Leaders: Talking about Racism & Inequity with Your Team

“I don’t believe in mixing politics with work.”

I heard that statement from a leader as a reason to not acknowledge the Black Lives Matter movement and current protests with their team. I can imagine that this person, a white person, is a good leader in other ways, but they missed an important opportunity to show that they care and to say "I see you" to the people of color on their team and those they serve.

With the murders of Black people, the injustices and the protests to combat them, it is an emotional time. To help you (and me), below is a list of articles with helpful advice on how to address the pain people are experiencing, as well as how to lead in supporting racial justice. Whatever your race, this is a very important time to be a strong leader.  Realistically, for white leadership, there is much more work to do.

There is no set best approach. It is suggested to:

  • Read & learn

  • Digest what you are hearing that is new to you

  • Take time to really empathize with Black people (if that is not you)

  • If you are white, be careful not to ask Black folks to "teach" you

  • There are many resources out there and we need to put in the effort.


  • Speak/act from your heart

Credit: The Boondocks

Remember, saying and doing the right things during this time is very important. However, operating your organization with anti-racist practices is the true goal.

I am happy to connect you with consultants with expertise in this area.

Articles for Leaders:

George Floyd And Racism: 5 Conversations Credible Leaders Must Have In This Moment

How to Talk Trauma & Protests at Work. The (very non-definitive) Guidelines

How should you address George Floyd’s death with your employees?

Leading During Traumatic and Triggering Events

Talking about Race and Inequality at Work

Would you like to talk over your leadership with me or with a group of other leaders to share ideas? Let me know and I will follow-up with you to make this happen.

"Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength."

- Dalai Lama