Thursday, May 16, 2013

Taking Ourselves Seriously Enough

by Miki Kashtan

I have been on the vulnerability path for many years now. I have talked in front of groups hundreds of times. I write a blog, which makes me in principle visible to anyone. Still, when I am in a group that I am not facilitating (it does happen!), it’s still sometimes challenging for me to express what I want.

"Self-Effacing Woman" by Soraida Martinez
In the workshops I lead, and in meetings I facilitate within organizational settings, I often see people who either don’t speak, or speak very hesitantly. One example stands out to me in particular, a woman who had a high level administrative position, who was respected by everyone, and who was carrying significant responsibility and decision-making authority at an organization I consulted with. Time and again the owners of the company would invite her into meetings for the explicit purpose of hearing her opinion which they valued so much, and yet she would somehow relegate herself to the role of taking notes, as if that were the purpose for which she was invited. When I talked with her about it, she literally found it difficult to trust that her opinion was, indeed, sought and valued.

Why is this happening, and why do I care about it enough to dedicate a blog entry to it?

I’ll get to why it’s happening and what I want to do about it further below. I want, first, to speak about why this is so important to me why I believe that changing the way we relate to our presence in the world, learning to trust that we matter, and acting on that premise, are part of what’s necessary to create a social order that truly supports life in thriving on our one and only planet.