CEO -Seema Global Consulting
Five Ways to Maintain Relationships and Reduce Stress During Difficult Conversations.
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[00:00:07.230] – Laura Cicholski
I am Laura Cicholski, the wellness recruiter, I was the host of the stress relief series for health care providers and anyone else dealing with a lot of stress. Now we are transitioning to a new series that we are very excited about. It is called the Find Your Balance in Business, Career, Health, Life and Financial podcast. Today we are so excited to have Kinita Schripsema with us. Kinita is the founder and CEO of Seema Global Consulting.
[00:00:35.460] – Laura Cicholski
She is passionate about cultural education, leadership development and transformational coaching. Kinita, thank you so much for being here today. How are you?
[00:00:45.090] – Kinita Schripsema
I’m doing well. Thank you so much for having me back, Laura. I appreciate you.
[00:00:49.110] – Laura Cicholski
It’s great to have you. I have to let our audience know, too, that we did have one of our wonderful attendees and the stress relief series. He mentioned this topic and he said that this would be a great and so what he was talking about, he said it’s great that you’re doing things about reducing stress.
[00:01:02.640] – Laura Cicholski
He said another thing that we need to focus on is reducing stress by knowing how to have civil discourse on religious issues. So that’s why we’re kind of transitioning over. And I couldn’t think of anyone better than you to speak on these issues. You have an amazing history. I love to tell them where you were born, kind of where you lived growing up. You know, more about your spouse and you are so qualified to talk about this topic. And I’m just thrilled to have you today.
[00:01:31.230] – Laura Cicholski
Thank you. And I’ll let you take over from here.
[00:01:33.150] – Kinita Schripsema
Sounds good. Thank you so much, Laura, again, for this opportunity to speak and to share and to kind of attack something that’s really challenging in our society today. Right. You mentioned a few hard topics of covid and religion and politics. And I imagine depending on where people are at, there’s a whole slew of ones that get people’s dander up, if you will, or if they just kind of challenge them and get under their skin. And my heart has been so much about the broken relationships as a result of discussion discussing these topics.
[00:02:04.470] – Kinita Schripsema
Yes, let’s do this. Let’s help individuals really learn how to communicate in such a healthy way that we can kind of be in charge of these conversations in a way that’s really gracious and kind. And I know there are countless resources out there about how to have healthy conversations and how to deal with conflict and those sort of things. But we here at Seema Global Consulting decided to come up with what works in our story and then apply it that way, because a lot of folks out there just want to learn to have conversations with their family members, just want to learn how to have conversations with their neighbors.
[00:02:41.210] – Kinita Schripsema
Right. And so instead of really kind of forcing people to kind of break the relationships, to fight, to argue- enough. Right. Covid has taken more than enough from our society and so have so many other issues. Racism, just making them, making that point as well. So I want to share that today here with this with this podcast interview. And I also want to give a little backstory as to why I’m passionate about this. Right. So I was actually born in India in the early in the late sixties, and then my family moved to Canada when it was really popular for Indians, really, for the most part, to immigrate to Canada.
[00:03:23.460] – Kinita Schripsema
There were a lot of immigrants. Right. So immigration becomes something important to my heart. Being an immigrant becomes an important thing.
[00:03:29.940] – Kinita Schripsema
And that’s a hot topic for a lot of folks today. Yeah. Then growing up in a very multi-ethnic community where I was that and experiencing culture in different ways and moving to the US, that then so culture becomes another hot topic where some people want to own it like a rock star or they want to avoid it.
[00:03:48.930] – Kinita Schripsema
Right. And then assimilation. So some of those start to become really passionate. In my story, I ended up marrying a man from the Dutch culture, thus my last name Schripsema. And marrying into a culture that’s opposite to mine and dealing with an interracial marriage and all the issues that come with that.
[00:04:08.400] – Kinita Schripsema
Another hot topic for a lot of folks. When we first got married, several people looked down upon us because we were marrying outside of our races. Right. Challenges in and of themselves, raising biracial children in a society where the narrative doesn’t quite fit their biracial model. And so learning how to communicate to them and empower them and equip them, but yet help them also appreciate what the narrative is here. Right. So lots of opportunities. And then there’s adoption and inclusion in our story and learning how to love someone that was not born into our family or in my world for that matter.
[00:04:47.140] – Kinita Schripsema
That’s a hot topic for some folks. We were even asked, why would you do that? Why would you want to take somebody else’s kid ? Ouch. Right.
[00:04:55.650] – Kinita Schripsema
So, yeah, I feel like I have this huge list of.
[00:05:00.000] – Kinita Schripsema
Of having these hard topics, and honestly, I haven’t always gotten them right, but I think just really being in that space and I won’t give away too many of my tips in this introduction because I want folks to see the slides. Right. So you also have had a lot of challenges in your story and faced some of this stuff. Right. So when we’re talking, it’s been great to be able to really unpack some of this stuff. So without further ado, shall I dove into my slides?
[00:05:24.600] – Laura Cicholski
Yeah, I wanted to say this one thing I did not know about your adoption story either, so I kudos to you for doing that. That’s amazing. And the other thing I wanted to say that you have taught me so much about is I always thought the word was tolerance, making sure that we let other people have. You have that inclusion lens and you taught me that it’s not that. It’s the word acceptance. Absolutely love that. I let some doubt in my mind.
[00:05:45.810] – Laura Cicholski
I’m thinking because when I was listening to someone else said that I’m being tolerant and you said no Laura, that’s you need to learn acceptance into that. So they gave you.
[00:05:53.910] – Kinita Schripsema
Absolutely. Thank you for pointing that out. And I am so passionate. In fact, just today on social media, I saw some signs and symbols of hope. Let’s be about tolerance. And I was cringing because I thought, I don’t want to have to tolerate you. I want to give you the acceptance that I’ve received.
[00:06:10.650] – Kinita Schripsema
So I have working through that and making sure that we learn to accept one another and we are all image bearers of God. And I want to make sure that people appreciate that. So it’s important that we learn to accept one another and not just tolerate, because when we just tolerate and things get rough, the pressure builds up, the stress builds up in our own stories, and then that person might do one thing that would offend us and then, boom, the relationship’s broken.
[00:06:37.170] – Kinita Schripsema
Even if it’s a hard conversation or a tough topic to talk about.
[00:06:40.560] – Laura Cicholski
Because actually, I agree and I feel like I was even talking to my husband the other day. He’s an engineer and I’m more of a social personality. And I was sitting there thinking, you know what? It’s really good to have different people with different views, because if we’re all the same, it’d be like just vanilla ice cream. So it’s it’s so nice to be able to have different views, different perspectives, different things. And we can learn from each other.
[00:07:01.230] – Laura Cicholski
And I think we have to be open in the conversation. So thank you for being here today. Absolutely.
[00:07:05.850] – Kinita Schripsema
Well, hey, let’s dove into this material because I’ve been really excited to pull it together and share with our viewers what we are talking about.
[00:07:15.450] – Laura Cicholski
And so and I wanted to just say, tell us the name of your company. So Seema Global Consulting. How did you get the word? I love that.
[00:07:25.530] – Kinita Schripsema
Yes. Thank you for asking that. I forgot to mention that as well. So seems a little consulting is actually Seema is my middle name and it means boundaries. And so because I’m really passionate about boundaries and staying healthy and making sure that we approach life holistically. Right. So that does include culture.
[00:07:45.450] – Kinita Schripsema
That does include emotional health and how we live to our stories and our personalities and so many different things that it just made sense to do that. And then, of course, a lot of my global connections that we have and the international work that I’ve done and our company has done just kind of made sense to do Seema global consulting. And the the the what am I trying to say?
[00:08:08.910] – Kinita Schripsema
The logo in and of itself is, of course my power color, which is the blue. But then it’s an open, it’s an open oval. It’s not a closed one because we really want people to know that we are open and our table is always available for you to come and sit at. So you feel included and you feel belonged that you belong in in your story and how we can help journey with you in that space.
[00:08:32.700] – Kinita Schripsema
And people can find links at the end of the slideshow of how to contact us.
[00:08:37.530] – Kinita Schripsema
But it’s seemaglobalconsulting.Com.
[00:08:39.960] – Laura Cicholski
OK, I love that open because really every every person on Earth deserves to be heard and deserves to have someone to listen to them and know that their viewpoint is valid. And even if they don’t agree that they’re heard and that some will accept their opinion, too, and then we can learn from each other. So thank you for being here and I’ll let you take over. Absolutely.
[00:08:58.560] – Kinita Schripsema
Thank you so much. All right. So let’s dove in. We’ve got five things to remember when discussing hot topics. And let me just say on the offset that maybe your five things work differently than my five things. But I just thought that these were the five things that really work in my story and have worked in several relationships that I’ve had to have difficult conversations and just an overall approach that seems to work. So feel free to tweak it the way that you need to tweak it in your story.
[00:09:26.910] – Kinita Schripsema
And just maybe, maybe there’s only one or two ways that really work for you. But whatever it takes for us to grow forward together and to be unified in some of these situations. And, yeah, sometimes we will agree to disagree. So let’s move on. All right. So the first one what I really want you to think about, though, is there are all these hot topics, right? Religion, politics, gender, race, culture, you name it.
[00:09:53.010] – Kinita Schripsema
And we would like to approach it from a diversity and inclusion lens. And so some of the words and some of the points that I will have will definitely have an overarching concept of appreciating and encouraging diversity and inclusion. All right. So diversity basically is saying we’re different, we have different the way we look, the way we behave, maybe socioeconomic differences, whatever the differences are. That’s diversity. Inclusion, though. That’s the challenge. That’s the one that says, are you willing to allow someone to feel like they fit and belong?
[00:10:29.120] – Kinita Schripsema
Are you going to do what it takes to allow someone to feel like they fit and belong? Right. So even in a conversation, that is usually the first place where many of us of color start to think, hmm, I don’t feel like I fit and belong in this conversation because that person is being really aggressive.
[00:10:49.340] – Kinita Schripsema
So or for white folks there, many of them are trying to have a healthy dialog with someone, but they’re a little triggered with some of the terms that are out there. You know, folks of color are also triggered. So there’s a little commonality right there between white people and nonwhite people. When we’re thinking of diversity and inclusion, we’re both triggered. So maybe realizing that when we go forward is going to be key. All right, before you do the five things, so technically we could have said six, but the list was going to get really long.
[00:11:27.860] – Kinita Schripsema
So I decided to put this one on the outside of the five things that we need to remember when we’re having discussions on hot topics – boundaries.
[00:11:37.010] – Kinita Schripsema
Right. It’s really, really crucial that before you go into a conversation is to understand your boundaries. What are you willing to put up with? What are you not going to do? Right. For example, name calling. Unacceptable. Right. We teach our children don’t name call. So as adults, perhaps we should follow that same model, have that boundary. What what are you willing to put up with? Some folks are have sarcasm or they have aggressive responses.
[00:12:09.050] – Kinita Schripsema
Maybe that’s where you say, hey, you know what? I’m not willing to put up with those kinds of behaviors. So understanding what your boundaries are and if you want to do a little bit more work around that, work around boundaries and understanding that, I also have another workshop, a website sorry webinar that I put together on boundaries that help individuals kind of ask themselves the questions on how they will put the boundaries in place. It’s not boundaries that I’m telling you to put in.
[00:12:39.110] – Kinita Schripsema
It’s not ones where I’m saying you have to have boundaries in these areas, although there might be some general ones in society that we should have boundaries with.
[00:12:47.570] – Kinita Schripsema
But it’s understanding where you yourself, based on how you’re wired, need to have boundaries.
[00:12:53.330] – Kinita Schripsema
OK, so understanding what your own personal boundaries are before you go into a conversation. So another, for instance, is the acronym is HALT. And Laura, you’d appreciate this because you just finished a stress series and there was some conversation around HALT. Right. The acronym and the acronym HALT is hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Please do not have conversations with about difficult topics when you’re hungry, angry, lonely or tired. It’s a combination for disaster, right?
[00:13:28.040] – Kinita Schripsema
We had a rule in our marriage that after ten o’clock we were not allowed to have those hard conversations. We learned that the hard way where several years ago in our early years, we would have these hard conversations that just kind of started up because the kids were in bed and that was the only time. But we were still talking about it at 1:00 in the morning. Not helpful for either one of us. We had to put that hard and fast boundary in place to not have the hard conversations after 10:00 at night.
[00:13:56.950] – Kinita Schripsema
All right, so understanding your boundaries before this is a before you have the hard conversation. All right. Number one is being self aware. In my line of work as a coach and a consultant, I am learning more and more that people are just not as self aware as they like to think. They’re not aware of what’s going on inside, and so they just take action outside. And so my encouragement to you is the number one thing to do is to be self aware.
[00:14:27.700] – Kinita Schripsema
And so you’re like, well, OK, how does that work with the conversations? I want you to think about what leads and guides your thoughts. Right? What is up there in that noggin? Is there stress? Is there what is leading and guiding you? Is there a faith model? We’ll get to that in a few minutes. What leads and guides your thoughts? Is it anxiety? Is it like knee jerk reactions when something challenging faces you?
[00:14:53.110] – Kinita Schripsema
Are you a follower of the crowd or do you wait right? Do you kind of wait or do you just kind of watch what’s going around you and then kind of jump on the bandwagon, you know? Yeah, there’s just there’s countless examples we can give about this. But what I’d like to point to is you see the stoplight sign that I have in the in the screen here, it’s kind of a funny little personal story is when so when my husband and I travel, we travel quite a bit.
[00:15:17.950] – Kinita Schripsema
We love to go to a city that’s just a few hours away from here and to just kind of get away and enjoy and relax. And we love to walk the streets of the city and and listen to the sounds and see the people. And so you get to a red light and it’s on one of those one way roads.
[00:15:32.740] – Kinita Schripsema
So there’s really no traffic coming, but it’s red. Do you still cross or do you wait? And so we often will chuckle about that and go, well, it says red. I’m usually the one that’s saying it says red, we can’t go. Meanwhile, people are walking around us to cross the street. And I’m having this moment of I don’t follow the crowd. There’s a rule. So I’m a rule follower. And I think that’s really important self awareness that if you’re a rule follower, you might be triggered differently than somebody around you or the other person in that conversation.
[00:16:07.580] – Laura Cicholski
Real quick, Kinita, that’s interesting because like as an entrepreneur, I find that I’m a rule breaker of just not moral rules, not ethical, not a state of criminal laws. But yes, I would have probably walked. We make a good team.
[00:16:23.390] – Kinita Schripsema
Yeah, right. Well, and my husband is the walker to up and he’s like, no one’s here. I’m like, oh, this is so challenging. If the kids were with us we wouldn’t walk.
[00:16:32.660] – Kinita Schripsema
Right. So maybe that’s the thought to say if you’re having a hard conversation with somebody that’s really difficult to discuss, pretend your kids are within earshot. Pretend or like kind of visualize what that would look like with our conversation. So being self-aware, forsee. It says what are the core values that influence your opinions? I am a person who is really motivated by my convictions and I have very deep convictions. I have very strong convictions and I’m checking them often to make sure that they’re lining up with other areas of my life.
[00:17:07.370] – Kinita Schripsema
But it is really important to understand what are your core values? What on the inside of who you are is non negotiable, right? For the most part. And last but not least, do you consider yourself an influencer? Now, for those of you who don’t understand what that term is, it simply are you influencing others to do better, to to do justice, to kind of stay engaged with what’s going on in society? Well, hats off to you.
[00:17:33.230] – Kinita Schripsema
Thank you for doing that work. I encourage that more and more in our relationships. But here’s the thing. All of us are influencers. So this is a bit of a trick question.
[00:17:45.350] – Kinita Schripsema
All of us are influencers we’re going to influence negatively or positively. Right. So when you’re self aware, you need to understand if you are considered a very public influencer and people know that about you, be mindful of how are you presenting yourself in those conversations? Do you have a forceful way of trying to convince the other person that you are right and they are wrong? Or are you putting the facts on the table and letting them pick and choose? Right.
[00:18:15.650] – Kinita Schripsema
So when you’re having that difficult conversation, practice some of that in that space. All right, next, faith and culture. I am super passionate about faith and culture because there is such a deep tie. I’m from the Indian culture and to hear the faith models that are popular in India, they’re very tied to the culture. Right. And so even for myself, I am a follower of Christ. I’m a Christian. And so my faith really does inform me on how to love my neighbor.
[00:18:50.080] – Kinita Schripsema
And so if I’m not doing that, then I’m not going to make a change in the culture or I’m not going to impact the culture in a positive way if I’m not paying attention to how can I do it differently today? How can I love my neighbor in a way that shows them that they matter and that they care. And that includes a conversation. Right. So if we’re having a difficult conversation or a conversation on a difficult topic, it we’re going to have to think about, does my faith inform me?
[00:19:17.380] – Kinita Schripsema
And if so, how how might my faith? I just did an interview over the weekend about the Hindu faith and the Sikh faith. And I was really encouraged, by the way that they are very much about being kind and respectful. Right.
[00:19:32.260] – Kinita Schripsema
That is also common in the Christian faith and human human living in and of itself to be kind and respectful in a conversation.
[00:19:40.750] – Kinita Schripsema
And then that starts to reflect and reveal how much of your faith you really live by.
[00:19:46.660] – Kinita Schripsema
Or is it just a title? I know. Don’t get upset. That’s just how it is. Right. So how does your faith in culture inform you? That’s something you want to think about. Are there tenants in your faith that challenge you to be better, to do better, to listen better, to allow grace for that person? I have a phrase that I often use in my workshops is take a step back when you’re in a situation and you’re struggling.
[00:20:17.650] – Kinita Schripsema
And this connects to faith and most people will understand that terminology that followed the Christian faith.
[00:20:23.590] – Kinita Schripsema
But I take a step back and I put grace in the space that allows me to hear the person differently, that allows me to catch my breath, that allows me to maybe come up with other questions. And just for me, for my faith model allows God to do his work in me so I can be a better recipient of what that person is saying to me. And I think sometimes people stay so trigger happy in those conversations that they kind of forget that maybe God has a different purpose for this conversation.
[00:20:54.460] – Kinita Schripsema
Maybe my faith model has different ways to inform me. Maybe I need extra peace in this conversation. And so when we take a step back and put grace in the space, we allow our faith to continue to inform us in that conversation.
[00:21:10.300] – Laura Cicholski
Kinita, I love that I was just going to ask you, you brought up a great point, if someone said, let’s say whether it’s a political or religious covid discussion before with someone and they’re thinking, oh, I remember how this went before.
[00:21:20.680] – Laura Cicholski
I want to make it different this time, whether it’s a family member or a coworker, friend, whoever. I love what you just said about putting Grace. And I was going to ask, should they if they had conversation before it was difficult. They want it to go differently this time. Should they kind of imagine how it could go differently, maybe them having a different mindset going into versus maybe the first time they had they were like, oh, I only really am thinking about what I what I think what I think versus what they’re trying to tell you.
[00:21:43.450] – Laura Cicholski
So I think putting the grace in there, that’s isn’t that almost like you said, allowing God to kind of come in as well. And that is it, almost like stepping back and trying to be open and neutral and not necessarily in your head that the thoughts that are in your head, coming out in your head, that that’s what you’re going to portray, almost like you’re going to try to react differently? Is that what you’re trying to say?
[00:22:04.480] – Kinita Schripsema
I think that’s good. What I’m hearing you say is kind of hitting the reset button, if you will, before the next difficult conversation. Wonder if that helps or not. I didn’t know, but yeah, but sometimes when we’re in that conversation, we’re like, oh, I was this came out of nowhere. This so we don’t always have time to prep. So I feel like if you’ve had difficult conversations and I believe all of us have on some level, what did you learn from that?
[00:22:29.890] – Kinita Schripsema
How did your faith inform you? Did you get it right or wrong? And I say that carefully. Did you did it go well? Did it not go well? And so maybe if it didn’t go well, how could it better? I find myself often because of my faith model, because of the faith that I follow. I make it very clear to pray for that person, not so that they’ll be convinced to come to my side. Let me be clear.
[00:22:54.460] – Kinita Schripsema
I want to pray for their person so that they’re listening well to me and that I’m listening well to them.
[00:23:00.880] – Kinita Schripsema
I’m praying for the conversation that it will go smoothly. I’m praying for the conversation that we will honor each other in that space and all of those great positive things. But I’m praying because at the end of the day, I cannot do it in my flesh. I cannot do it by myself because I’m so distracted with all these other things that I need God’s help. Right. And so that’s kind of why I encourage folks to think about your faith model and think about how that might inform you in a healthier way to be able to influence, impact, encourage and have healthier discussions on hot topics.
[00:23:34.960] – Laura Cicholski
I love that. And one last interception I’ll let go. I love what you said about when you mentioned if it went right or wrong. I know exactly what you meant. You didn’t mean whether they thought you were right at all or the other person was right. You meant were you acting? Were you listening to them right? Were you open? Were you. That was great. Did it go smoothly? I love that because it’s not like sometimes you hear people saying, well, I was right about that.
[00:23:56.800] – Laura Cicholski
And I was like, OK, you know, you can’t be. But it’s not about right or wrong. It’s about listening to the other person being open. And that’s a great, amazing.
[00:24:06.610] – Kinita Schripsema
Yeah, good clarification. Thank you. So remembering that the faith that you have, it’s not really for others. It’s for you. Right. Are you trying to convince others to act based on your own beliefs? So in essence, if I’m talking to a Buddhist, I’m not going to expect them to follow the tenets of the Christian faith, they might choose to based on their faith.
[00:24:31.250] – Kinita Schripsema
But I’m not going to expect because they’re not Christians, they’re Buddhists. Right. And I’m not a Hindu. So I’m not going to respond in a way that a Hindu might or understand certain things the way a Hindu might. And therefore, same like Christians, not everybody is a Christian that you’re going to be speaking to there. I’m going to be speaking to. So I need to make sure that I’m still open and I’m listening and I’m hearing them and I’m loving them because the number one thing in our faith model is to love God and love others.
[00:25:05.690] – Kinita Schripsema
And so understanding what that looks like in a conversation says it’s OK that we don’t have the same faith. I’m not trying to convince you to do this based on what I believe, but I want to hear you. And I think the more these kinds of relationships are fostered, the more that look, the healthier we will be, the more we’ll be able to be accepting of one another. And then guess what? There’s this this word called United.
[00:25:31.190] – Kinita Schripsema
We might actually be more united as a recent citizen of the US, we might actually be more united in our relationships, in our communities. Wouldn’t that be great? So, yeah. So, again, the grace comes into this space to for us to go. Oh, yeah, sometimes. And I’m not I’m not knocking any one particular faith group. I’m simply saying sometimes we get stuck in our bubble. Right. And we’re in our bubble. And this is the only kind of people that we talk to.
[00:25:57.560] – Kinita Schripsema
And then all of a sudden we meet someone new who’s outside of that faith model or whatever. And it’s just kind of like, I don’t know how to talk to that person anymore. Great. We got to start practicing, start learning, having those conversations.
[00:26:12.190] – Kinita Schripsema
And then I reiterated this so many times, is the love your neighbor, I mean, in this last year during Covid or the pandemic, we’ve seen so many signs out there about love your neighbor, love your neighbor, love it. And I’m and I’m all about that. Please, please understand. I am totally about loving my neighbor. It’s the heart of why I believe I was put on this earth and why I am engaging the way I am engaging with a lot of folks because I want to love my neighbor and I want to be used in a way that will be loving to my neighbor.
[00:26:40.720] – Kinita Schripsema
And so I want to challenge that and say, are we doing this in a way that they will understand? Right. Like the other person will understand. That means we need to have conversations. We need to learn who the people are in our neighborhood. And sometimes that means those are our children, our relatives within our families, in-laws. Right. And it goes on to say, how are we loving our neighbor? Let’s not just assume it’s the people that live next door or upstairs or downstairs, depending on what kind of a home you live in.
[00:27:13.060] – Kinita Schripsema
It is anybody that’s in our story. Right. So my encouragement to listeners out there would be take a little piece of paper and list out who are the people in your life and how might you learn to love them differently? Right. So when I say differently, this is what I’m talking about. So often people are expecting others to love in the same way. I had a situation happen recently where I was showing love in action. It was a very practical, simple, simple way of support to somebody.
[00:27:43.690] – Kinita Schripsema
And someone else in my life called me out and said, oh, is that the belief that you’re following from here on out? And I said, wow, let’s have a phone conversation. Right. So that was important to have the phone conversation and not a texting dialog, but especially for these hard topics. Shoot. I should have had. That is one of my five.
[00:28:04.730] – Kinita Schripsema
Yeah, but what ended up happening was I said this person called me out on that and I actually learned a lot of things from that dialog that was really difficult.
[00:28:16.900] – Kinita Schripsema
But I also stood very firmly that what God was showing me a different way to love this person. And I’m sorry that you don’t see it the same way. And then I gave him some really good back up like background about how and and where that was showing up. So it was really and then I was able to explain the golden rule and the platinum rule. So the golden rule we all know. Right. And we say it so often. Love.
[00:28:42.640] – Kinita Schripsema
[00:28:43.210] – Kinita Schripsema
I am blinking –
[00:28:44.680] – Laura Cicholski
love your neighbor as yourself. Right. Thank you. You’re good. You’re good.
[00:28:49.750] – Kinita Schripsema
So love your neighbor as yourself. Right. Well then the platinum rule says love your neighbor the way that they need to be loved or that they would understand the love. Right. And that’s kind of that cultural piece. If you have a neighbor or somebody in your story that’s from a different ethnic background, then they’ll think about what is common in their culture. How might your faith impact that relationship to enhance their culture, your culture and together your relationship with that person?
[00:29:22.210] – Laura Cicholski
I love that.
[00:29:22.900] – Laura Cicholski
Can you repeat one more time, love your neighbor, the platinum or love your neighbor that they would understand?
[00:29:27.220] – Kinita Schripsema
I’m as part of it as well, love your neighbor the way they would understand right now. Let me give you a for instance. This pandemic has been really rough for all of us. No doubt. No doubt. Absolutely. I am an extrovert. I’m what I termed hot climate. That’s part of the workshop that we do for understanding cultures that anybody’s interested. We can talk more about that later. But I come from a vantage point of really community and inclusion in group.
[00:29:56.020] – Kinita Schripsema
And so for me, I’ve learned that I heal in community. I grow in community. I want to fail in community. Meaning like having that support.
[00:30:05.710] – Kinita Schripsema
And honestly, I’ll just say really, Frank, and again, I’m not sure who’s listening to this or watching this, but the one thing that has been shown to me is abandonment, abandonment. Like people have disappeared in some of those ways that I needed to experience deep community. And for those who understand this cultural language that I’m talking about, you know, to not be able to heal in community and to not be able to grow in community and not be able to experience those kinds of connections, some of these are common to a lot of people, but we don’t take into consideration how might I love you in the way that you understand.
[00:30:49.330] – Kinita Schripsema
Yeah. Right, that’s that’s where that lands, and so if we’re saying we have a faith, whatever the faith model, are we allowing that to impact the culture and to make a difference that we want to see? All right, number three is arguing and dissension have no place in a healthy dialog, right, arguing and dissension ends up causing fights. So if you see my little graphic up there, they’re both in a boat and they’re rowing in separate directions.
[00:31:20.010] – Kinita Schripsema
That’s a fail. I’m not a huge fan of being on the water, I’ll be honest. But to see that picture just really spoke volumes to me. And I was able to kind of really wrap my brain around it and go, yeah, you know what they’re arguing? They’re fighting. They’re not getting anywhere, literally, right?
[00:31:37.590] – Laura Cicholski
[00:31:38.910] – Kinita Schripsema
So in essence, when you’re in a conversation that’s of a difficult topic, are you trying to get your own way or are you trying to make sure that no matter what, you are right and you want to make sure that this person hears you and blah, blah, blah? Well, guess what? The more you try to push to get your own way, the less you’re going to succeed in that conversation and find ground of unifying. And that’s just heartbreaking because it is really destroying a lot of relationships and families.
[00:32:07.920] – Kinita Schripsema
And my heart just goes out to folks that have experienced that. Do you have a strong sense, one way or the other, that your issue that you’re talking about that’s being discussed is right or wrong? Right. We’ve already touched on that, that often people will step into something and say, oh, well, this is the right way. Now, with all due respect, I think often faith models inform that. And also and it’s and in essence, if you think that this particular thing is right or wrong, be very clear that the other person that you’re talking with might not feel the same way.
[00:32:40.230] – Kinita Schripsema
Right. And so what are you willing to do? Right. So my encouragement is take a step back, put grace in the space that allows us to listen differently, and then it maybe helps us realize, man, I’m really pushing my point here, that kind of thing in that conversation. When I’m actually when I’m in a conversation with somebody and if I pick up that there, they’re feeling really right about something, I will kind of try to de-escalate that conversation.
[00:33:08.440] – Kinita Schripsema
But at the same time, there are times where you just can’t change somebody’s mind. And I’m not willing to argue. I did have a conversation with someone recently where they were pushing their point and making it so adamantly real that I finally said one day when we were completely outside of that tension and I said, you know, I just want you to know whenever you talk in this way, I feel disrespected. OK, they got it right away.
[00:33:33.910] – Kinita Schripsema
They were like, I’m so sorry. I did not mean to disrespect you, OK? And now we can talk about that. We actually laugh and joke about that topic. There’s no arguing. There’s no dissension. There’s just respect because this person really has a heart for respect. And I know that because I’ve learned that person. Right. And so just thinking about what that might look like in your story.
[00:33:56.280] – Laura Cicholski
So real quick, I just give them to you, but I love that and I love the fact that, like, whether it was for my Stress Relief series, the health care audience, or whether it’s people with relationships or anyone in the workplace, they could use this information that you’re talking about to just try to make that.
[00:34:11.970] – Laura Cicholski
Because if you think about it like people, whether it’s health care providers or anyone doing their job throughout the day, if there’s like a conversation needed to have and they each have different viewpoints, whether it’s different race or anything, it can go a lot. The day can go a lot better. And even like it can be better. Patient care can be better production at work, more efficiency, better quality customer service, don’t you think? Absolutely.
[00:34:35.370] – Kinita Schripsema
Good point that the hourly I the return on investment super high with employee retention in terms of connecting with teammates on your team, putting out a better product, I mean, isn’t that even better for the whole organization on the whole? So yeah, thanks for making that connection. I think that’s really important.
[00:34:54.360] – Kinita Schripsema
Yeah. So Dissension leads to discord? How might you show more unity in your dialog so that you can have a more productive conversation? Right. And I get that this is not solely dependent on on you as an individual. It’s also dependent on the other person. And so if they’re pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing, remember what we talked about earlier with boundaries, maybe that’s a boundary that you have that you’re saying, I will take three pushing and we’re done for all you parents out there listening who have kids of strong willed nature.
[00:35:25.620] – Kinita Schripsema
You get what I’m talking about. They push, push, push, push, push. Right. So kind of making sure that, hey, I’m not going to argue, I’m not going to be defensive in that space. But I guess I want to also point out that sometimes people think they’re debating when they’re actually arguing, OK. And so to understand the difference between the two, the debating would be you can put your facts on the table.
[00:35:51.120] – Kinita Schripsema
I can put my facts on the table, and we just kind of keep going. I was never on the debate team, so I better put that out there. But I do understand that that does start to show healthier discussion when we’re debating. Right. Doing the facts, putting those things, kind of maybe taking some of the emotion out of the conversation, because when there is high emotion and granted all these hot topics have tons of emotions wrapped up in them.
[00:36:16.840] – Kinita Schripsema
There is a propensity for us to argue, right, and so wanting to make sure that we understand that you might think you’re debating, but in actuality you’re arguing because what’s happening is there’s more tension building in that conversation and not peace. I think that debates, if I’m not mistaken, tend to have more peace about them and mature back and forth in a situation.
[00:36:42.010] – Laura Cicholski
Yes, they do.
[00:36:43.600] – Laura Cicholski
I think we to get that from presidential debates years ago, not so much lately. That makes fair to
[00:36:49.060] – Kinita Schripsema
point taken point all right, so number four is diversity, right, we talked about how we were going to tie this in with the diversity and inclusion lens. And so the diversity, if you look at the picture on the left, it’s it’s a puzzle with all these different elements, ethnicity, sexual orientation, job level skills, thinking styles, you name it. Lots of diversity there. And so thinking about asking yourself the question, I guess it would be, does that include diversity of thought for you?
[00:37:19.940] – Kinita Schripsema
[00:37:21.020] – Kinita Schripsema
You as the listener, if you’re listening to this and you’re watching and you’re making notes, and I want to ask you, do you really believe in diversity of thought? Because that’s what’s happening in our conversations. When we’re talking about these hot topics, we end up thinking that the other person has to think the same way. They’re not going to just because they have like maybe three out of five things in common with you does not mean that they’re going to think the same way as you right now.
[00:37:46.620] – Kinita Schripsema
Have a very personal story around this. Several years ago, probably in 2016, there were a lot of hot things going on. Right even then. I mean, it feels like every year there’s a whole list of hot topics. But that year I was really becoming educated in some areas. And so I was having these dialogs with the folks. And what I quickly realized was that until their opinion fell out of my mouth, they were not going to listen to me.
[00:38:12.590] – Kinita Schripsema
All right, so pointing to the diversity of thought, I had a different thought process, I had a different approach to something and it looked really good because there were other people that were also like, oh, yeah, this is really great. But when I would talk to somebody who was on the opposite side in a lot of these discussions, I started to realize that they weren’t really appreciating diversity of thought. These folks wanted me to even think the way that they thought because we were the same color or because we had the same faith model.
[00:38:41.900] – Kinita Schripsema
Or like I said earlier, we had three out of five things that were the same. And so they assumed that I would also think the same. But see, here’s the thing. My faith informs me. My cultural experience informs me. My experiences, plural, experiences inform me. Right. And so those are all different than the people I was talking with. And so it became very clear and I’ve kind of honed in on that phrase of like, oh, got it.
[00:39:07.910] – Kinita Schripsema
And I use that as my little ticker in my mind. Right. If I’m having a struggle in a conversation with somebody, I wonder if they’re waiting for their opinion to fall out of my mouth. Right, so being really mindful of when you’re in a conversation, are you expecting your opinion to fall out of that person’s mouth? Just to warn you, it probably won’t happen because they have diversity of thought. Everyone’s going to think differently in terms of how they’re acting.
[00:39:36.970] – Laura Cicholski
So quick question on that.
[00:39:38.020] – Laura Cicholski
It’s a great point. So then how do you handle that? Because like, let’s say you’re going into a conversation and you’re open and you’re like, OK, I want to listen to what they’re saying. I truly want to listen. Let’s say they’re on the other end of it and they want to hear you say what they believe. How do you get them to be open to it?
[00:39:53.800] – Kinita Schripsema
Because they’re they’re so different. Like you continue to have a conversation.
[00:39:57.620] – Kinita Schripsema
How do I then handle it? Like at what point do I shut the conversation off? Yeah, I think at the end of the day, what I’ll tell you what happened in those situations really unfriended me on social media. That was their choice, not mine. They and again, my thought in those places, in those conversations were to do no harm to people. They were very kind, respectful. It was just a different creative angle. Right.
[00:40:22.300] – Kinita Schripsema
So in essence, maybe it was like I’m talking about culture. They want to stay focused on race. Right. And until I write this one little one and some other ones that were thinking of. So what did I do? I let them unfriend me. I let them stop talking to me because I can’t control that. That’s their choice. That’s on them. Right. But even in depending on the relationship that I had with that person, I did say at one point, hey, I just want to encourage you as you continue to have these conversations with other people that you might want to be a little bit more open with how you’re presenting some of the stuff.
[00:40:57.160] – Laura Cicholski
Oh, that’s a good idea. OK, oh, good. Because you won’t always be there for every conversation and you know, you’re open, but you’re kind of worried about them going forward with others. If they were both kind of close minded, that was so helpful to them.
[00:41:10.960] – Kinita Schripsema
It was. And actually those kinds of scenarios came back with like, oh, well, what should I do differently? Right. Or, OK, how can I change this or what? What what are you really seeing? Right. So I’ve been able to say, hey, I guess you’re it seems to me that you’re unhappy because I’m not telling you what you want to hear. Right. And that becomes that next little phrase that’s so super common in west Michigan.
[00:41:32.860] – Kinita Schripsema
People want to be people want to hear what they want to hear, not might be what the truth is. And so I’m for those who know me personally. Right. They know very well that I won’t tell you what you want to hear. I’ll tell you the truth. And if the truth is what you want to hear, then fine. And I get it. Everybody’s truth is different is how people say sometimes. Right. But really, if you ask me, hey, does this outfit work, whatever, I will highlight a positive.
[00:41:58.120] – Kinita Schripsema
But I will say very clearly, you probably don’t want to wear it to this event or look, just kind of we got to be able to do that with each other. Right. That’s constructive. That’s honest. And at the end of the day, I will be held. Yeah, I will be held accountable for that in my own journey.
[00:42:14.210] – Laura Cicholski
Yeah, I think that’s really good and I love I love all these points are making one thing, too.
[00:42:18.140] – Kinita Schripsema
It makes me think of I threw my first series, I interviewed Randy McNeilly and he was the kindest coach in here. This all goes back to kindness, too, because it’s tricky to have someone else’s viewpoint and say, oh, gosh, it’s hard because I have my viewpoint, but I want to be open to theirs. But I think if we go back to the golden rule, like you said, love your neighbor and then your platinum rule as well, and then kindness as well, if it comes behind, I think we can think about it.
[00:42:42.470] – Laura Cicholski
Gosh, I want to be kind in this conversation. How can I be then? I think, like, at least for me, I’m more open to listening to their side and you know what I mean.
[00:42:51.020] – Kinita Schripsema
Yeah. And, you know, funny thing, when we were raising our kids, when one of them was little, you know, you always want as a parent, you always want your kids to be nice to other kids, be nice.
[00:43:00.800] – Kinita Schripsema
And then we went to a parent teacher conference. So the teacher said, your son is kind. Oh, that’s great. And it kind of stopped me in my tracks because I thought, oh, well, I want him to be nice, but I kind of like kind better. So then I started to watch for kindness in different situations and I realized and no offense to anybody, any one particular person, but in West Michigan, we have this phrase called West Michigan.
[00:43:23.090] – Kinita Schripsema
Nice. Oh, yeah, OK. And that’s often telling people what they want to hear. Yeah, I’ll be honest. It’s causing more pain. It’s causing more pain and anguish in relationships. When we’re just being nice, we need to change it up and we need to call it kindness. I agree with you. If we can learn to be kind to one another, then we’re thinking about being respectful. We’re thinking about like we’re thinking, we’re just thinking and, you know, and being kind.
[00:43:52.580] – Laura Cicholski
I think that was this really powerful. Yeah. Well, it shows what you and your husband are doing a great job with your kids then. So great job.
[00:43:58.250] – Laura Cicholski
Oh, man. I don’t know if they are grown up to be very amazing young men and women. And so we’re just trusting that it will continue in their own journeys. But thank you. They’re doing great.
[00:44:09.920] – Kinita Schripsema
But even in this diversity conversation, how do you feel when you’re talking to someone different than you? The reason I’m Seema global consulting is doing so much focus on culture, work and not race. Race has this lane. Culture has this lane. They both feed each other at different points. Right. But for the most part, there are two lanes and it’s important that we acknowledge. How do we relate to that? Right. What does that look like?
[00:44:35.240] – Kinita Schripsema
How are we feeling when we’re talking to someone different than us? So that’s in the race context. Someone is from a different social background, right? Like what? How are we feel? Check yourself. Go back to number one, be self aware. Understand that you have certain triggers in your story when it comes to someone different than you be it race, socioeconomic, gender, whatever the case be. Right. And so if you’re not aware of your own feelings and then you cannot celebrate the diversity because you’ve still got these hang ups on how you feel about someone different than you.
[00:45:09.200] – Laura Cicholski
Yeah, that’s amazing. I love it. I love it. It just this openness is so good, especially with what our country’s dealt with over the past year and still dealing with. And so thank you. I think this will help a lot of people.
[00:45:19.760] – Kinita Schripsema
Yeah, I had some conversations recently with somebody who they didn’t know how to pronounce my first name, and they asked me, they just said, hey, oh, how you using your first name? I don’t want to get it wrong. Can you tell me, like. Oh, absolutely. So I went ahead and told him and then he shared with me this long story of some challenges that he’s had over his journey. And he’s a white middle class male.
[00:45:41.210] – Kinita Schripsema
So that allowed for us to kind of me to do a little education, have a little conversation and to be more open. And it just really went well.
[00:45:49.990] – Kinita Schripsema
But we’re both extremely different.
[00:45:51.890] – Laura Cicholski
Yeah, which is that’s cool. And your name is beautiful, by the way. I didn’t pick it, but thank you. It is. It is.
[00:45:59.270] – Kinita Schripsema
So so then like I said, to embrace diversity, we need we need to consider every area and make sure we are willing to address inclusion as well. And that is the next step before you can freely celebrate diversity. And what I mean by that is often we say diversity and inclusion. Great. And then there’s equity in the middle two words. And I say it’s a little different. But the diversity and inclusion piece is to say, if you’re somebody that says rah rah to to diversity, please don’t stop there.
[00:46:30.380] – Kinita Schripsema
Please don’t pat yourself on the back and say, yeah, we’re good. No, inclusion is the real work. Inclusion is where the accountability sits. Inclusion is where we show that our table is open. Right for other folks who are different than us to come and sit at the table, but to feel seen, be heard and allowed to be freely who they were created to be. That’s really inclusion. And I got to be honest with you, I think in this last year, there’s still been a great push for diversity, which is fabulous.
[00:47:02.510] – Kinita Schripsema
But there’s been a real challenge around inclusion. A lot of folks have kind of retreated into their own selves, into their own stories and don’t have a lot of room. Other folks, so when you’re having these hard conversations, ask yourself, are you sitting in a table conversation, if you will, and making room for somebody else’s thought, somebody else’s way of living, way of life, and the differences that they bring to the table so that they can feel seen and heard and have a sense of belonging in that relationship with you.
[00:47:34.360] – Kinita Schripsema
So last but not least, is assimilation in the same vein of diversity and inclusion? I want to address assimilation. Right. This is something and I tried to make the graphic a little bigger, but it wouldn’t allow me to. So I will just kind of read it. When we talk about assimilation, it’s way over here on the left. And when we talk about inclusion, we’re way over on the right. OK, so we’re moving in the right direction when we are practicing inclusion.
[00:48:00.070] – Kinita Schripsema
If we’re practicing assimilation, which is kind of what we do in this country, in the US, is more assimilation than there is inclusion. We’re getting better still a lot of hard work to do, but you can kind of get that picture. So assimilation, basically, an individual is treated as an insider in the work group where he or she conforms to dominant culture norms and downplays their uniqueness.
[00:48:27.140] – Laura Cicholski
OK, describe that a little bit more like assimilation.
[00:48:30.670] – Kinita Schripsema
So basically somebody who is assimilating is not living into who they were created to be. Right. Isn’t able to bring their whole self to the table, isn’t able to live into their true, authentic self. There is and I’ll say this as well. There is a need for assimilation to a point, right? There are rules, there are processes, there are general things that we all kind of have to fall in line with. I understand that.
[00:48:59.680] – Kinita Schripsema
But when it comes to our uniqueness, our individualism are the creative things that we have within us, our race, our ethnic background, the impact of our culture. It’s really important that we’re able to not be forced, which I’ll get to in a second, downplay those unique qualities. And that’s where it gets a little challenging. You see the US now, I’ll get to that second. Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Right.
[00:49:26.330] – Laura Cicholski
[00:49:26.710] – Kinita Schripsema
You’re good. All right. So inclusion then says that an individual is treated as an insider and is allowed and encouraged to retain uniqueness within the work group. Right. So we do a lot of work with supervisors, H.R. consultants, folks that are in charge of teams and groups for helping them retain their unique employees. And so for those that are listening, just please contact us. We’ll connect with you about all of this to understand how we can do inclusion better.
[00:49:59.890] – Kinita Schripsema
We all need to get better in a lot of different areas. And that’s one way that we can help individuals. Doesn’t matter what area of work you work in, but encourage inclusion. So why this is important is because of these three things. Since the US is a melting pot, we need to do a better job in our dialogs to make sure that we are not trying to convince others to act and think like we do OK.
[00:50:24.460] – Kinita Schripsema
If we are doing that, we are full on assimilation. We are forcing that ethnic person, that person from a different country. Maybe they’re even the same ethnic background. They’re white, they’re Caucasian, they’re European of some descent. But they’re coming into the US. Right. There’s that pressure to melt into how everybody else is doing things right. So if you find yourself saying something like, well, this is how we’ve always done it, you are encouraging assimilation.
[00:50:54.700] – Kinita Schripsema
You’re not encouraging inclusion. Right. So that’s why it’s important, even in our conversations, when it’s difficult to convince the other person that we are right, that that whole I’m right mindset is very dangerous when it comes to discussing hot topics. B is forced assimilation is not only experienced by people from diverse and ethnic backgrounds, but also by individuals who think and behave differently than you remember.
[00:51:24.580] – Kinita Schripsema
I said earlier, until you hear your opinion fall out of my mouth, you are not going to listen to me. That’s forced assimilation, right? I feel I’ve lived in the West for over forty six years and that’s a lot of Western experience.
[00:51:40.510] – Kinita Schripsema
But I discovered many, many years ago, probably a few decades ago, that there is a lot of forced assimilation in my story. And so now as I’ve been transitioning, we’re relocating and realizing as part of my process, part of my own transition preparation, I’m realizing how much forced assimilation there really is, even in my friendships, in my leadership situations, in my communities. And then last but not least, is hold yourself accountable for your own actions.
[00:52:13.300] – Kinita Schripsema
And expectations before someone else must. OK, so what does that mean? Right, we are hearing a lot about Cancel culture, we’re hearing a lot about when somebody says something out of line, even just a minute, then they get blasted in terms of what they’re done. I’m not saying anything for or against cancel culture. I’m simply saying if you know that what you’re saying or doing is causing more friction or more stress in someone else’s life, then you might want to own it and deal with it before somebody else is forced to, because our laws are changing and the rules are changing and more people are being held accountable, especially around the D and I (Diversity and Inclusion) work.
[00:52:53.050] – Kinita Schripsema
And I work as well. The diversity and inclusion work and and even safety, if someone is feeling sexually unsafe in the workplace, are starting to come down like a hammer. So you’ve got to hold yourself accountable. And I think that’s that one word that a lot of people aren’t holding themselves accountable and other people aren’t holding them them accountable to what the their the their defined role is supposed to be right there without going too far away from that. When we look at politics, when we look at what’s going on in some religions, when we look at what’s going on in general, in society, right.
[00:53:33.520] – Kinita Schripsema
There’s this who’s accountable for some of these choices, some of these decisions. And so if each of us starts to practice that sense of accountability on our own, we might actually end up being the change that we want to see. And that’s a direct quote from Gandhi, because I love that quote. And it’s really helpful for me to kind of OK, I want to treat other people with respect and kindness and love my neighbor. But I also want to be the change that I want to see.
[00:53:57.820] – Kinita Schripsema
And so we lead by example. And so if you’re somebody that’s going to hold yourself accountable and realize that maybe you’re forcing someone to assimilate, even in this thought conversation, the process, whatever, first be aware that if we’re talking to folks in the US understanding that the US is a melting pot, it’s kind of a natural thing to have happen to focus on inclusion becomes countercultural, OK?
[00:54:22.750] – Kinita Schripsema
Right. So because if you think about it, the melting pot, everything goes in the pot melts down and becomes one mash of something. Right. Right. Inclusion says no, that’s countercultural. I’m going to allow you to be in this place. And so maybe maybe like this, if you like, maybe, I kind of think of it like this. The the the melting pot idea is like brownies. The one pot brown with all the everything goes in the pot like chocolate brownies in a nine by 13, that’s what.
[00:54:51.350] – Kinita Schripsema
Yeah. But there’s a there’s a dessert that my husband loves it, they’re called the seven layer bars and you take a lot of those similar items and you just layer them.
[00:55:01.420] – Kinita Schripsema
And then I think I don’t know if you bake them, I have a baked in forever, so I’m not even sure. But you’ve got the seven layer bars and you can kind of see the distinct items that are in the seven layer bars and you can taste the distinct like that that would show inclusion if somebody needs a visual of what that might look like.
[00:55:17.170] – Laura Cicholski
I love that. I love that. The next review, I’ll have to get the bars out so we can let the audience. I love what you just brought up. One quick point. When I interviewed Joe Tye for the Stress Relief series, he talked so much about culture, and especially if we’re talking to health care providers or anyone in their life or their workplace. But it was amazing because he talked about he agrees with you. Accountability is so important. And he said if we can teach, he taught a lot of health care CEOs and managers how to make sure that you create a great employee culture in your environment.
[00:55:49.630] – Laura Cicholski
And he said it’s comes down to even just the individual employee and whether it’s the the janitor, whether it’s the person that’s doing the the customer service, everyone is as important as the CEO. I mean, everyone has their own little heart. And if even just that one person can create that basic little culture, I mean, accountability in themselves that can make a better organization right there versus the person on top saying, OK, can you do this better?
[00:56:14.800] – Laura Cicholski
Which that does happen. But if you can start with them, just.
[00:56:19.450] – Kinita Schripsema
Yeah, and we actually have a tool that we like to use with supervisors when they’re working with their employees.
[00:56:24.130] – Kinita Schripsema
Right. You go to the workshop and then you end up with this tool, just a simple tool to help supervisors and employees kind of have that dialog when they’re having a one on ones on what that might look like from a cultural standpoint, from a diversity standpoint, how am I to continue the work after taking a workshop? Right. Are you taking the workshop for a checkbox or are you taking the workshop to kind of start to change and transform how you are responding as a supervisor, manager, leader, wherever, whatever the context is, what is that?
[00:56:53.260] – Kinita Schripsema
Accountability. And so we have this tool that we like to give people and then they can just kind of when you’re meeting with your employee, when you’re meeting with your team member, when you’re meeting with whoever you’re meeting with to kind of continue this work, you both can share that document and kind of look at where you’re each other at and what you can do better to be inclusive and not forcing assimilation to one side or the other.
[00:57:14.880] – Laura Cicholski
That’s so powerful.
[00:57:15.610] – Laura Cicholski
And I think we’ve talked many Different times, but I love how you’ve mentioned in the past, too, that people at the workplace really need to be heard, and it doesn’t mean that the manager has to agree with what they say, but that they write that they matter. I think you always say that, don’t you, that people matter and do need to be heard and that their voice can at least be heard. That’s a step in the right direction.
[00:57:35.000] – Laura Cicholski
I think one of the point that you made, I remember when we were talking about it, but it was something about the fact that, OK, we’re in this conversation, the H.R. manager and then the employee, and there are heard during that point. And then how does it happen going forward? Right. Remember when you mentioned something about that going forward, how does that better? So the next time that person says, OK, well, this is a good conversation about what will happen next time, how to make it going forward, I think you said right where it’s kind of open dialog
[00:58:00.280] – Kinita Schripsema
While many others of us are called to help empower equip those folks to kind of keep pushing forward, keep going to break that ceiling in this country, which is good.
[00:58:10.810] – Laura Cicholski
And I think a lot of people like organizations, you hear hospitals, different things are trying to hire people from different races, different genders, which is nice. I talked to it’s interesting, a person the other day and she was married to a physician and she said, we’re really in the future. She said they’re trying to hire more women physicians, which is nice to hear, you know what I mean? So that I think that their people are more open, all of that, because they really everyone needs a chance.
[00:58:31.450] – Kinita Schripsema
[00:58:31.780] – Kinita Schripsema
And, you know, you bring up a good point that really highlights representation. And I think in a lot of situations that’s really important. But that’s only the first step. Right? Right. That’s only the first step to say, oh, good. Now we’ve arrived. I was in a part of a group, a community group that was very multiethnic. But often it was, oh, you should be participating in this because they need more people of color in that area.
[00:58:55.900] – Kinita Schripsema
And to me, I was like, yeah, no, we’re not doing it like that. Like, I’m not going to just be there to represent. So you can check a box, right. Right. I want to be there. Like, what difference am I going to make being in that environment? How can I be more included? And what are some of the things that are in place to celebrate diversity, to embrace inclusion, to kind of allow individuals to live into their selves?
[00:59:16.960] – Kinita Schripsema
Right. So representation is fabulous. It’s totally needed. It is a great first step. And then the actual inclusion starts to happen from there, right, because you’re right, if you just hire and that’s is one of our previous conversations, if you just hire someone, check the box. But then there’s no like that person maybe doesn’t feel included, you know what I mean? Going forward? And they’re thinking, gosh, they see me, I’m a different race or I’m a different gender.
[00:59:40.540] – Laura Cicholski
Do they see me for who I am and accept me for who I am?
[00:59:44.170] – Kinita Schripsema
Absolutely. So I think there’s just a lot of that. Right. But if there’s tolerance to coming back to your original point earlier, if it’s tolerance, how is that going to go? Right. It’s such a challenging thing. It’s so multilayered. But when we can be that much better equipped and hopefully these five points have helped individuals kind of get a different sense of maybe how they’re approaching their situations and conversations and how they might be able to change them up so that they can be that much more engaged with those around them.
[01:00:12.850] – Laura Cicholski
My hope is, is that but at the end of the day, these are two things that are really important. One, life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got.
[01:00:23.320] – Kinita Schripsema
If you’re in a conversation with someone really that it’s a difficult hot topic conversation and you’ve got this long list of I’m expecting an apology from X, Y and Z people back here. And it’s just kind of that tension, that unforgiveness, that pain, that unreconciled stuff it’s going to show in that conversation. But I believe that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Right. So understanding that there are so many moments where I needed to hear an apology and yet I knew it was never going to .
[01:00:54.010] – Kinita Schripsema
So then it was almost like it’s still my responsibility to forgive that person and I need to move on. I don’t want that hold on my heart based on what that person has done to me. And again, I say that carefully. Healing, healing takes time, but forgiveness can be done in that space to say I’m choosing forgiveness now. I’m going to start the journey of healing. Right. And so every time we have that, so life does become easier.
[01:01:21.070] – Kinita Schripsema
And I’m a true testament of that for all those conversations that I can remember right now that I just did not hear that person own their stuff. I did not hear an apology. I did not hear genuine, genuine remorse for something. And I got to move on. Right. We all got to move on from some of that stuff. And then if a person’s internal reality has never been validated, they will learn to hide behind an acceptable social mask.
[01:01:47.680] – Kinita Schripsema
So when you’re talking to somebody about a hot topic, be very clear look, be very mindful or remember that they might have a mask on. I mean, pun intended, right?
[01:01:59.020] – Kinita Schripsema
We’re in a day or have a mask on. Just getting there is another hot topic, but there is that social mask, right? I think they were funny jokes going on around the beginning of the pandemic of like, oh, some some of these folks were being fake already. They were already wearing a mask and now they just have a physical one on. Right. OK, that’s OK. So understanding that, hey, are you somebody that you know is hiding behind that internal your internal reality has never been validated.
[01:02:35.410] – Kinita Schripsema
You’re probably bringing your social mask to the conversation and so is that other person. So now you’re just hurting each other, not hearing each other. I mean, let’s just look at the physical mask, right? We mumble and we can’t hear each other very well. Exactly. So when you have that social mask, we’re not going to see things clearly. We’re not going to hear things clearly and authentically. And vice versa is the same. We’re not going to speak it clearly.
[01:02:57.100] – Kinita Schripsema
We’re not going to speak it authentically because we’re hiding. And so have the confidence of implementing these five points allows folks to be that much more authentic, living into their true selves on both sides of the conversation, whoever’s listening. And then just kind of work on that unity that we can experience in our conversations, in our relationships and stop adding to the brokenness in this world. Right.
[01:03:24.040] – Laura Cicholski
Right. I choose that. I love it and I love the thing you hear that forgiveness is, you know, healing. You hear about you’ll hear stories on the news where someone’s child or something was killed and then they will be the person that maybe he did it, that they will be go and befriend that person. You don’t need to hear that. But it’s just amazing, those stories. And you’re like, how does that happen? But forgiveness is very healing.
[01:03:47.620] – Laura Cicholski
And you hear the person interviewed saying, yeah, I know I lost my child, but I forgive this person that did that to them. And it just happened. Every case they can, every case. But it’s just interesting how you find how they’re able to forgive. It’s such a learning lesson.
[01:04:01.050] – Kinita Schripsema
[01:04:02.020] – Kinita Schripsema
You know, it goes back to one of my other points where I said faith and culture. Right. So my faith informed me that because I’ve been forgiven much. Right. It would be my gift and my blessing to forgive someone else. Right. It’s not something that I should withhold from them. And so maybe people take and also saying all situations are unique, every narrative is going to be different, I.
[01:04:22.750] – Kinita Schripsema
With that nicely, yes, as we address a difficult topic, just saying that, but it’s important to acknowledge that I’ve been forgiven much, therefore I need to dole out that same forgiveness that every step, every situation is different.
[01:04:40.390] – Laura Cicholski
Well, thank you so much for being here today. It’s been wonderful to have you. Now, where can they find you website wise? And you also wrote a book. Tell us a little bit about that.
[01:04:48.580] – Kinita Schripsema
Absolutely. So they can whoever’s listening, you can connect with me through my website at seemaglobalconsulting.Com. Please jump on over at the contact page and ship me an email. I love getting emails. I mean, kind emails, but I mean, you can also reach me through my LinkedIn profile. Can you see my LinkedIn business page for a global consulting, my Facebook business page as well, which is the Seema global consulting page and my podcast, which is growing forward together.
[01:05:20.830] – Kinita Schripsema
And it’s on Apple podcast Spotify. It’s on several very common where you find your podcast there. It’s an opportunity for me to interview guests based on topics like a variety of topics. So we are currently at this point in April, we are just now wrapping up season two. And we’re going to take a little break to refresh on stress. The stress really important. That’s important. Yes. And then so we’re taking a little break to refresh, renew and look at some other venues on how we can do the work that we’re doing.
[01:05:56.440] – Kinita Schripsema
And so we will restart again in the near future, just not sure when and not sure when this webinar will necessarily be out. So the information might be a little different there. But just wanting you to know about going forward together, we’re super excited about it. We’ve had a great two season run in the last year and it’s just been a really enjoyable time. So if you shoot me an email and even if you’ve got some ideas for our podcast, who knows?
[01:06:19.930] – Kinita Schripsema
You might find yourself as a guest on our one of our podcast next season.
[01:06:24.370] – Laura Cicholski
And I’ve watched it before. It’s very good. Very good. It’s been fun. And I know you’re I don’t know how much you want to say about it, but I know you have a big move, too. You’re doing a big move coming up. So that probably plays into it as well. So we do as well. Yeah.
[01:06:37.990] – Kinita Schripsema
So before I get to the move real quickly, this is actually a book that I authored, about five actually six years ago now. Oh my goodness. Incredible. Back in twenty fifteen is when it came out. It’s titled I Am Hagar Forgotten No More. And yeah, a lot of my faith journey has informed how I’ve written the book. And so it is not a persay just for Christians or just for followers of Christ. The book has short questions at the end of each little chapter that allows the reader to dive into their own story.
[01:07:11.700] – Kinita Schripsema
So the overarching theme of the book is Surrender is that opportunity to learn to let go, if you will. Right. And so each of the questions allows the reader to go into their own story as they after they listen to a piece of my story and what happened in that situation and how I dealt with it. So the smaller themes in the book are things like forgiveness, reconciliation, dealing with pain, fear, different issues that we faced in our journey.
[01:07:38.050] – Kinita Schripsema
So that’s what I’ve kind of put that together in the book. And obviously I’ve got a couple more in the wings, but I kind of ran out of time right now, so I have a lot of things. So yeah. So then we are relocating and we’re doing something extremely countercultural and we are relocating to India. It has taught us that we can work online and do all our work from wherever we are in the world. And so we decided that that would be a fun way to continue our work, but also then take advantage of some humanitarian work that we’re really passionate about.
[01:08:14.710] – Kinita Schripsema
And so we will be doing a lot of volunteer work. Seema Global will be doing a lot of volunteer work while we’re there. And at this point it’s indefinite and we’re excited to see what will happen. So our Indian connections are super excited. We’re going to continue Seema global consulting work online as well as continue to serve with them in the humanitarian work that they’re doing as well.
[01:08:39.340] – Laura Cicholski
It’s amazing. I love it. I love the work you’re doing and I’ll be seeing you in person. But we’ll get to see each other online or via the phone. I always keep in contact, so I would love that. Sounds great.
[01:08:49.600] – Kinita Schripsema
Thank you, Laura, for the opportunity today. I really appreciate it.
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Kinita was born in India and has lived cross-culturally since the age of 5 between Canada and the U.S.A. Although Kinita has had decades of experience in the small business arena and held many volunteer positions in a variety of organizations, her treasured professional accomplishments are that of being a published author, international speaker, cultural consultant and now Founder/CEO of Seema Global Consulting LLC. She has extensive experience both in the USA and overseas in Leadership and Team Development and Cultural Education.
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