Hello, all you neurodiverse, heart-centered leaders and welcome, welcome.
Today’s conversation is going to be absolutely fabulous, and I think for those of you who are people wanting to make a huge impact in the world, wanting to make a difference, this conversation is a must have. And I believe the work that Louise O’Reilly is doing is so important and so powerful.
So I am welcoming you to the pages and the groups. Welcome, welcome, Louise.
Thank you. Thank you so much. That welcome. What an amazing energy you bring to an introduction. That’s amazing. Thank you. Thank you.
I think one of the things that I love about the work that you’re doing and why I wanted you to come to my platform is to have a place to just speak and get exposed to more people. I think that this topic is really powerful for those of us that are change makers. That have a life of impact, wanting to make a difference. Oftentimes we wanna make a difference with under marginalized people, underserved people, so many different things. And I think as leaders, sometimes we get a little hesitant about what we say or how we show up in such a way so that we’re not saying the wrong things.
Judaism as a Conversation
A perfect example for me is I converted to Judaism and I will say things like, oh yeah, you know, for those of us that are Jews, and my husband’s like, no, no, we say Jewish. I’m like, what? Even as somebody who’s a member of a certain community, like hopefully I’m not offending, right?
Yeah. As somebody who’s not. And I think this conversation, no matter what the communities are, is a really powerful one. So I think my first question is how did you get into this as a business, as a place to be the change that you wanted to see in the world?
Oh, that is always such an interesting question, and I think a lot of people are a little bit shocked with what my reply always is. How I got into this was, I was born because I was born into marginalization, and I’ve experienced it my entire life. I’ve experienced exclusion, racism, colorism, you know, sexism, all those bits and pieces.
I was born into it. But what I found with myself is, at a very young age, I started to notice the differences in the way people were treated very early, probably a lot more earlier than a lot of children would’ve started noticing these, the way people were treated differently. And I started attributing it to, well, why is that person treated differently to this person, even though it’s the same person doing the treatment? So I drew a lot of conclusions in my head very quickly. And because we are social beings, we want to be accepted. It’s just natural for us to realize, okay, this is socially acceptable and this is not socially acceptable. I wanna be in this group because they’re more accepted than that group.
So that’s just a natural part of us as humans. And so I started drawing conclusions, but what I drew conclusions to was things like, well, they’re bad, or they’re wrong, or there’s something wrong with them. And in that conclusion, I was drawing those conclusions on myself because I was part of those communities. So I was saying, I’m bad, I’m wrong. There’s something wrong with me. I’m unwelcome. And it was really difficult because I’m an aboriginal woman, so I’m a indigenous woman here in Australia. We’re the first people here, we’re the indigenous people here, and we have been here for millennia. And I wasn’t welcome in my own country. So it was kind of like, if I’m not welcome in my own country, in my own homeland, I’m actually not welcome anywhere in the entire world.
So it was really quite hard for me to conceptualize where I fit in the world and why things were the way they were and why I was born, the way I was born, all those kinds of things. And I got into a really, really dark space, especially during those teen years where you’re trying to figure out, you know, how you fit, who you are, all those kinds of things.
I think that topic, like you say, it’s such an important topic. And you know, when I talk about creating community, I often talk about creating that sense of belonging. We wanna have that sense of, I belong here. And I think there’s definitely a difference between trying to fit in to be a part of something else, versus having that sense of belonging. And belonging starts with Yes.
You know, as a former parenting coach, you know, we talk about that with our children and having that sense of being at least belonging with your family, belonging at home. But I can see where that discrepancy of not having that sense of belonging in my homeland can be such an eye opening like us versus them, right. Because we’re talking about creating inclusion, which is separating the us versus them.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
How Colonization Shaped Australia
And the thing to remember is with colonization that happened here in Australia, children were taken from their families and absolutely brainwashed to, you know, disown their culture, disown their families, and hate every part of their culture and their identity. And so then when they had children, there is this internal, it’s an internal hatred of self. It really is. And so we are trying to heal those things while having families and not understanding some of the things we were socialized to believe in those missions.
And in those orphanages, that’s still very present because people who were taken from their families are still alive today. So it’s not like this thing all the way back in the past and it’s generations and generations. No, these are our mothers and fathers, these are our grandparents. So it is very, very present and very, very prevalent to understand that socialization with those particular activities that happen here in Australia are still impacting our community within the community.
So there’s also not a sense of belongingness within our own community. It’s a very multi level, complex kind of situation because it actually impacts every single aspect of our lives every single day.
Well, I think that’s probably true here, and it’s probably true in multiple countries for different marginalized communities and how it works. I mean, as you’re talking about the taking of the children and things like that, I know there’s a lot of, places where they did that, for religious reasons where people would come from one culture and they would wipe away religion, or they would write so much of, you know, I think the sub, and it’s hard for me to speak to this as somebody who is a very white Caucasian woman in the United States. But you notice as you grow up, you can see there’s places that’s inside society that will correct somebody for being wrong about the way they say something or wrong about the way they look at something because the rightness is the whiteness, right?
Like so much of that is part of the culture.
And so it’s a matter of people being judged for how they look or how they think, or the color of their skin or whatever these things are. Because the right way, the society thing is to be more like a white cisgender male too, probably a white Christian cisgender male to be really more accurate. And although I have a handful, maybe two or three inside my membership, my membership is a much more diverse membership, and I’m committed to having more of this inclusive language, more of the place where people can say I belong. Especially, how we work through what you’re talking about, growing up and thinking that who I am is wrong. That some, any aspect of me is wrong.
Neurodiversity in Inclusion
I’m neurodiverse. And there’s so much of that as well in the way Yes. The schools teach us and how our life is to be as far as a neurotypical person. So I think, not just in terms of, you know, religion and skin and culture, and I think this conversation of inclusion kind of spans all of the places for people who’ve had and grown up with who I was born with is wrong.
And so what you’re talking about now is privilege and intersectionality. But before I get into it, do you mind if I do an acknowledgement of country?
Yes, absolutely. I love this. So this is a practice that we don’t see here in the United States. I have my business coach and a whole lot of experts that I talk to are Australians and I, getting gooses. Like, I think it’s such a beautiful practice that you guys do.
Whew. This was unexpected because I think it’s such a, a beautiful way to honor. Especially because your culture is somebody whose culture, the invasions and the colonizations came and took over. We don’t do that here as much I have looked in to see, you know, the land that I on and who the native peoples and have found different. So yes, absolutely. I love this practice. Beautiful. Beautiful.
Thank you. So I Louise O’Reilly of the Waterwar Newna, people would like to acknowledge the wauk people of the Noah nation as the traditional and ongoing custodians of the lands and waters on which I’m coming to you from.
And I pay deep respects, love and gratitude to the elders of this place, to my ancestors, and thank them for their knowledge, their actions, their compassion, their leadership. And now I get emotional every time I do this. And I would also like to pay respects to the custodians of the lands in which you are coming from.
And I understand a lot of them are in America. So I would like to pay respects to the people and the custodians of Turtle Island. And now I’m gonna get emotional again and pay respects to your elders in whatever title they refer to within your particular community. It is such a beautiful practice to do, and it is something that’s becoming more and more customary to do.
It’s always been customary for us to do as aboriginal people because our land is our home. And so when you are in the home of another person, it’s important to show that respect and acknowledge that there’s someone’s else’s home and you are a guest in that space. And it’s becoming more customary within white society here, or the wider society here in Australia as well, which is really beautiful because it is a show of respect and you can’t go wrong when you are showing respect, which is a beautiful, beautiful thing. So yes, that is our, my acknowledgement of the country.
It is such a beautiful thing. And I was very blessed. I went to Florida State University, which is on seminal Indian land, and part of the seminole tribes had, like, they have reservation and they had a beautiful coexisting in relationship with the university where we would have the opportunity as students to be able to go to the lands and explore and learn and all of this stuff. And I think it’s, you know, pockets of our country have a lot of respect for it.
And there are other places where it’s not nearly as part of the respected culture. And I think it’s, it’s so powerful. It’s hard to dig up and find in the United States to find maps with the original lands. I went digging a couple times to try to see if I could find like here in Burbank which were the tribes that were this area and in certain parts of the country,
Living in Florida, it was much easier to find. There’s so many of the areas of Florida that are named after the different tribes and their streets after the different tribes and things like that so that you could find that information. I found it a lot harder here in California to find the information of who were the original tribes.
So yes, I just, I do love that.
I think one of the other things that I love about that practice is, you know, coming back to the respect of land. We live in a world where our land, the people who care for the land, that relationship with our home and our earth and the respect of it right? Has been lost. And so, you know, I think it’s a beautiful practice. Thank you for inviting us to share.
But it is certainly possible. It is certainly possible because they’re all in our stories and a lot of first Nations people across the entire globe, all the information is still held in our stories. They’re there and sometimes they just need the right moment to come out.
You know, for instance, we’ve had, I think it was last year, there was a coming together of an aboriginal group in the north, and I believe it was a rain dance, someone started doing a rain dance. And the last time that had been seen that being done was 80 years beforehand, whole generation beforehand. And no one who had only a couple of the oldies who saw the, those people start doing that rain dance, had seen it before. And they didn’t know what it was. And you can feel it, it just happens. It’s part of their dna, it’s part of who we are to have these things just naturally come out. It’s the same with language and things like that because the languages of the land is not of the people.
So the land always has the language. We just need to have the right, I guess reception. We need to be receptive of the language and be open to allowing it to come out once again. And, you know, it’s certainly possible because if, for instance, you’re saying it’s quite difficult to find the custodians of the lands where you are. I mean, when you look at America and then you look at Australia, they’re approximately the same size. The mass is approximately the same size, America is a little bit bigger, and we’ve been colonized for around about 200 years, yet we’ve got maps of the entire continent of Australia. We have, these are the language groups that we are in all these spaces we have access to that, you know, defining exact boundaries can be a little bit more difficult, but these are generally the space and it’s all covered.
And so that is possible for America too. It just needs that someone to have that vision of can we make this happen? Can we make this a reality? And you surely can, because I think you’re looking at roundabout, is it 500 years of colonization there in America?
Oh, you’re asking me a history question and I’m not really good at dates and things like that.
I’m perfectly honest. My neurodiversity makes dates a challenge for me. The pilgrims and all of that stuff. And Columbus, that’s the 14, 14 62, 14 92, there’s a, there’s a rhyme and I should remember it, but I suck at dates, thank you to my dyslexia and all of those things. But yes, let’s say probably about right. I mean, I think, and I know that so much of the colonization happened in so many different places, but you know, I think one of the things I wanna kind of backtrack to, which I really loved about what you were saying is, that the language, it’s about the language and being able to kind of connect in and do that. And so this conversation is really about, let’s talk about language. We wanna talk about how we bring inclusive language in our business. How do we, as leaders, create that space of inclusion?
What are some of the things that we need to keep at the forefront of our minds to be a stand for this?
Search Inward for Answers First
So the very first thing is to understand when we’re talking about inclusion, rather than going like outwards, everything is outwards, I need to find all the information outwards, all that kind of stuff is to turn the finger inwards first and go, okay, well where, who am I? How do I fit into this? What is my heritage? What are my biases? What are my privileges? Ask yourselves those kinds of questions, because that will help inform you of a lot of things. First of all, it will help you inform you of where you actually sit in terms of the privilege system, which basically boils down everything, any kind of discrimination against people boils down to white supremacy.
It absolutely does. The overarching thing is a white supremacist kind of culture. And if you can do that, then you can understand where you fit in the conversation. So then you know what you can say and what’s inappropriate to say, spaces where you can actually speak about your own experiences or use your own voice in comparison to maybe amplifying someone else’s voice because you can’t speak to that particular thing.
So it really informs you of a lot of things. Now I wanna talk about language when I talk about like white supremacy, this is not saying white is bad, white is not bad, male is not bad, Christian is not bad. None of those things are bad. What it is, is the belief or ideology that those are superior to everyone else.
So they’re not bad. It’s this concept of superiority that is the not great thing about it.
So when we do say, you know, it’s whiteness or it’s, privilege and things like that, it’s not you unless you are wanting that ideology that that particular group of people are superior to everyone else. And I think when we talk about heart-centered people who are wanting to create an impact, I think many of us, I know I stand in this place that it’s really about I am you, you are me. Especially if you get to a very spiritual place.
And you get to the idea that we are all one. And if we are all one, then nobody is any more superior than another. We are just unique different colors of the same white light. We are all just beings of, and I think that’s the idea is that that’s at least where my commitment lands is that we create the ripple and the impact. So more and more people can get to that understanding that I am no better than anybody else that I am.
I have differences, I have some strengths. Yes, I have some weaknesses. I have some of those things that make me uniquely me and none is better than the other. And yes, I think when we go back to that, if we are all one being in all one world, then we have belonging.
That’s where inclusion Ccomes in. Yes, you exist, therefore you belong. Something I say to myself quite often, I love that, therefore I belong. But there is also a caution with that concept of oneness because a lot of people in the spiritual community go to other cultures and love what those cultures do, love the feelings they get, love the energy and stuff. But then what they’ll do is they’ll take parts of that culture and go and use it and profit from those cultures.
So cultural appropriation happens and the justification behind it is we’re all one. So it must be my culture too. So there is this spiritual bypassing when it comes to culture and cultural appropriation. Whereas if you understand oneness, you understand you would never do something to harm yourself. And if by culturally appropriating and taking from someone else’s culture is harming those people, you would never participate in it.
So there is, it’s like this, and I have seen it, and it is quite a dangerous thing to get into, especially when there is actually what you’re talking about with marginalized people, there is a power imbalance. So if someone comes in for, just say in Australia for instance, and goes, oh, I love what the aboriginal people are doing with their spiritual healing, for instance, I’m gonna go and do that with my people. And they are sacred practices that only certain people can do and certain instruments that only certain people can play. We can’t stop them doing that. We have no power in our legal system.
We have no power in this place to stop another person doing that. And that’s where that power imbalance happens. I know things like intellectual property, Australia trying to work around how do we actually fix this? So there is a legal stance, but at the moment they, the last time I checked, which was a couple of years, I had a workshop with them, they said, you can’t attribute intellectual property like culture to a whole group of people.
Their structure only facilitates intellectual property belonging to a single person. So there’s that lack of inclusion. It doesn’t include different people who have communal intellectual property. So it’s just, there’s so many different layers to this and it is impacted in every single part of our community.
Well, I think it’s one of those things where, you know, as you’re talking, it kind of reminded me. Like once people start finding another type of spirituality, they start studying and then they start, especially if they have a platform, they’re an influencer and they start talking about, for example, I kind of remember right, Madonna really got into the kabbala, which is, you know, part of the. You know, part of the Torah and the Talmud and all of this stuff and the Jewish faith. But she’s not Jewish and not necessarily, like, so, you know, how far did she go? And now all of a sudden it’s really popular, but it doesn’t necessarily, have the deep meaning and the deep learning.
That comes from the culture of people. I mean, and I think, you know, as somebody who converted, one of the things as somebody who converted to Judaism, I had to have a conversation with three different rabbis and tell them what I’d learned and studied and worked with the rabbi to, you know, get, to be able to eloquently state my beliefs and how they were in alignment with those choices. But I think it’s really interesting because I think there’s the, like, we’d love to give more access and exposure and like you said, not wanting to hurt or injure yourself by appropriating something that’s not yours.
It, you know, from like a perfect business example, it’s like if I start talking about Stephen Covey’s four quadrants and I don’t give Covey the rights to that intellectual property of his. But what I hear you saying is I could share and say, you know, this is something that I learned from these people, but I can’t make a profit on.
Right. But, but yes, this culture or this spiritual practice isn’t necessarily something that has the ability or a property, intellectual property right to it. There’s no protection, there is no legal protection with it. And rather than going, this is what I learned was what I shared, rather go and see these people because sometimes we have certain practices that we only share with people because there is a certain level of trust, it’s not open to the public. So there’s a certain type of relationship you have and a certain type of trust that you have that where we start sharing things beyond the public sphere because there is so much stuff that we do and practice that is not public knowledge or for the public to use or anything like that.
Now what you are talking about with, you know, trying on someone’s culture is essentially the thing. I had a bit of a conversation about it a couple of weeks ago and it was about my curly hair actually, because people with curly hair are part of an oppressed people in terms of hair where I live, there is almost nothing that teaches you about managing curly hair. There are almost no products that are about curly hair, all that stuff. And I actually grew up thinking I had straight hair. It was just really, really frizzy. But I don’t, I’ve got curly hair. And so many people are saying, oh, but you know, it’s not that and or it’s not an indoctrination to think that if you look a certain way, you have straight hair in comparison to having curly hair because I’ve always wanted to curl my hair.
We always permed our hair and you know, it’s so beautiful and so lovely. The difference is choosing to wear something and making it fashionable is different from having that and living with all the discrimination that comes with it. So you can wear it for a night and think you look elegant or you know it feels good. Isn’t this amazing? Isn’t this cool? But if you’re doing that, are you also willing to take on the discrimination that comes with it? The policies that say you can’t do those certain things. Are you willing to take on those social causes that, you know, saying that it’s bad or wrong or shouldn’t be done? Are you willing to take on all of that too?
Because it’s not just, this is a look, this is a lifestyle and are you willing to take on the lifestyle too? And this is where the danger comes. Well, it’s just hair. It’s not just hair. And I’m sure many people in America would understand that concept. It’s not just hair, it’s culture. It’s a way of living.
And when you are living a life where the way you look is controlled and managed and quite often penalized when you see others, you know, that look because it’s fashionable, it’s really quite upsetting.
I think that there are so many things out there that are, like you said, like accessories or ways to wear hair. That part of it is a cultural thing. And people get upset when they see other people taking on those types of things. And I think it’s I think the place for, and you know, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think one of those things is that it’s about understanding that if somebody gets upset about a choice that you make, that the place for you to be is if you don’t understand it. Because I think, I think that can be the fear. I don’t know how to step into this. I don’t know how to rumble in the place of not knowing.
Asking Questions to Better Understand
So I have a big bestie biz bestie and she was talking about B I P O C or P no dyslexia, don’t get me straighten on that one. And I was like, I had to send her a message. I was like, what does that mean?
And she’s like, oh, who’s like black women of color rag black, indigenous people of color. And I was like, oh, okay. And I’m like, I have no idea. The terminology cuz it’s lettering instead of using the words And, and of course Poc. Yeah. B Poc. Yes. Right. And I’d heard people say BI pocket, and I’m like, what are they, I have no idea. Right? And my daughter is in the LGBTQ community and she’s getting very clear on, they have flags for all of the different things that people can identify now. And all of this stuff. But I remember a year or two ago having to explain to her what the Q stood for.
And I was like, I think, and don’t get me if I’m wrong, I think it stands for either queer or questioning. And so unfortunately I think, you know, it’s about being okay to speak up and have the courage. Like I reached out to my biz bestie and I was like, I feel like an idiot.
Can you please explain this to me? And then to be willing to say it here. And this was within the last few years to say I had no idea what that meant. I had no idea it was a term, you know what I mean? Like all of these things and understanding.
I loved your question at the beginning to look at where my bias is. Like who am I, where do I fit in? What are the things that I know about the communities, the cultures and how I grew up? Where is my lack of knowledge? Where is my stuff? And as somebody who’s willing to ask, willing to make mistakes publicly and say something.
And I think it boils down to, you know, what kind of world do you want? What kind of world do you want to exist in? What kind of world do you want your children and your children’s children to exist in? A question I always ask myself, am I being a good ancestor right now?
Ooh, that’s beautiful. I’m gonna get emotional again.
So I’m thinking, you know, in the future will I have future generations look back and go, I was proud of what nana, what Nana Louise did. I’m quite proud that, you know, she did this and she did that.
So I really wanna be a good ancestor and make sure I’m doing everything I can with the time I have to make sure that either my children are living in a better world than I could grow up with and my children’s children are growing up in a better world that I grew up in. So if you have that idea or this concept, I still feel really emotional.
We have the power to make it happen. We have the power to make it happen. And especially as business owners.
I believe that so much, which is why I wanted to have this conversation because the audience here is entrepreneurs and I think is heart-centered entrepreneurs and neurodiverse or all of the diversities of the entrepreneurs that we have inside this community.
I think it’s our place to take that stand. It’s our privilege to be able to say I can create a business that has impact. And this is the impact of which, I wanna create, this is the world I wanna see, you know, I have a lot of parenting coaches, I was a parenting coach and I love the idea of looking at it as, am I a good ancestor.
How am I especially with, you know, I’m very blessed that my child’s middle school has a pride club and that she can join the pride club and that she can and she has, and all of her friends are in the pride club and you know, I’m very blessed in that way. But I look at that ancestry and I look at watching other, people, you know, from generations before me and how much they struggled.
Neurodiversity Inclusion Today
Me even for example, just all of the access for the neurodiversities and the 5O4’s. Like I cried when my daughter got a 5O4 for her ADHD and all of this stuff cuz I didn’t have that in school. I again, that I don’t belong was I am stupid because I have reading disabilities and I have all these things I didn’t fit into the way the school system works.
And so when you look at it from that, how are we raising them? What do their kids, their grandkids, their great…As I love that perspective. I think it’s so beautiful and the same perspective as what’s the foundation that my business laid.
What is the impact that we started making available?
What was the stand that we took as a business that said this is what we’re committed to. And the thing is, there are different levels to it as well. So in your business, you know, business as usual, if you can understand that business as usual, the status quo of business is exclusionary it does exclude so many people, you know, marginalized groups all over the place. But that’s standard business practice.
So if you can understand that and then now know from listening to this that there are things you can do in your business, different types of processes that you can add in your business, which aren’t necessarily an addition. It’s just a difference. You’re just doing it differently. You’re not adding to it that actually will make it more inclusive.
That will make your business more open to wider groups of people, would make your business more magnetizing to more groups of people and know that that space, you considered them, you value them and therefore you are doing business in a way that makes sure they know they are valued, they are welcome and you are prepared to have them in that space. Loving them, accepting them, valuing them. It doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be complex. It doesn’t have to be, well that means I have to do so many more hours or I don’t have the capacity. It’s just doing business differently than what we’ve been taught is the normal way to do it. And I think that’s great.
I mean I think the idea is, instead of it being about what are the resources that you have access to cuz not everybody has the same access to the same resources. There in and of itself it’s exclusionary. When you talk about, the idea of, you know, oh you can live a healthy life, you just go out and buy this.
Well you know what, not everybody has access to get healthy produce where they live. Without having to ride seven buses to get there. So having that understanding, depending on the type of business that you’re in, what are those things that you can just take that extra thought through to see how it is that this is an inclusive business?
And I guess the other question is, how else can I make my business more inclusive? And something I talk about a lot with my clients is you have your niche. And a lot of the time business gurus, I guess will say, you know, let’s define your niche and this is all these categories of them, but not understanding that that’s the privileged part of your niche. There are so many other people who are your dream clients? Who are your sole clients? Who are your ideal clients who still aren’t being included within your business and the way within your marketing, within the way you use your words.
So for instance, having captions for videos is really great. And then they go, okay, well that is if you’re working with the deaf community, yes that is true, but it’s not only that for what community That’s part of the deaf community. But that may be true, but you are also missing part of your community. You might say you were, I’m not sure how to work with deaf people.
So I’m not in the business to be able to facilitate that. I don’t have the training in that. But forgetting that maybe part of your niche are mums with young bubs and they want to watch your videos, but you can’t put the sound on because you will wake your bub. You don’t wanna disturb them. Captions work amazing for them not understanding that some people are neurodiverse and in that neurodiversity, listening to someone speaking is not enough. They also need captions to be able to process it and receive it in the way it’s meant to be received. So there are so many people who are marginalized who are within your niche. Now I do want to encourage everyone to work with the disability community and to be open and capable of having people within the disability community come in one, work with them and two be clients. But I also don’t want that to be a given if you are not capable and safe for that person to be in that space.
I think that’s an important factor. In terms of being safe. I had the privilege of witnessing a deaf wedding when I was in college cuz I was taking sign language classes.
But at this point in my life, my sign is very, very limited. Because it was 30 years ago. But, it’s so fascinating. And I love, I think one of the things, you know, because we serve a lot of neurodiverse folks in my community as a neurodiverse individual. I’m an auditory processor, so much so. I can’t, you gotta be able to put those captions on slow if you want me to read them and catch up. My husband often reads captions on movies to me. I’m can’t read them fast enough. And the same thing is true. It’s one of the reasons I chose the technology that I chose to house my membership in is because captions are included, transcripts are included, all of that stuff. Because I have people who wanna be able to read the whole conversation. At the end of the day. And I think, or be able to download the audio file, like you said, to listen and drive or, you know, to process. And I think those are choices that we can make.
I absolutely love it. I use a system called Searchie, and I think one of the reasons I love it is because it does all of that work for all of the video content. And I try to get better at making more slides for the people who are the visual processors. Even though it’s not my area. I’m trying to get better and better at least putting the words, even though I never read what’s on there. But I’m not a reader in that aspect. Either words, I don’t even attempt It. Well, and my business bestie, she recorded her book on Audible just for me. God bless you, Stasha. I’m still listening to the recording, because I really don’t read very well. I have visual processing disorders as well, so, you know, for me the audible is the way to go. And so it’s a great thing to think about. And I think there’s other things. I love this in terms of the tech and the tools and what you can support.
I mean, I know one of my other clients, you know, she had acknowledged me because a part of the process and the stuff that I teach in my business is a strength-based approach. And because it’s a strength-based approach, we are looking at who we are as individuals so that it’s not a resource-based approach so that it’s not right. So it’s about finding the essences of who you are and those strengths to leverage into your successful business.So I think that’s a lot about it. I love that.
And you know, I can extend on that a little bit. Also, knowing your heritage, knowing your culture. If it’s possible, it’s not possible for everyone. But if you are able to look at, to where, where your homelands are, where did your family originate? Looking into some of the customs that you did, some of the traditions, you know, all those kinds of things. You know, all the cultures are beautiful, all the cultures have beautiful parts.
All cultures have maybe some not great parts, but you know, knowing them and acknowledging them can also enhance your business. Because if you can start to really acknowledge your culture, your heritage, and allow it to come through, because it is a part of you, it’s part of your story, it can make other people know it’s safe for them to acknowledge,
Know their heritage and know and express their culture as well. So, and it’s just, I think it’s a beautiful thing. It’s, you know, inspired by a mutual coach of ours, Tash Corbin. She does Tashmas. Well, Christmas is one of those holidays that is, you know, kind of celebrated throughout the world.
But those of us that are Jewish are only 2.5% of the global population. And of that population, I think only one and a half percent or 2% are religious Jews. Most of us are secular Jews in terms of that. So I started doing Canaanukkah to help people understand, because my name is Canaan and it kind of looks like Canaan. You know, in other languages it is pronounced Kaan versus, so we went with Canaanukkah to help give people the permission to ask questions, to help give people the permission to say, I don’t know anything about Judaism.
My daughter’s on a cheerleading team. And so a lot of the moms are like, what are we supposed to do for, for Hanukkah? One, one mom asked me, she’s like, I got a Jewish woman for Secret Santa. What am I supposed to give her? I’m like, the same kind of gifts that somebody else gets. I’m like, But like those types of questions and bringing that culture to the, to the forefront of these conversations.
I think the other thing that you had said earlier that I wanted to kind of circle back to is that, am I the right person to safely have these conversations, to be the person to safely take care of them? I had to rumble with a conversation with a client who is, you know, and again, the right way to say this, a man of color. And I had to have this conversation. I was like, look, I know I am not in your culture, but as the coach, I’m like, can I ask you this question? It’s a long-term relationship. We’ve had, we’ve been working together for many, many years.
And I said, look, I don’t know that I’m the appropriate person to ask this question, but as your coach, I believe there’s a question to be asked here. I think this is the question, and at least I, you know, put the caveat in there to say, I get that I might not be appropriate to ask this question and I hope it’s okay, but I think this is a question you need to rumble with.
And so I think, again, it’s that willingness to rumble in being awkward and saying things wrong and at least acknowledge that I know I might say all the bit wrong. But I wanna be better and do better.
I think as long as you’re approaching it with a consent base, so you’re saying, I think this is going on, is it okay if I ask you this? Is it okay? And allowing them to say yes or no. Because quite often, in all honesty, sometimes I would say no. And that comes with my experience being me and having experience with conversations.
I already know where it’s going. It’s not hard to predict the lineup. And you know, for a lot of people who I knew from the conversation, they may not be familiar with where it’s going, but I certainly am. And so I can choose to engage with that or I can say, no, no, I don’t want to go with this any further.
Because it is quite emotionally taxing to get into those kinds of things. And there are also other nuances with it as well. So sometimes I think that’s why the safety, that’s why I wanted to bring up what you said about that. I think that’s super important. Are you the right person or the safe person to have those conversations, to work with this person to have that.
Because that level of safety and trust gives them willingness to sit there and know or ask or say, yes, I trust you enough to have this as a conversation to rumble or No, I don’t trust you.
I’m not sure that you’re the person to have this conversation with. And so I think that was another question I was gonna ask, which was around, Can I give you a bit of a rule of thumb with that?
A rule of thumb with that is if you do not belong to the community, the rule thumb is you are not the one to lead the conversation. If you do not belong to that community, you can’t lead it. The only people who should be leading the conversations about certain marginalizations,
about certain types of oppressions are the people who are in that community who are experiencing that oppression firsthand. So that’s a really good rule of thumb. So you just go, it’s really black and white, yes I am, or no I’m not. And then from there, then you can seek that consent. I love that.
It’s why I can talk about neurodiversity left and right.
It’s the community I belong to. I absolutely do. Even as somebody who is a Jewish woman who converted. I’m very clear about saying that I wasn’t raised this way, but I am a member and I am raising Jewish children. So I have that community that I can speak to, you know, in terms of seeing all that, I love that conversation because I think, you know, in our country as well, and again, I don’t know if it’s in your country, but I’ve heard stories of, you know, it’s the white woman coming to the savior of somebody else. Like I’m helping to fight with you. But I love what you’re saying, that it’s not my right. It’s not my place to do that. I can fight for my people, I can fight for the communities of which I belong. But if I don’t belong to that community, and even the idea of saying, oh, I’m gonna help empower somebody, or I’m gonna do that is still coming from that privileged, I am whatever, thinking I can’t really put words on the right way of saying it.
Learn the Difference Between Help and Support
So I like to define the difference between help and support. So I say, you’re not helping because the communities don’t need help. They know exactly what they need. They know the solutions, the people who are experiencing it firsthand are the closest people to the solutions.
What they need is support to make their solutions happen. So you’re not helping, you’re supporting. So you are always either walking alongside. So walking alongside, I love that there would be things like voting where like here in Australia it’s, I know it’s different in America, but here in Australia, everyone has to vote. You don’t get a choice, you have to vote.
Otherwise you get a fine for not putting your vote in. It is that serious here that everyone gets a vote, everyone gets a vote. So that’s when you stand alongside, you go, okay, well my vote is equal to your vote, so I’m gonna vote the way you need me to vote. That’s walking alongside.
Most of the time we need people to be behind us to listen to what they’re saying, passing the mic to us, listen to this story, put them on the platform and say, here is your opportunity, yes. To have this conversation. We need access to your networks, we need access to your resources. Because if we had them, we wouldn’t be having these issues. We wouldn’t be having these conversations. So that’s what we need.
The only time you would ever step in front of us is to protect us from attack because we are under attack a lot of the time. So if you can somehow put yourself in the way, because you know that we would, and here in Australia it’s so serious that with our law enforcement, the amount of deaths in custody is so terrible. There is such a fear that if any one of our community are arrested, there is a good chance they will not come out alive. So that’s standing in front and knowing that you might get a slap on the wrist, whereas we might not, we might lose our life is a very big difference.
Or it might be someone is in the street verbally or racially attacking. Stand up.
No, this is not okay. Stand be the barrier in between. So there is always a space for you to be in front of us when you are there to help protect alongside us when it is a space if we need the numbers to do something. And behind us change.
When you were saying we need to listen to this and we need to be supporting these people here. Here’s the mic. Listen to them. Beautiful.
Well we have been at this for a while. I think this is such a juicy conversation and I don’t know if I have a link, but I know you have some amazing resources to help business owners who are looking to make the change, be the change and create these types of businesses and conversations. So if you wanna post it in the comments, we can also add it to the description above. So if you’re watching this on replay, hopefully it’s been added to the description above. If not, it’s the comments below.
You find me on Facebook, you can find me. My website is louise O’Reilly.comau. I love TikTok. I’m on Instagram, TikTok. So although you might be here on Facebook, she is on Instagram and TikTok, I tag the Facebook page in the comments. We will also tag it above and we can add the resources.
Thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much for this conversation. I think we’ll have to come back at it again. We’ll see how it goes. I would love to have you again. So give her a like and a love inside and go check out the work and oh, you’ve got a great email series right now.
I do have an email series happening and it starts on the 15th of December. So it’s five emails, and in each of those five emails, I’m going to put a short, almost like a mini webinar training. And it covers lots of things like, you know, how to know what to say and what to do. It’s just all the things.
And it’s called business inclusivity upleveling. So you know, just open your email whenever you’re ready. Have a check of those. I wanted to make it really simple and really spacious over this period. So it’s from December through to January, if you would love to do that. I’ll be happy to share the link to check it out in the comments.
I will be reading along with them and it’s just, it’s such a great conversation with you and to bring this conversation.
It’s so important for business owners. This is our opportunity to be the change and make the differences in, especially in the communities that we can stand and speak for.
And you know, the thing is with your businesses, if you can just not add on, but rather change, you can innovate your business to be more inclusive, that in itself impacts the world. It ripples on because it ripples to your clients. That ripples to their families, which ripples to their communities. You can do something which you think is, oh, it’s not really a big thing, but it actually can have a massive impact globally. I love it. Beautiful. Thank you so much. You’re so welcome.