The Inclusive Leader: Honoring Perspectives and Owning Biases

When I am at speaking events, I often get questions like, “What about people who are just misunderstanding and unreasonably interpreting innocent behavior as harassment?” or, “How is your process going to help me know who is right and who is lying?” People (men and women) remind me that the accused are “innocent until proven guilty, so how do we balance that with supporting victims and not go too far?

On the other hand, you may have followed social media hashtags like #MeToo, #TimesUp, #BelieveHer, and #SayHerName, which are strongly advocating for a shift in how we listen to stories about violence against women. There is a dramatic polarization right now in culture in the United States between those who want to focus on evidence and proof and those who believe that much of the discrimination people face does not get recorded into evidence but is still devastating our country and holding huge amounts of our population back.

I do not believe that the two opinions are as inherently opposed to each other as they first appear, and there are ways to acknowledge and reconcile both. The question then becomes