Belonging and Inclusion: Honey’s view
With everyone working from home, our pets are right by our side and listening in on meeting after meeting. Instead of getting a recap from our biped teammates, we thought we would turn this over to our four-legged co-workers to get their take on our Navigating company culture series each month.
This month, Operations Navigator Lisa Glenn Nobles’ cat, Honey, took a break from chasing catnip toys and napping to share her recap of the webinar.
While listening to my mom’s webinar on Belonging and Inclusion, all I could think about was how I had trained her to do ALL of those things! You see, we cats don’t get trained by our owners, we train them. And just like any good cat, I’ve had a LOT of training to do with my mom and our family–and most of it centered around belonging and inclusion.
You see, I have trained my mom that I should be included in everything she does. If she’s having conference calls, I am in the background, the mid-ground, and the foreground.
Sometimes I even try to type on the laptop! While she reads books about business strategy, I am sitting in her lap. Many of you may think that’s just what cats do, but if you thought that, you’d be missing the point–I have gotten myself a first class education on business while getting massaged! I mean, she pets me while she gives me all this free knowledge. Brilliant, amirite?! I’ve been able to absorb The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle, Playing to Win, by Leafley and Martin, The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek, and a whole lot of more.
My mom shared that at Journeyage they even discuss books like this and Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum. I remember her reading that one, but she must have had the discussions while I was sleeping. Anyway, a book discussion seems like a good way to get people to think about how they are or are not including people in their lives. And pets. Don’t forget pets.
Now, Mom and I are still working on some aspects of inclusion. For example, she really doesn’t think I should be included when she takes a bath, but we’re working on that.
Nonetheless, I thought that she did a pretty good job of explaining that part of building an inclusive culture is simply engaging and listening to everyone! I don’t love including my brother Clarence in things, but I have learned how to share the bed with a 90-lb labrador, and it’s not all bad.
The lady on the webinar with my mom said that inclusion is an action and belonging is the outcome. I couldn’t agree more! For example, when my dad and brother moved in, my mom and I included them in everything we do. Now they think they belong here!! I mean, they haven’t left in three years, and now we have all these family pictures together. I begin to get the idea that belonging is a long-term investment in people…and dogs.
My mom says that Journeyage hopes to help other companies create workplaces where everyone feels like they belong. I think it’s really sad that there are places that people don’t feel like they belong! Cats would NEVER stick around in a place like that.
She said that so far 100% of Journeyage employees feel like they belong on the team. I’m glad to hear that, and as a result, I feel like being myself on any Journeyage Zoom calls.
I think you’ll find, like I have with my brother Clarence, that belonging comes pretty easily as long as you are really interested in working together (or in my case living together) with that person and seeing their whole self. I mean, you didn’t choose your coworkers, and I sure didn’t choose my brother (I’m really a one-person cat myself), but once I got to know him he was pretty great!
He even lets me play with his coveted orange ball from time to time. And all I have to do is let him walk around and sniff things with me. Sometimes I don’t get why he does the things he does–like jumping like a ninja when anyone walks near our door–but I know he loves my mom and dad, so it must be for a good reason.
And he lets me sometimes overreact to his penchant for sniffing by giving him a very gentle, claws mostly retracted, nose tap.
It’s time for another nap. But I’ll cuddle up on my mom’s lap just in case anything important should come up.
P.S., Alene sounds like quite the foodie–do you think she knows all the best cat restaurants, too?
P.P.S. If you’re reading this and you can screen-cap the moment that I reached up and grabbed my mom’s shoulder during the webinar, post and tag us, Journeyage will send you a copy of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum.
If you haven’t watched the webinar, access it here. You’re in for a real treat.