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March 2017
Monthly Newsletter!
Welcome to the Psynapse Monthly newsletter. We are delighted to introduce a number of new and exciting leadership development programs in 2017. In this newsletter, you can learn about how our clients are benefiting from our new approaches to diversity and inclusion education. Our focus for this year ranges from reaching every employee with online learning, to deep dive programs for senior leaders.
Dr Jennifer Whelan
Managing Director
Inclusive Leadership In Practice
From our experience, inclusion is a deeply practical skill. Developing an inclusive leadership practice requires daily intentionality. Keeping an open, curious mind, experimenting with new solutions, and challenging the status quo can feel daunting. So how do we make inclusion a daily habit that infuses everything we do? Practice, and experimentation, in role, every day is critically important.

Our new practical inclusion program is ideal for executives, top teams, and influencers in your organisation. We support your leaders through their “daily inclusion” journey, with a number of learning touchpoints over 12 weeks:

  • Introductory seminar and discussion forum: We begin by building a solid conceptual understanding of inclusive leadership through an expertly led seminar and discussion by Dr Jennifer Whelan, renowned diversity and inclusion thought-leader.
  • Inclusion challenge: We work individually with each leader to design a practical inclusion challenge, which they will use to develop their skills during the course of the program.
  • Fortnightly coaching groups: We keep leaders' progress on track through regular group coaching sessions. Leaders will update the group on their progress, share their experiences, and receive feedback and advice.
  • Online learning nudges: Short online learning modules provide regular touchpoints to help embed inclusion in everyday leadership practice.
  • Social learning and reflection session: Final seminar for leaders to share their progress, learn from the experiences of their colleagues, and set longer term development goals.
Diversity And Inclusion
We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Psynapse Education, our online learning platform. E-learning is a powerful way to scale inclusion across your organisation, from senior leaders through to individual contributors.

While online learning is increasingly common, it's effectiveness relies on it resonating with your people and their work experiences. Our online programs are unique. Our content is expertly designed, evidence-based, and practical. We combine rich media, animations, learning checks, and scenario-based activities to ensure that learners are engaged and inspired.

Most importantly, our courses are customised for your learners, from the ground up. Examples and scenarios are developed from your learners’ daily context, and learning activities are tailored to your objectives.

Courses can be created to provide a comprehensive one-off learning experience, or to engage learners in an in-depth and incremental learning process over time. We can also craft short bite-sized episodes that highlight particular organisational goals.

To learn about how Psynapse Education can help you embed inclusion in your organisation’s DNA, have a look at the video above or contact us for more information.
Mindfulness At Work
We have been incorporating mindfulness training into our inclusive leadership programs for a while now. Mindfulness has become a popular topic in the corporate wellbeing space, and leaders are typically pleasantly surprised to discover it on our inclusion curriculum too. Here’s why.

Developing “in the moment” awareness is a crucial cognitive skill that supports a number of inclusive leadership goals. Firstly, mindfulness is a key strategy for bias-protection. Greater mental awareness and control enables us to notice our reactions (including biases) when they happen, rather than after the fact. Learning about your biases is not the same as noticing them when they happen, and we can better insulate against them if we can catch ourselves in the act.

Secondly, mindfulness addresses one of the most challenging aspects of inclusion. A major barrier to leveraging inclusion for high performance, innovation and creativity is the ability to keep a truly open mind. When we develop greater awareness of our reactions, we also develop the mental skill of detaching from them. Observing our thoughts for what they are rather than reacting to, or against them enable us to solve complex challenges, hear a new idea without rejecting it, explore untested solutions and sit with the discomfort of ambiguity and change.

Finally, inclusion is inherently subjective – it’s not what you do, but how others feel. Perhaps most related to the wellbeing outcomes, inclusion requires a relational mindset, and a high level of perspective-taking. Mindfulness enables us to have more compassion and empathy for others, both of which enrich our ability to relate to a broader range of people more effectively.

You can call it mindfulness or attention training, but either way, we think it’s a crucial skill for leaders. It improves personal effectiveness across a huge range of technical and people management objectives. If you’d like to incorporate mindfulness into your leadership development or online learning curriculum, contact us below.
Does Blind Recruitment Work?
Blind recruitment practices are becoming more common in organisations, both here in Australia and internationally. The Victorian Government, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Westpac Bank are among organisations that have recently adopted blind recruitment practices. Removing some or all identifying information from resumes and shortlists is aimed at circumventing conscious or unconscious biases. But does it work?

Research by Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse on blind auditions in orchestras showed that a far greater number of women were selected under blind auditions. Organisational experiences suggest the same outcome – a higher number of women and culturally diverse candidates make it further through recruitment processes, and are ultimately employed. In fact Tropfest recently adopted a blind judging procedure, lifting the percentage of female finalists from 5% to 50% instantly.

However, its worth bearing in mind that if diverse people don’t have access to the same development, networking, and promotional opportunities through their career trajectory, the impacts of bias still emerge when it comes to selection for more senior roles. It is important to ensure that inclusive leadership and cultural norms enable diverse people who do enter your organisation under blind process to compete for senior roles more effectively. You can read more about blind recruitment practices by clicking the link below.
Unconscious Bias Assessment
Personal assessments of unconscious bias, inclusive leadership skills, and thinking style.
55 Halifax Avenue, Heidelberg Victoria 3084
Call us. 0413. 958. 528
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