Each team member becoming more self-aware about how their thoughts, words and actions impact themselves and others is key to developing a culturally intelligent environment at work. This is the pathway to ensuring no one feels sidelined or silenced, creating more engagement, collaboration and innovation for any organization.

Without self-awareness there is often an…

  1. Incongruence between our feelings and our non-verbal communication and
  2. Inability to see how we are impacting others.

To develop self-awareness and close the gap between your feelings and nonverbals, consider this poem about #emotion…

The root word of “Emotion” is motion.

That suggests, emotions are transitory by nature,

temporary visitors.


It may sound odd, can be counter-intuitive and is definitely counter-cultural

Our emotions are here to teach us, guide us and leave.

They don’t speak English so they come as feelings,

To be noticed and named,

To be noticed and named.


That’s why the Feelings Wheel can be so helpful.

When your feelings shows up, invite them to pull up a chair and sit down.

Give them a name,

Name them correctly.

Remind your feelings they are valid, even though sometimes they can be a lot

If they’re too much, speak them aloud to a trusted friend or advisor

who loves you well.


Breathe, deep and slow.

Withhold judgment.

Lean in.

Listen up.

Offer appreciation for teaching you, for guiding you.


Recognize some feelings are coming up from past harms or hurts.

Know they often come in a bundle.

In either case, they’re transitory and helpful, if you…

Slow down, sit down, let them teach you.

That’s what allows them, encourages them to move on or through.


In light of the five stages of cultural intelligence, consider this about emotions…

To deny them is to be driven by them.

To judge them is to abandon yourself or the other.

To minimize them is to perpetuate them which can lead to

self-denial and self-loathing.


To accept them is to allow them to teach you and move on or through.

That’s what allows you to adapt your words and actions to show yourself and others the genuine respect you and they are worthy of. 💜


To learn more…

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash