E164 - Difficult Conversations part 3 with Caron Bradshaw and Yassine Senghor
Updated: Oct 25, 2021
“Getting things wrong is vital, that’s when the learning happens. It’s when you make mistakes and you take a moment to reflect on what the mistake was, and where it came from more importantly, so what’s the root cause of it ...’ - Yassine Senghor
This episode is the final instalment of our Difficult Conversations series. The series explores creating safe spaces for conversations around DEI, how to be an ally and get your team on board, and being ok with getting things wrong and making genuine changes.
In this episode, we chat to Caron Bradshaw, the Chief Executive Officer of Charity Finance Group which she joined in 2010. Caron has supported a number of organisations including being a member of NCVO’s National Assembly, the Finance and Risk Committee of the British Asian Trust, and until recently was Chair of the Board of the Directory of Social Change. We are also joined by Yassine Senghor, Inclusion and Equity Manager at Impact Culture and Director at Confronting Change, Diversity & Inclusion Strategies. She is passionate about LGBT+ inclusion and creating anti-racist and inclusive workplaces where we can all be our whole selves and thrive.
This final episode of the series will offer further insights into how we can better create cultures of learning within the organisation where people can share thoughts and be open to challenge. This episode of the podcast also explores inclusive LGBTQ+ language and beginning your organisation’s journey.
1) How do we create a culture, share knowledge and create safe space
Yassine believes we can dress this with a two-pronged approach: personal and organisational responsibility. The organisation can bring in training, and as individuals we should recognise the role we all play in embedding good practice in the workplace. It is important to define what this actually means for individuals, how it impacts our lives in and out of work, and how we can develop a personal motivation. How will this contribute to the world we want to see?
Caron believes culture is an ongoing commitment. Safety is very important, people can’t share their lived experience unless they are vulnerable, therefore they need to feel safe and build trust. As organisations we can help people to make it clear what the non-negotiable aspects are. It is much better for people to accept that they got things wrong and learn from the experience. The guilt and shame with getting things wrong paralyses people, so we must create safe spaces.
2) The importance of getting things wrong and how people can manage addressing something
There are two ways of challenging things - calling-in vs calling-out. Calling out involves a direct challenge, such as addressing oppressive language. This is particularly important if you’re an ally, it is an opportunity for allies to step up. However, we should centre the person who is being oppressed, and take stock of the situation, as it could make things more difficult for the individual in that situation. On the other hand, calling-in, which means taking stock of the situation, usually carried out by an ally, involves taking the person aside after the incident occurred and explaining why it was wrong. You can share your own learning when you committed a similar act. It shows vulnerability and that we’re all on a learning journey together.
Acknowledge and embrace that you will get things wrong. It’s ok to get things wrong. If you make it unsafe to fail, it means that people withdraw. It’s through getting things wrong which allows personal growth. We shouldn’t necessarily focus on what we got wrong, but what we got right, leaning into the good part. For example, show that their intent was right but the way they went about it was wrong. We have to ensure that safety is the priority, and protect the people on the receiving end of the bad behaviour.
3) What role charities should play in society today?
Charities will be supporting people who are affected by intersectional marginalisation. It’s important for charities to look at what they are doing internally and how this is filtering through to the beneficiaries. Also reflect on how restructuring the organisation hierarchies could support marginalised identities to feed into and contribute to charity’s work.
Charities play a role in societal change. It’s inherent in what we do. We have to ensure we don’t allow ourselves to be silenced.
One key takeaway from this episode was the importance of being authentic and vulnerable, to openly discuss the challenges of your organisation. It is equally important that colleagues across the organisation are involved in every stage of this journey and leaders are held to account.
We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.
Related episodes that you may be interested in:
E162 - Difficult Conversations part 2 with Adam Tulloch and Hannah Wilson -
E160 - Difficult Conversations part 1 with Jon Cornejo and Lily Lewis -
E121 - Non - Hierarchical Leadership With Helen Moulinos - https://www.charitychat.org.uk/post/e121-non-hierarchical-leadership-with-helen-moulinos