The Cultural Synergist

Insights for the month with Dr Tom Verghese
The Cultural Synergist- Insights for the month

May 2023

Issue # 181

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Showing up for your Team

I facilitated a follow up application clinic with a team recently on increasing effectiveness. They are a high performing team with an impressive set of qualifications and experience in a demanding industry. In the session, I asked some penetrating questions to understand how they had integrated the workshop content to the workplace. Several participants shared some profound and insightful reflections and I felt rather pleased. The last participant to speak shared that he had not found the content particularly relevant and had not taken much from the session. He had read broadly on some of the subject matter (Unconscious Bias, Kahneman’s System 1&2 Thinking) previously and felt that it wasn’t particularly impactful on him.

After decades of working in D&I, I am well aware that there will always be people who push back and are not willing or able to be shifted from their viewpoint. What surprised me though was that this person had engaged with the resources at the forefront on the topic and still had a fixed mindset. Further, the person failed to understand the impact of such a explicit position on the team who had just been very open and forthcoming with their own learning. It is intriguing that when discussing the topic of Unconscious Bias just how difficult it is to be fully aware of our own biases and blind spots.

One way to be informed about how our biases may be showing up is to ask for feedback from peers. This obviously requires trust, openness and candour. It can help us better understand and become more aware of the areas where bias may be influencing our decisions and perspectives.

Quote of the month:


Book recommendation:




Head and Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership, Kirstin Ferguson

Leadership is simply a series of moments and every moment gives you the opportunity to leave a positive legacy for those you lead.

In this ground-breaking book, award-winning leadership expert and business leader Kirstin Ferguson has written a much needed practical guide for every modern leader. Whether you are the head of one of the largest companies in the world, supervising a small team or guiding your family, it will be your ability to integrate your head and heart that will influence your success in leading others and navigating our complex world.

Combining studies from leading thinkers in the field with her own research, and more than three decades of personal experience, Kirstin explains the eight key attributes of a head and heart leader, and provides the tools to measure your own approach. Along the way, she shares her conversations with modern leaders from a broad range of backgrounds whose stories will surprise you, challenge your thinking and inspire you to be the type of leader the world needs today.