I find it a bit disappointing that this has become an issue for government regulation. Primarily because I’d like to think that society is better than that, that we don’t need people telling us to treat others with the respect and support they deserve.

But it’s also disappointing because that leads us to conclude that diversity is ONLY about race, gender, religion, age, and other defined classes.

Humanity is so much more rich and beautiful than those categories. They’re a start, yes, but not the end.

True diversity includes how I relate to my kids and that cousin I’ve never quite figured out.

True diversity includes respecting my neighbors even though they painted their house a weird color.

True diversity includes suspending judgment about the beggar on the street.

True diversity includes respecting the role of my boss and avoiding the belief that I can do her job better than she can.

True diversity includes realizing how others might feel when I post that meme on social media.

Here’s the hard part: I almost always believe that I’m in the right, and it’s others around me who are messed up. But the honest fact is that I make mistakes as much as anyone else.

This really hit me hard some months ago when I offended someone who I had considered a friendly colleague. I thought I was “offering helpful advice” but he didn’t take it that way. He thought my ideas were particularly pushy and unhelpful. The humbling part was that I realized I wasn’t being honest about my motivation. Little wonder that it destroyed the relationship.

That’s when I realized that I could fall into this trap in my coaching as well. For me, what I learned was a new sense of humility. As coaches we like to say that the client has all the answers, yet we might struggle to remain open and supportive when the client makes a decision.

This is a core competency of coaching, and I would like to think that my sessions are above that. Some days I’m not so confident.

And yes, this absolutely IS a diversity issue. My client is absolutely whole, capable and expert in their life. Whatever answer I might have found for myself is by no means right for the client.

At the end of the day, diversity is about being humble. We’re all thrown together on this planet, and nobody has all the answers. There are days when I think that nobody has ANY of the answers!

As a coach, I dedicate myself to help those others on their journey. Which is different than my journey.

Yet we’re intertwined. This is the wonder and magic of life.


Published in, and reproduced with permission from, choice, the magazine  of professional coaching www.choice-online.com