I’ve been thinking lately about John Maxwell’s Law of Magnetism from The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership in relationship to working for inclusion. This law states that “who you are is who you attract.”
When it comes to creating inclusive groups and workplaces, sometimes we have to look past the obvious features of a person, features that might highlight differences, and find the features we have in common, things like values, goals, and mission.
When building a team, John Maxwell recommends finding people who are “like-valued” but with different strengths. That means being more intentional than simply looking at the people you are naturally drawn to.
I first started practicing this about 6 years ago. As an educator, I am frequently evaluated by students and administrators. For many years, my student evaluations consistently showed about 10% of my students LOVED me, 10% HATED me, and the other 80% liked me.
For years, I assumed it was an expression of the students’ personal preferences, but then I learned John Maxwell’s Law of Connection and realized it was my responsibility to connect with students who weren’t naturally drawn to my teaching style.
When I started intentionally reaching out to students who held back and seemed aloof, the change was remarkable. It created a new way of relating to my students (and my evaluation numbers improved, too!).
What amazed me was how little effort it took. All I did was greet the aloof students by name when they came into the classroom. That little action let them know I saw them and I knew them, that they were as important to me as any of the other students.
If you’re ready for a little help improving the relationships around you, let’s talk! You’ll be surprised how impactful little things can be!Tags: communication, cultural intelligence, diversity and inclusion, JMT, John Maxwell, leadership