On this Valentine’s Day Eve, I just finished stuffing treat bags for my little one’s friendship party tomorrow (thank you to my friend, Alice, for scoring the emojis bags). Nowadays, friendship parties have replaced the traditional Valentine’s Day celebrations. I think this is a neat little concept. Friendship, like sharing a book and learning how to write your name, is a pivotal skill that children need to learn.
Let’s look at the different stages of learning how to be friends. In preschool, children are in the discovery stage of what a friend is. Then, middle school rolls around, and friendships deepen and become a little more challenging. By high school, friendships are established, yet somehow, our not-so-little children have learned how to hurt others in a way that can have an everlasting effect on someone else’s well being.
Learning how to get along with friends is an essential part of a child’s life. If you think about it, we learn how to establish relationships very early in life. Just as with most things we learn, the best way to teach a child, is to make the lesson a fun learning adventure. I believe these friendship parties do just that.
In recent years, we as HR professionals have witnessed a groundbreaking shift when it comes to inclusion and diversity issues that have affected our workplaces. In many respects, we’ve become a kind of police force by bringing order back in the equation. It’s a time in our profession where we are teaching employees what they already know, how to get along with others. We are finding creative ways to make our organizations an inclusive and diverse workplace, one that represents a sense of community and belonging. At the end of the day, we as human beings are unique. Not one of us is the same.
With volunteer programs on the rise in the workplace, this is what fosters that sense of community and belonging. It is what gives one company a competitive edge over another.
I found this beautifully crafted video by Deloitte UK – it represents what inclusion and diversity is all about:
One final thought… As our son grows up and becomes his own person, it is our hope that he will embrace the uniqueness of each person. Just like “Chelles” on a beach, we are all different. And that’s okay!
Be you with every ounce of your soul. – Michelle Kohlhof