November 20, 2023 •
A few weeks ago, I read an article in the Sunday New York Times written by San Francisco Bay area artist, graphic journalist, and author Wendy MacNaughton entitled “The Importance of Looking at What (and Who) You Don’t See”. The […]
A few weeks ago, I read an article in the Sunday New York Times written by San Francisco Bay area artist, graphic journalist, and author Wendy MacNaughton entitled “The Importance of Looking at What (and Who) You Don’t See”.
The premise of the article was about when MacNaughton set up “shop” one morning outside of a BART Station in downtown San Francisco, with a table, two chairs, and a sign that read “Draw Together. It Just Takes One Minute.” What MacNaughton was aiming for was to get total strangers to sit down opposite one another for one minute, and just draw what they see on the other’s face (not what they EXPECTED to see). They were never to lift their pen from or look down at their paper; they were only to keep drawing, looking at the other person’s face THE WHOLE TIME! MacNaughton noted that although most of her participants questioned their artistic ability at first approach, by the time the exercise was over, they were laughing at their drawings and amazed at how connected they felt to the other person. MacNaughton noted at the beginning of her article that “WE DON’T SEE ONE ANOTHER ANYNMORE… Frustrated, powerless, sometimes just lost in our own worlds, we look away…”
Reading MacNaughton’s article got me thinking about my own ways in how I connect with others, and was I, myself, guilty of seeing only what I expected to see in a person, instead of what was truly right there before me? Do I really “see” people? See them for who they truly ARE, and not as I EXPECT or even WANT them to be? There’s an old wise saying – “the eyes are the windows to the soul” – what if we spent more time making eye contact with one another, as opposed to ignoring, bypassing, or just dismissing one another for whom we feel to be less than human in our eyes?
I encourage you to think about how you currently connect with others, and to note if there are new ways that you can make more meaningful connections? Eager to try out the experiment documented by MacNaughton? Let me know how it goes – you may be surprised of the outcomes!
September 21, 2023 •
September is a great month to take a look at your current lobbying efforts as they relate to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), and to see where you might be able to make some adjustments moving into 2024. Are there […]
September is a great month to take a look at your current lobbying efforts as they relate to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), and to see where you might be able to make some adjustments moving into 2024.
Are there diverse Members of Congress or State Legislators whom you have been wanting to make contact with? What about diverse organizations that you have been wanting to reach out to, but just have not had the opportunity? Take note of these opportunities and find time to reach out and make those connections! While you are doing your assessment, also do not forget to take a look internally at your Government Affairs department, and see where there may be some opportunities to increase the level of diversity amongst the in-house and contract lobbyists? As the future moves towards becoming more diverse (in all of its forms), it is imperative that organizations be able to adapt to change and be open to more diverse ways of thinking, executing and relating!
I encourage you to begin thinking “outside of the box” when it comes to DEI and your lobbying efforts and to make note of both your challenges and successes as you continue onward. Remember that there are no “one and done” efforts as they relate to DEI; this work is ongoing and ever evolving, so give yourself grace and guidance and be sure to check in and let me know how things are going!
July 25, 2023 •
At last month’s Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2023 Annual Conference, there were a number of great sessions focused on, among other topics, issues related Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI). As part of the conversation, a number of speakers […]
At last month’s Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2023 Annual Conference, there were a number of great sessions focused on, among other topics, issues related Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI). As part of the conversation, a number of speakers acknowledged the expanded nature of DEI to include such aspects as Accessibility, Belonging and Justice. As a result, references to “DEI” are becoming increasingly more broadened to “DEIABJ” or some variations thereof. I would like to bring forth a highlight to the issue of Belonging…
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of Belonging is referred to simply as “something that belongs”. For purposes of this article, I would like to focus on Belonging as it relates to not something, but someone – as in, peoples’ desire to feel valued and respected within an organization, and confident that they are able to show up as their authentic selves, free from harassment or judgment. In other words, do individuals feel like they “Belong” at their respective organizations, or do they feel like “imposters” of themselves – just “going through the motions” while secretly wishing that maybe the next day might bring different and better outcomes?
Fortunately, my tenure here at State and Federal Communications (8 years this past April) has provided me with opportunities for not only serving the best clients on issues related to Federal lobbying compliance, but also with opportunities for continued professional development – both invaluable to not only my professional career development, but also to my personal growth as well – I can truly say that I “Belong” here at State and Federal Communications!
As the company celebrates 30 years this month, I want to take this opportunity to say a big “THANK YOU” to President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz for not only giving me a great opportunity, but for also always pushing me to do and be better, and to not be afraid to “get out of my comfort zone” – looking forward to what’s on the horizon for the next 30!
June 10, 2022 •
I have been thinking a lot lately about the term “allyship,” and what it truly means to me as I continue to move through my DEI journey. Does it mean calling out unfairness or injustice against another right when it […]
I have been thinking a lot lately about the term “allyship,” and what it truly means to me as I continue to move through my DEI journey. Does it mean calling out unfairness or injustice against another right when it occurs? Or does it mean advocating for not only your basic human and civil rights but also the rights of another — even though you may not always see eye-to-eye with them? I would argue that allyship encompasses both things (among many others), and so I challenge you (and myself) to consider how we “show up” for others each day?
Are we “showing up” for our family, friends, colleagues, members, and clients in ways that are both meaningful and authentic? If you are not quite where you would like to be in this allyship space (I know I am not!), that’s ok – we are all on a continuous path of learning, growing, and reflection, and there is always room to do and be better!
The next time you have an opportunity to “show up” meaningfully and authentically for someone, recognize and honor that as an opportunity to connect with and support another fellow human being! You may never know just how much of an impact you might have on them by showing that you are genuine, you are thoughtful, and you are a true ally!
What are you doing today to help create change within your organization?
May 26, 2022 •
I have a confession to make…When I first heard the term “diversity” I immediately thought about the word only in terms of how it relates to race and gender. While these identifiers do encompass a huge role when we talk […]
I have a confession to make…When I first heard the term “diversity” I immediately thought about the word only in terms of how it relates to race and gender. While these identifiers do encompass a huge role when we talk about diversity, race and gender are only a fraction of the many factors that go into making a person the unique individual they are.
Political ideology, education, family background, health, and religious affiliation are just a few examples of the ways an individual’s thinking, outlook, and perspective can be shaped. I use myself as exhibit A: I’m a registered Independent, who is college-educated and was raised by a single mother. I have a pre-existing condition and though I was raised Baptist, I am currently non-practicing. All of these factors make up the diverse person you know (or now know) as Gamble Hayden – my true, authentic self!
The next time you think about diversity, whether it be within your personal or professional spaces, I would like for you to consider the following:
- Do I recognize the value in and importance of having diverse voices as part of the conversation?
- Am I encouraging (and empowering) others to “show up” as their authentic selves?
- What is one change that I will make TODAY to embrace a unique someone?
It is one thing to say that we value diversity, but it’s a whole other thing to truly “walk the talk”! I encourage you to take that next step – I know you can do it!
What are you doing today to help create change within your organization?
March 1, 2021 •
One of the best things about having Gamble Hayden on our staff is she gets out there to learn. This year she is the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee for Women in Government Relations (WGR). And […]
One of the best things about having Gamble Hayden on our staff is she gets out there to learn. This year she is the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee for Women in Government Relations (WGR). And there is no better place to spread the word than with her employer, State and Federal Communications.
We made the decision to create a committee to address DEI, create a mission statement, and hire a consultant to create a culture of change, not just have a “one and done” event. Our committee developed the mission statement before and shared it with the entire staff.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. strongly supports and strives for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) amongst its staff. We value different perspectives and strongly believe that these viewpoints not only greatly improve our client relationships, but also society at large.
The entire staff at State and Federal Communications, Inc. work to create, implement, and sustain a culture of DEI by incorporating DEI practices into the company’s leadership activity, dialogue, hiring, policies, and communications. State and Federal Communications, Inc. always strives to ensure its staff and clients are encouraged and supported regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or family responsibilities.
We recognized the need to grow in this area and create a safe and honest space for DEI conversation and learning. WGR’s DEI 2020 Summit included books, articles, podcasts, movies, and documentaries, which helped us prepare a variety of options.
Then we connected with Jeremy Lile, executive director of Heart-to-Heart (H2H) Communications, who works with the Akron community to cultivate purpose-driven, values-based, and community-minded leadership. For more than 30 years H2H has inspired and developed the heart of leaders to lead and the capacity to build strong relationships.
H2H is helping us discover and develop our strengths and culture. It provides a leadership training pathway to discover and develop the characteristics and strengths, which enable individuals to follow a higher calling to include organizational and community life, bringing along the staff of State and Federal Communications to also experience greater impact.
Follow our program. We will blog about it regularly on www.lobbycomply.com and post it on our website. Our goal is not to just bring this to our staff but also to our State and Federal Communications Community.
I walk the walk and talk the talk. It starts at the top. People will not follow if the belief is not two ways. Join us.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.