Lisa Gaynier, Director of Preparing Culturally Competent Leaders for 21st Century Organizations at Cleveland State University sent me this: "According to Mary Rowe of MIT, Micro-Affirmations are “tiny acts of opening doors of opportunity, gestures of inclusion and caring, graceful acts of listening.” She goes on to say that they are the practice of generosity, giving others comfort in times of need, credit where due, making sure to give specific, timely, consistent and clear feedback that help people build on their strengths and develop their growing edges.
Good advice for any manager striving for excellence but especially important practices for the manager of minorities in your organization. Engaging in these practices
1. helps the target employee expand skills
2. is viral–the practice spreads to others because is models appropriate behavior–helping everyone!
3. consciously affirming others helps to block unconscious negative bias eventually inoculating ourselves against those biases that live within us all."
A fourth benefit? It feels good to give micro affirmations to others. Try it and see for yourself.