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Leading with Self-Reflection

Leading with Self-Reflection: Centering Impact over Intention 

Emotionally we know that our work in the nonprofit field often takes us beyond our job description. This is because the nature of our work relies on a responsiveness to the human condition. Ours and the communities we serve.

It only makes sense that our personal and professional development must also shift. I found the theory of cultural humility appealing years ago, 3 years ago I developed the cultural humility in practice training to strengthen our capacity to leave and serve while preventing unnecessary harm.

I’ve found that self-reflection and personal inquiry are crucial aspects of individual growth and development, and they play a vital role in building stronger communities, fostering intersectional solutions, and driving transformative leadership and culture change.

By delving into the depths of our own experiences, motivations, and biases, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, which in turn enables us to empathize with and appreciate the perspectives of others. We also know that generative self-critique can inform sound decision making on the micro and macro level - this can save lives. This introspective process is instrumental in shaping empathetic, inclusive, and resilient communities. 

In Part 1: Why Cultural Humility - we shared the importance of a cultural humility lens for nonprofit leaders. 

In Part 2: Assessing Our Own Cultural Humility - we explored scenarios that highlighted the opportunity for potential practice shifts based on the needs of community members, how our biases and perspectives could limit the care we’re able to provide in community.  

In this blog, we will review a handful of the results of the Cultural Humility Assessment in the context of our future learning opportunity coming up at the end of this month (Jan 31, Feb 7). You can see the raw results of the survey here and you can register for our upcoming training event Here.

Self-Reflection and Personal Inquiry

Self-reflection involves examining one's thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a contemplative manner. It requires individuals to assess their beliefs, values, and behaviors with a critical eye, facilitating a greater self-awareness. Personal inquiry, on the other hand, involves asking meaningful questions about one's identity, purpose, and relationships. It encourages individuals to seek understanding and meaning in their experiences, leading to a more profound sense of self-discovery. 

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Assessing Our Own Cultural Humility

Crystallee Crain PhD.

Capacity Builder

Part 2: Assessing Our Own Cultural Humility 

There are a variety of ways to gain a deeper perspective on your leadership and impact in the community from a cultural humility lens. The invitation of inquiry is one way, asking ourselves to evaluate how we consider, engage, and repair our relationships with people who are different from us.

Nonprofit Network invites readers to take a 5 minute survey assessment so that we can get a big picture of where we stand as the nonprofit field in Michigan. We plan to share the results early next year with recommendations for additional learning.
The survey is anonymous. 

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I See You

Regina Pinney
Executive Director


Being colorblind is the idea that ignoring or overlooking racial and ethnic differences promotes racial harmony. In some circles, it’s called color-evasive. In others, it is called a myth.

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The Importance of Community Conversations

Katena Cain, PhD
Nonprofit Management Consultant

“Far too often, people think of themselves as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

As humans, we operate within many different networks, all of which influence our perspectives and serve different purposes in our lives. While most networks are formed around a shared experience – such as the organization we work for, the city we live in, or identities that we hold – it is important to be cognizant of the networks we are part of and the diversity that is present within them. Given that our networks influence the way we think and the opportunities we give and receive, lack of diversity within these networks can propagate inequitable systems and create echo chambers of perspectives.

As nonprofits, we cannot meet our missions without having courageous conversations about inclusion and anti-racism in the systems, programs, policies and procedures that govern our organizations. It’s all fine and good to have these conversations in silos, but it is much more impactful when community leaders can come together to engage in conversation about their strengths, barriers and ideas. When we do this, we can learn from each other, share stories and have accountability partners.

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