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5. Bolsters other social media efforts, and can make your profiles look generally more pro.

4. Can cut the cost of lead identification in half (or more); with social media, finding your right audience can be easier, faster, and cheaper than any other method.

3. Creates more traffic for your website or online marketplace, boosting digital interactions for your company overall.

2. Increases brand recognition, even when the audience doesn't click through.

1. Capable of drilling down into particular market segments (by age, by geography, by household income, etc) in increasingly specific ways.

5. Internal bias training. (For a local resource, check out the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio.)

4. Take a second look at your HR processes; how do you collect gender and sexual identity data, and is it in line with current best practices?

3. Be conscious of the physical safety practices of your building, your workflow, and how your teams operate. Interpersonal violence is on the rise generally across the country, but especially against trans and queer folks.

2. Foster mentor/mentee relationships for everyone in your company, especially across lines of business or levels of employment. Personal connections break down bias more effectively than anything else.

1. When you make name tags, badges, cubicle signs, or anything else for your business, include everyone's pronouns, all the time. Make this a comfortable habit for all of the cis people in your space so that no one feels alone in communicating their pronouns.

5. Set a time and space to host this conversation. Hold that time for as long as is needed; schedule follow-up conversations when needed. There is nothing wrong with needing more than one group conversation.

4. Bring pens and paper for everyone into the room, and spend a quiet ten minutes with everyone writing down what they see as a) potential benefits and b) potential detractors. The leader of the conversation should collect these and review them.

3. If the decision impacts your budget, bring your treasurer/CFO/office manager/bookkeeper to the table. Give them several days' advance warning of what the conversation will entail, so that they can prepare the right kind of data, forecasting, budget, etc. This way, no one else needs to make guesses at what the financial impact could or could not be.

2. If the decision impacts personnel, staffing, board membership, or the people of your org, bring in a wider array of leaders and staff members than you think you need. Bring in a member of a different team, bring in someone from a different level on the leadership ladder, bring in a board member if it's about staff and a staff member if it's about the board. This will give you more context and also more social buffering than when a smaller, closer-knit group makes a people-based decision.

1. Follow up by email, not just on where you are in the decision making process, but also providing a synopsis of what your conversation was. Let group members contact you directly with thoughts and questions after the fact. You never know how many "ah ha!" moments will occur after everyone has left the room.

© 2020 by Elaine Schleiffer