“As leaders, we need to be continually working on the Identity Lens. Every single person in your organization; whatever their social identity, can use the Four Lenses to create a truly inclusive and productive workforce.” –Anne Phibbs, Founder, and President Strategic Diversity Initiatives
Leaders, managers, and supervisors need to talk about identity in a productive, helpful and inclusive way. The truth is, most people are nervous about having these awkward conversations because identity is so nuanced and complex. The default behavior is to pretend that any social identity different from our own does not exist (I just don’t see race) which completely negates the beauty of diversity.
Through the Identity Lens, leaders see team members holistically: Yes, we are all the same in the sense that we all want to do a good job, care deeply about being respected and valued, and want to be respectful; but, more importantly, we are all different in that each individual on our team has a unique social identity fundamental to who they really are.
The Identity lens is closely tied to all of the lenses. For example, how well we understand each other depends on how openly and respectfully we communicate, but how well we communicate depends on our personalities and communication styles. And how well we communicate directly affects how well we perform as a team.
I don't feel like bias is ingrained in us forever. The more exposure you have to different people, the more you start to understand different points of view, your perspective starts to shift, and things get easier. You become more comfortable with people who aren’t the same as you. - Anne Phibbs