#btconf Berlin, Germany 01 - 02 Sep 2022

Michelle Chin

Michelle is a Design Advocate at zeroheight, where she serves the design community through knowledge sharing, building bridges, and identifying community needs. She's an advocate for mental health in the workplace and career coaches underrepresented communities in tech. She co-hosts the UX In Real Life podcast that examines what UX is really like at work and in the world around us. Michelle also advocates for environmental justice and tree equity in Oakland, California.

Inviting People In

We’ve retreated to our homes and ourselves during the pandemic. As we find our new normal, it’s time to invite people back in. Our approach to inviting people will be different, especially since many are remotely located on distributed teams. We’ll consider what it means to include people in our circles again and what the benefits are. We'll identify what perspectives your team has, what perspectives it is missing, and why proactively inviting these perspectives matters. Also, we will discuss how to invite people in.

Transcription

[Music]

[Audience applause]

Michelle Chin: Thank you so much, Marc, for having me.

It’s actually pretty funny. I’m a pretty introverted person, so for me to go up to Marc and talk to him and ask if I could speak at his conference was a little uncomfortable. And I think the reward paid off, so I’m really excited to be here and ready to talk about inviting people in

As we all probably know, diverse teams are great. They help us create unique ideas. They’re more productive. They lead to creative disagreements and diverse thought. Really awesome.

And I think, before the pandemic, we were doing really well with that, so I might talk to one person, talk to a couple of other people, see them in the breakroom, go out to lunch, have really good, collaborative conversations. And they would go on and have meetings with other people, maybe have brainstorm sessions, and it was all working really well. We were all having fun collaborating.

But as you know, time has changed and, in early 2020, we had to switch to a virtual environment. And so, collaboration started to look a little different. We were now in these boxes, and we had to collaborate differently.

Soon, any time we had to collaborate, it was like, “Oh, let me set up a video call.”

“Oh, we have to meet about something? Let’s have another video chat.”

Soon enough, we were having lots of video chats. It was very exhausting to the point where it got really, really terrible and we were just like, “You know what? Maybe I’ll just Slack people.”

Maybe you say, “Hey, can we chat over Slack and not meet?” Of course, I’m like, “Yeah, sure,” because I’m tired of sharing my face on camera. This is easier if we just talk on Slack.

Then maybe the next day, I tell you, “Hey, I finished the designs in Figma. Feel free to comment there,” so no longer are we truly collaborating. I’m just passing over some designs to you, and then you’re commenting in Figma, and that’s called collaboration. Okay, will do, sure.

I think, you know, we kind of had no choice, so day in and day out for two and a half years, our normal became video calls, Slack messages, and this really became our autopilot. This is our go-to. This is what we ended up doing for two and a half years, and it became very natural to us. But at the same time, it built these unintentional walls that disrupted collaboration the way we were used to collaborating.

Now, as things were changing and evolving, we’re getting back to being more in-person, but a lot of us are choosing to work remotely. I for one love rolling out of bed in my pajamas and joining my morning standup at 8:00 a.m. I don’t have to commute. I don’t have to take a train. I don’t have to deal with traffic. It’s great.

Some people are choosing to go to the office, which is fine. But collaboration looks a little different now. Sometimes it works. But sometimes it doesn’t, so the person in the box on the video call is feeling a little left out.

Thinking about what our new normal is, what have we experienced in the past two and a half years, I wanted to really think about what does collaboration really look like, especially in times like these. Kind of what Alex had mentioned, with everything going on, it’s a really great opportunity to think about how we can include everybody in and have really productive conversations, really productive opportunities to collaborate.

I’ll talk a little bit about that today.

A lot of times when I talk about this, I get people that say, “Hey, I agree, but that’s a lot of work. I’m kind of busy.”

Sure. Yeah, it does take a lot of work, but it’s really important. Diverse teams create really diverse thinking, creative ideas.

Sometimes people are like, “Oh, well, I work at a big company and HR is working on this.” That’s great. HR might be working on it, but sometimes that can take a long time, especially big company-wide initiatives. You can still take action in your small area and make an impact in your small area.

Sometimes I even say -- I hear people, “I’m really busy.” I get it. We’re all really busy. A lot of what I’m going to talk about today, they’re not really large efforts. They’re easy things that people can do in their everyday.

It can seem overwhelming, especially with everything that’s going on in the world today. “I’m not sure where to start,” and that’s okay. We’ll cover that in this talk.

The first thing you want to do when thinking about bringing everybody in and really inviting people, reflect on who you are. That’s a really important aspect. Before you can invite others in, understand who you are, but also understand who your team is.

Leslie-Anne Noel, a professor at North Carolina State University (in the southeast part of the U.S.), created this positionality wheel. It’s an activity that anyone can do.

The way the positionality wheel works, there are 12 facets that kind of define who you are and your position in society. There’s race and ethnicity, age, gender and sexuality, ability/disability, marital status, parental status, where you grew up, class status as a child, and class status today, level of education, and what do you do for a living, as well as the languages you speak and why.

So, it’s a really simple exercise based on these 12 facets. You can start to evaluate who you really are, and it’s kind of just a nice little audit to check in with yourself.

For example, I’ll say I’m an Asian-American. Being an Asian-American is very different (since I was born in the U.S.) than someone who is from Asia, emigrating into the U.S. Their lived experience is very different than mine.

I also happen to be Chinese and Japanese, which is a rare combination, so my lived experience as a mixed-interethnic person is very different than someone who is 100% Chinese or 100% Japanese.

I also have a masters in UX, so that sets me apart from other people with different degrees. And just three weeks ago, I found out I was neurodiverse, so me being neurodiverse and diagnosed at a later stage in life is a different lived experience than being neurodiverse and being discovered at a younger age.

Take an audit of who you are. But what’s also nice is that you can do this activity as a team where you have everyone fill out their individual positionality wheel to kind of check in to see where they are. Then they can share and see where they are alike but also where they are unalike. That’s a good way to have engaging conversations but also a really good way to identify maybe what’s missing from your team.

The second step is to identify perspectives you’re missing. In my design system team, we looked at the languages we all speak. We all speak English, but then some people speak Ukrainian, Spanish, Hindi, and someone took Spanish in high school.

We were like, “Okay. This is good, but we’re still missing a couple of people or a couple of languages being represented.”

When you go over and kind of compare and see what perspectives you’re missing, you really want to ask what are other aspects unlike mine (or ours as a team)? It’s not just about opposites.

There is no opposite of English. Just know that things are not -- life is not binary. These ideas that are missing are the gaps that you could invite into your team.

In this case, we identified that we were missing Arabic languages, east Asian languages, and German. Specifically German because a lot of clients that we had were German, so it was really important that we had German translation.

Now you kind of know who is missing and who you need to invite. Inviting people takes intention and does take some effort. We kind of have to break out autopilots. We have to break our shortcuts. Knowing that, it’s not going to happen overnight and that’s okay. It’s a process because you’re really disrupting those shortcuts and those autopilots.

In terms of inviting people in, step three: There’s a spectrum of quick fixes to long-term efforts. Something really easy you could do is usability testing. Another thing you can do is ask for feedback within your company. Then ideally, in a long-term play, you would hire and cultivate a full perspective team.

Let’s jump into usability testing. I say test your site or product with your users, and I think this might be very obvious to a lot of designers. But I know, as a former designer myself, I often shortcutted the process and didn’t do this because I was like, “Oh, we don’t have time. we have to get this out. We have to ship it.”

So, I’m just reiterating the importance of testing your product with your users.

Then invite participants that actually reflect your users, so not shortcutting the process but if you know that you have people who are working and they use your device on a mobile app, that they are included in your usability study. That you’re not just leaning over to the designer next to you and be like, “Hey, can you do some usability testing for me?”

This is also a really great opportunity to invite people whose perspectives were missing in the design process to do the testing. You might get some really good insights that way. That’s a really quick fix of just including more people into the design work.

Another way you can do things is a little more effort, but I think it’s really great, and it’s really easy to come by is asking for feedback within your company. Talking to other teams for feedback and perspectives that your team might not have is really great.

Usually, I go to customer success, sales, or marketing. I also go to employee resource groups. If you’re not familiar, employee resource groups are a pod of people at a company that have a commonality, a common understanding, and they are supported at the company through this endeavor.

At my last company, I was part of the Asian professionals employee resource group (ERG), and we had one for Latinx. We also had -- we basically had a dozen employee resource groups, and it was really great to be able to go to for support, help, perspectives that we didn’t have.

We even had enablement, which includes accessibility as an ERG. We had veterans for an ERG.

Not only are you asking for perspectives to help with your work, but you’re also forming really good bonds around the company. That’s always fun and rewarding as well.

In the case of our language example, what I ended up doing was going to our localization team, talking to our German translator, and she gave me a lot of good tips around localizing for German, and that really helped our design system.

We didn’t need to hire someone who spoke German (immediately). We can get by with having collaboration with our translator.

Then for east Asian languages, I reached out to a designer in Nanjing, China. It was a really simple, quick, 30-minute call. I did have to go out of my way, but it wasn’t a big deal. I had to call her at my time 7:30 in the evening, which was her morning.

While it was a little bit of effort, it wasn’t a huge ordeal to do that. It was actually kind of fun because, during COVID, I was like, “Hey, what is COVID like in China? What are you hearing?” She was asking about what COVID was like in the U.S., and we were comparing notes.

That was kind of fun, but the main reason of my call was to see are Asian languages hard to read when they’re in a smaller font? Right now, our base font is 14 point.

She’s like, “Yeah, it’s kind of small. They’re really detailed characters.”
I was like, “What if, when we translate to Chinese, we bump it up to 16?”
She’s like, “Oh, my gosh. If we could do that, that’d be really awesome.”

Having that feedback and that perspective was really helpful for our design system.

Okay, so this is the one that takes a little bit more effort but I think is well worth it is hiring a full perspective team. I think you might have to go out of your way. I think it’s important. As a hiring manager, we’re given a lot of tools and resources to hire people. But a lot of these systems in place provide shortcuts, which make our lives easier, which is really great. But at the same time, they might not be equitable.

If you have an automatic application system and it’s only showing you results of one or two types of people, and you actually need a fuller perspective, you might have to go out and search for those other people. How do you go about that? There are lots of different ways.

Maybe you go to meet-ups. Maybe you go to your ERG for resources (and your network) to see if you can extend an invitation to really broaden that perspective in your team.

Yes, it is a lot of work. It’s like climbing up a hill or a mountain. But the value it provides is really worth it.

When it comes to hiring and building this full-perspective team, it’s not about just ticking all the boxes. I think that’s the easy part. In many ways, it’s just the beginning.

The real part is the invite. If we were just talking about the invite, my talk would be over. But my talk is actually called “Inviting People In,” so let’s continue on talking about how to actually do that.

For example, I think maybe there was all a time where we didn’t fit in. If you’ve never been in a situation where you didn’t fit in, then that’s a really great privilege you have experienced. I think somewhere between life, especially probably middle school or something or high school, there was a time where we didn’t feel like we fit in.

Maybe it’s one day we walk into a group of people and they are all wearing baseball caps and you’re wearing a knitted beanie. They don’t mind. They were just like, “Whatever,” but you know you’re the odd one out and it feels a little uncomfortable. Maybe it’s not a big deal because it’s just a hat.

But if it’s something deeper and something more personal, like maybe you walk into a group full of cisgender men, and you a transman. That’s really different. Even though they might not feel like it’s a big deal, it could be a very big deal to you because you know you’re the different person in the room.

I’ll tell you a little story about a time when I was in college where I didn’t feel like I belonged and the impact that had on me. I was in theater class where we were just reading plays. We were not acting because I’m an introvert and I don’t do that.

Everyone is sitting around in a circle, and the professor is in the center of the circle (because this is a theater class). We’re just talking about stuff, and he just happens to start talking about Asian stereotypes. I was like, “Okay. This is kind of random.”

He’s just like, “Yes, Asian males aren’t really masculine, and they’re just really good at martial arts, and they’re not, you know, like your handsome heroes like white Superman,” and stuff. I was just like, “Where is this guy going with this?”

He was talking about how Asian women are all submissive, and so at this point in the conversation in the class it’s like, when something like this happens to you and you’re marginalized, you start to look for other people like you. Then I started looking -- because you want to kind of give them the nod in the head of, like, “Yeah, this is kind of weird.”

I looked around the classroom. I was the only Asian person. I was like, “Oh, okay. So, this is just really uncomfortable for me. I don’t really feel like I fit in.”

To make things more fun, he then points to me. He’s like, “Michelle, tell them I’m right. Tell them that everything I said was right.”

I was like, “Are you kidding me? Really?!” [Laughter]

This is my internal reaction all at once, and this happens really fast. So, here I am. I’m steaming mad because I’m like, “How could he say those things? That’s just really rude and obnoxious.”

I’m also turning red, and I’m feeling really hot in my cheeks because everyone is looking at me to say something to validate this, and I am starting to sweat because I am fighting with myself of how do I stay calm and how do I not blow up. If I blow up, I’m just going to look like a crazy Asian lady. If I stay calm, it seems like I’m okay with this, which I’m totally not because he just said that Asian women are submissive.

Then my stomach is gurgling and burning because it’s like I have to say something to defend my race, but what am I going to say? And at the same time, I’m like, “Well, you shouldn’t say anything because, if you say something, he might fail you, and you kind of need to pass.” I wasn’t really a great college student, so I needed every strong grade I could get.

This is all kind of going on at once. I think, in the end, I just said, “You know, man. I don’t know. I don’t know.”

And I think it shocked him because I didn’t agree or disagree, but that was the only thing I could say at the time. But I knew in my mind I had to talk to him. I couldn’t just let him get away with saying something like this because it’s not cool, and I didn’t want anyone else to feel this uncomfortable ever again.

I was determined. I couldn’t focus for the rest of the class. I was like, “I’m going to talk to this guy. I’m going to tell him how it wasn’t cool.”

After class, students are in line getting ready to talk to him, asking him questions, and I go, “Okay. Hey, man. What you said earlier about Asian stereotypes and then pointing me out to be the token Asian, that was really not cool.”

And he was genuinely sorry. He didn’t expect that it would be so offensive. I think, based on his lived experience, he’s never been someone who has been pointed out like that.

I think it was a learning process for him. It was a learning process for me. It was definitely very awkward and uncomfortable, but I think we kind of resolved it as best terms as you can.

Needless to say, I wasn’t engaged the rest of the semester. I was like, “Just let me get out of here and give me a B. That’s all I want. I don’t even want an A. I just want a B.”

So, let’s definitely avoid having this and putting people in this situation. Let’s really invite people in.

How can we really actually invite people to make them feel comfortable and contributing and belonging? Think of it as a dinner party.

The first step is you’re sending out the invite. Then the next thing, you’re thinking about people’s dietary needs, like, “Oh, you know, I know my friend is vegan. I know my other friend is gluten-free. What can I serve?” You’re really taking into account a full perspective.

Then your guests show up at the door. You don’t just open the door. You welcome them in, and you really invite them in. So, you’re like, “Oh, welcome. Have a seat. Let me take your coat. Would you like something to drink?” You’re making them feel very, very comfortable.

Then you’re engaging in conversation, so you’re talking about different topics. Maybe if someone is not talking a lot, you can ask them a question directly so they can answer and be engaged in the conversation. That’s always really nice when someone is engaging in conversation with you.

Then at the end, you’re reflecting on the fun and enriching evening you’ve had with your friends. Just feeling really good about the diverse conversation that you had, being welcoming, and learning a lot. Maybe you learned a lot of new things that night.

Similarly, to your dinner party, when your new hire arrives, you want to make them feel welcome. This is the part where you’re like, “Hey, let me take your jacket. Let me get you a drink.”

Some things you can do are really easy. One of the nice things I like doing as a manager is pairing people up with an onboarding buddy. This way they have someone to talk to about all these weird, awkward conversations that they might not feel comfortable asking the manager.

Stuff like, “Hey, you know, can we take lunch for an hour and a half? Is there a strict rule? Do we have to all take lunch at 12:00? What’s the deal? What’s the company culture?”

They might not want to ask the manager that, but they can ask their buddy that and feel pretty comfortable.

If you’re a manager, politely identify any accommodations they might need. You don’t want to ever make assumptions about everyone or anyone, and you don’t want to say, “Oh, hey, um, I think you... Are you ADHD, because I can get you accommodations?” That’s probably not a good thing to say - for sure.

Instead, you might say, “Is there anything I can get you to ensure you can be successful here?” And that really opens up a conversation that you really want to make sure that they’re successful but that you’re giving them an open door to say, “Hey, I might need this and this, in this situation.” That’s really nice.

I think, as people are new, most people are really good about this but listening and taking a genuine interest in the conversation. Building that trust and that nice space does take a little bit of time.

Next, about engaging in conversation and really hearing different perspectives. When you’re hiring a full perspective team, you might be learning things that you don’t know already, or you might be hearing things that you didn’t think you agreed with to begin with.

Definitely, be open to hearing new ideas. Avoid dismissing or judging, even if you don’t agree or maybe that person isn’t correct because they don’t know the tool very well. Don’t immediately dismiss them because that gives them the signal that they can’t participate in future discussions.

Hear them out and act with curiosity. If you feel like you’re going to be defensive, instead ask a question.

If they say, “Oh, I think we should go with this idea,” and you’re like, “Oh, that’s really interesting. Can you tell me more about this idea?”

It might open some new ideas to you, new perspectives that you haven’t thought of. Being open to hearing that is really nice. It’s very welcoming.

Even if that person doesn’t know how the tool works yet, maybe that’s when you can say, “Actually, that’s a really great idea. But the way our tool works, we kind of have to go with this way.” You’re not immediately dismissing them and they’re learning perspectives as well.

I think it’s a big thing in terms of engaging conversation is really cultivating that conversation and really building a safe space for it. You really want to build psychological safety.

If you’re not familiar, psychological safety is the ability to be yourself without fearing negative consequences because of who you are. That means you can take risks and, in a brainstorming session, you can say your whacky ideas without fear of judgment. In general, teammates feel really accepted and respected.

With this, you’re helping dismantle biases. You’re listening and making spaces for people.

I think the other thing is if you are in a team and someone is not providing a psychologically safe space, if you could kind of make space and just kind of clarify and really open up the space for people to be able to speak freely is really, really helpful.

It’s not just about having those good discussions and creating that safe space. It’s an ongoing culture. There are a couple of ways you can build on that culture.

One thing that’s really nice is donut chats. It’s a little integration in Slack that my company uses, which is really nice because we’re all tired of setting up meetings for work anyway. Donuts automatically sets up a chat for you and another person at random and even schedules the meeting, so you don’t have to do very much.

This way, you all know that you’re going to talk at this time, and you’re going to talk about everything and anything - whatever you want. It’s like talking about life. It’s a really great way to meet people and build trust.

I did ask my teammates, “Hey, what have people done to make you feel safe when joining a company?” A lot of them said the onboarding one-to-ones.

Rather than the new hire setting up the one-to-one with different various employees, having the existing employees reach out to set up a one-to-one has been really great to onboard. It removes that intimidation of, “I don’t know these people. I don’t know who to talk to,” and it’s really nice.

For the current employee, it’s not a big lift. Setting up a 15-minute meeting is no big deal, but the impact it has is really huge.

Another way is just simply engaging in slack conversations. You don’t always have to reply to everything a new hire says or something that someone says. You can even just react with emojis. I think that helps encourage good discussion, and it’s really lightweight. It’s pretty easy, right?

I think one of the magical things of knowing when you have a safe space is some really great conversations can happen. This happened on Slack the other day.

I had a coworker who reached out and was like, “Hey, I happen to notice that Beyond Tellerrand is coming up pretty soon. I hope you’re feeling good about making the trip but let me know if talking to someone else who struggles with anxiety would be helpful.”

I was just like, “Oh, man. Thanks so much for offering this. This means a lot,” and it really did.

This is a trust story. Prior to this, I had missed two team offsites because I was so anxious about flying during COVID. I couldn’t even. I couldn’t think of being on a plane, even if I was fully in a hazmat suit. I just couldn’t even. My anxiety was through the roof.

I happened to mention this to her casually, but it was really nice that she came and reached out to me and just checked in with me. This is kind of the great stuff that can happen when you have that safe space to be yourself.

She’s able to say that she has anxiety. We’re able to talk about it. We actually had a really great chat about flying during COVID. Thanks to her, I made it here without too much stress at all, so that was pretty amazing. That was really great.

I think there are also times where you might feel that there is psychological safety. But it doesn’t follow through well enough.

Back in March 2021, there was shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, where a white man had gone into a spa and shot up eight people, killed them, and six of them happened to be women of Asian descent. At that time, there was also a lot of anti-Asian hate going on in the U.S. because of COVID, and it was just a real hard time for me because I wasn’t sure if it was safe for me to go out. Did I have to bring my white husband with me to kind of act as a shield to be able to navigate the world that I call home? It was a really distressing time.

I’d be on these calls, and I happened to have a call with a coworker. She was like, “Hey, before we talk about work, I just wanted to check. Are you okay?”

I was like, “Oh, wow.” I was like, “You’re actually checking in with me.” It was really cool. I was like, “Yeah, I’m not actually okay. it’s really stressful.”

It was really nice because we had a really great conversation because her lived experience as a black woman in the U.S., she could relate to some of the stuff that I was going through. It was really nice to have that.

Then leaving that great conversation - awesome. But after that, I was just like, “Why didn’t my other coworkers ask me about this?” I’m actually better friends with a lot of my other coworkers, and they didn’t ask me.

I was a little offended. But at the same time, I thought about it. Part of it is like we live in these boxes. We lived in these artificial walls, so they’re not seeing me sitting at my desk and seeing me in the off times or when I’m scrolling and reading the news. Or seeing me be sad because all of our calls are very practical.

Also, I realized that their lived experience was very different than mine. They didn’t know to ask, unlike my friend who did have similar experiences knew to ask and knew to check in with me.

I think that’s the other thing is the follow-through for having psychological safety is really important. Even though we might feel like we have a psychologically safe team, we might not be following through with it as much as we should be.

A couple of tips is recognize the way people carry when they are the only one. You might be totally cool that they’re unique and unlike you. But for them, they might be internalizing a lot. That could be heavily weighing on them and heavily affecting how they feel and how they affect and contribute to your team.

Definitely support and encourage the team through this, especially as you’re taking this transformation to build a more psychologically safe team. Definitely, encourage and celebrate good behaviors.

Also, it’s really nice to have conversations around what having a safe space to your team looks like. It’s really nice when, as a team, you can define it together because that’s more meaningful than just a boss saying, “Hey, this is what psychological safety means. Take it or leave it.” That’s not very psychologically safe.

The other thing, don’t be afraid. I think the challenge that you feel for building a safe space and going out of your way a little bit might feel uncomfortable, but it’s nothing compared to the challenge that marginalized people feel (sometimes on a daily basis).

Definitely, lead by example. Even if you’re not a manager, if you’re a junior level person, it’s really important to lead by example. Then celebrating those examples, and it just inspires other people to do the same.

The other thing you can do is reflect on things. After you’re trying things, as any process, we do something, we review and iterate. Check in with yourself. Check in with your team.

Have conversations on how did that go and do a little retrospective. What could go better? What moments did we do well and how can we celebrate them?

This is something that takes a little bit longer. And so, having those celebrations is really helpful in building that momentum.

When I was doing research for this project or this talk, I came across this B.R.I.D.G.E. framework by Ruchika Tulshyan. It’s a really nice way of packaging how you should think about things when you’re trying to get out of your comfort zone a little bit.

The first part of B.R.I.D.G.E. is being comfortable, so you’re going to be a little uncomfortable. We talked about that. But sometimes being uncomfortable is good. It can lead to really good rewards.

Reflect on what you don’t know. Yes, you do know a certain set of lived experiences. You have your own biases. You have your shortcuts and your autopilots. But understand that you don’t know everything. And so, figure out what you don’t know and open and act with curiosity.

As you’re trying new things, you might not get it perfect. But it’s really good to kind of get a pulse on how you’re doing, so invite feedback. I think sometimes that’s a really great way to figure out how you can improve and tweak your process or the things you say.

Sometimes you’re going to hear feedback that you don’t like. Being defensive doesn’t help.

Sometimes it’s very easy to be defensive. We have our biases. We have our shortcuts. We have our autopilots.

What I like to do, if I feel like I’m going to be defensive, I just pause, and I count to two. I’m like, “One, two,” and then I’m like, “All right. Let me just ask a question.”

Sometimes I’m like, “Oh, thanks for that feedback. I’m kind of dense. I don’t really understand how I might have phrased that wrong. What could I have said better?” It just shows that you’re open to learning.

With that, you’re going to grow from your mistakes. That’s the least we can ask is any time someone is interested in learning and improving and growing, that’s a huge win.

I think, at the same time, expect that change takes time. Maybe you onboarded someone and it was really awkward, and you won’t have time to practice that again until you onboard the next person. That might be three weeks from now. It might be three months from now.

Change does take time. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it on the first shot. It’s totally okay.

Lastly, step five, I definitely encourage you to start small. Try even today.

You can complete the positionality wheel. It’s a great way to kind of take stock into who you are.

Then engage in conversations with people who are unlike you. Similar to the Pac-Man Rule, broaden your circle, engage in conversations. You might know people are unlike you or like you until you talk to them.

Definitely, throughout this conference, engage in really cool conversations. I’m happy to talk to you too.

Then take your time. Don’t get discouraged. This can be awkward at times, but it definitely gets easier and no one will fault you for trying.

Even though you might not get it right the first time, that’s totally okay because we all know that you’re trying. I’ve never been like, “Oh, well, you’re terrible for trying.” It’s never been like that.

That’s my talk. Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing about how you’ve invited people in. I’ll be at the Zero Height Table if anyone wants to say hello and talk shop and ask questions. Thank you so much.

[Audience applause and cheers]

Speakers