends to do the same. That viral phenomenon helped raise both awareness and funds.
Other challenges are just fun, like The Running Man Challenge. People shared videos of themselves, often with friends, breaking into the dance as Quad City DJs’ hit, “My Boo,” played. That one showed my age just a bit. While everyone else was having an online blast, I kept thinking, “‘My Boo’ was popular in the 90s. The Running Man was popular in the 80s. AND THAT’S NOT HOW YOU DO THE RUNNING MAN!” In the end, though, “the kids” did not get off my cyber-lawn and a good time was had by all. (Well… a good time was had by most. I still want to know why these kids took the time to make up their own dance and didn’t take the time to give it its own name! #bitteroldman)
And then, there are internet challenges that are downright dangerous. Recently, you may have seen stories about The Tide Pod Challenge, where teens dared one another to eat Tide pods. Yes, I mean the laundry detergent. If you haven’t heard of that one and have kids, you may want to encourage them to skip this particular fad. My conversation with my twin 12 year olds went like this:
INT. KITCHEN – DAY
Orlando enters still sipping that first mug of coffee and looks down at his son and daughter finishing their breakfast.
Orlando: You guys hear about this laundry pod challenge?
Orlando: Don’t be stupid.
Luckily, The Kaleidoscope Group Inclusion Challenge is in no way life-threatening. It will require that you take a bit of a risk, though. One of our inclusive behaviors is Making Mutual Contact. In short, this is the part where we all engage our colleagues, gaining insight into who they are, what they see, and the value they bring to our teams and organizations.
Your challenge, if you should choose to accept it, is to:
- Engage one colleague with whom you will do this challenge. Optimally, engage someone with whom you are not incredibly familiar. However, you may be shocked what you learn about a colleague you were sure you knew well.
- Share KG’s Dimensions of Diversity Chart with them.
- Commit to communicating every day for five days. Email. Text. Have lunch together. Meet at the proverbial water cooler. Choose whatever means of communication will work best for you. (Note: We do have to rule out mental telepathy. Bill in accounting may very well believe he’s got it figured out, but I mean… come on.)
- On each of the first four days, share with your colleague around one of the dimensions listed in a given category. Include how you define yourself, in terms of that dimension and any thoughts you have around the impact it has had on you personally or professionally. (Example: I’m 45 years old, which makes me solidly Generation X. That places me halfway between the 25 year olds entering the workplace and the 65 year olds who are looking at exiting.)
- Day One: Share around a Primary dimension.
- Day Two: Share around a Secondary dimension.
- Day Three: Share around a Workplace dimension.
- Day Four: Share around a Style dimension.
- On Day Five, each colleague, having learned about the other, will reflect back what they have learned and how they see their client leveraging their unique identity and background to benefit the organization. (Example: With your years of experience years with our company and your straightforward communication style, I think you could help our team put our initiatives and policies in context. There may be mistakes we can avoid or avoid repeating, based on what you can see that others can’t.)
- Finally, tell us about your experience with The Kaleidoscope Group Inclusion Challenge. Leave a comment below.
- What surprised you about the challenge?
- What did you learn about your colleague?
- What did you learn about yourself?
- While you’re there, see what others have learned.
Inclusion can feel like a lofty idea and ideal. However, we can choose, each day, to make it a practical and personal reality. Take The Kaleidoscope Group Inclusion Challenge. Raise awareness. Have some fun. (But whatever you do, don’t eat Tide pods.)
Start your challenge today and let’s talk about it. Please submit your comments below.
The Kaleidoscope Group