Friday Finds – November 17, 2017

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Weekends are a great time to clear space – literally and figuratively – and make room for new inspirations and insights to emerge. To spark your own exploration this weekend, here’s what we’ve enjoyed this week:

WHAT WE’RE READING: Motherhood’s big secret and why we need to talk about it.
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO: Finding love, gratitude and understanding in unlikely places
WHAT WE’RE PLAYING WITH: Deliberate experimentation, aka: scrapping our To-Do list with a To-Test list
WHAT WE’RE CURIOUS ABOUT: Surrounding ourselves with people who fit our future, not our past.
THIS WEEK’S MANTRA: You don’t need closure to move on. You just need to keep moving.

We’ve got relationships on the brain this week – especially the tough ones that leave us feeling battered and bruised. What do we do when our professional relationships (much like romantic ones) leave us with baggage we have to deal with? And what happens when we can’t get the closure we need or want before moving on to our next relationship?

Work relationships can be especially difficult for “Firsts” or “Onlys” – people who stand out, look or act differently, or represent the beginning of a new wave of diversity. As Nilofer Merchant explained, while we celebrate Firsts (like Danica Roem, the first transgender person elected to the Virginia state house), the data suggests that Firsts experience three limiting factors in their ability to actually effect change and have an impact at work:

“1. We feel highly watched and thus have a burden of performance pressure.
2. We feel isolated and excluded from social settings (which is where relationships and trust are built) that would enable us to succeed.
3. We feel tremendous pressure to assimilate to the group’s norms.”

As someone who has had the opportunity to be a First in my own way, this list resonates with me – particularly as I reflect on what I was able to accomplish in those roles. Being a First undoubtedly strains our work relationships and has the potential to become baggage that we carry forward with us.

Merchant’s answer to all this? “Surround yourself with people who fit your future, not your past.” As soon as you’re inside the inner circle, make it your priority to expand the circle for other Firsts to join you.

Put another way: you can choose who you’re in relationship with, and who you’re just not that into.

Here’s to relationships (of all kinds) that leave you feeling warm fuzzies,

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