Don't Take the Exit on People

Practical Resources for Meaningful Connection

Discussion Guide

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Discussion Guide

7 Ways to Not Take
the Exit on People



Challenge Your Double-Dutch Communication Style

Often when we communicate with others, we are waiting to “jump in” and share our perspective or why we disagree with someone else. What if, instead, we listened deeply to others?

We created a model based on our research and experience that will help you listen deeply. We call it the Power of 3 Model™. The Power of 3 Model™ is listening to the third level of the conversation. Instead of jumping in, you dive deeper and ask more questions. If you ever get stuck, use the power statement of “Tell Me More.”



Take the Circles of Grace Challenge™

Every six months, go to events and experiences you normally wouldn’t attend, and engage with people you don’t know much about or you disagree with.  

Answer two questions: (1) What did you learn about the experiences, events, and people, and (2) what did you learn about yourself as you experienced them?  We don’t take the exit when we are proactively learning about others.

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Make Meaningful Connections With 1mc/w™

Often when people do venture out of their comfort circles, their “connections” tend to be very surface level. To help people with this, we created a “mathematical formula” that gives people a practical way to engage others.

1mc/w™ stands for one meaningful connection per week. Build 15-30 minutes into your calendar to ask people (co-workers, colleagues, neighbors, community members, etc.) about them. Remember to “seek to be more interested than interesting.”



Acknowledge Your Assumptions.

Share your assumptions with others or write them down and intentionally engage those you have a bias toward (yes…everyone, including myself, has bias). Choose to listen to their story and perspective without interruption. This is a great way to challenge some of your long and short-believed assumptions about them.



Enact Extravagant Appreciation.

When we have negative experiences with people (especially those we disagree with), choose to show kindness and humanize them. You can listen to them, give a meaningful gift, or simply find a way to show them you value the relationship and their overall journey.



Exercise Empathy.

We never know what someone is going through or the challenges they have faced in their past. These two things may drastically change how they interact with you. Move from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Try to see things from their perspective and wear their shoes. Empathy does not mean you will always agree, but it does mean you will take the time to process from their perspective.

For more insight on this idea, check out the book: What Happened to You: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey.



Find the Gray.

People often feel that everything is black and white, especially if it is something they strongly believe in. But in reality, things are usually very gray (and not the 50 shades kind 😄).

Instead of defending your perspective at all costs, identify the common ground where something can make sense to all parties involved. It’s not always 50/50. Sometimes it might be 95/5 or 40/60, but the point is to intentionally seek out the gray in the conversation.

Book cover of The Inclusive Mindset: How to Cultivate Diversity in Your Everday Life by Justin Jones-Fosu
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The Inclusive Mindset:

How to Cultivate Diversity in Your Everyday Life.

Learn practical strategies and suggestions for moving the diversity and inclusion conversation from mandate to mindset, and from an initiative to making it a part of our everyday lives. Take a personal journey with us as we invite you to embrace The Inclusive Mindset.

About Justin

Thanks, MOM! Justin’s Mom was his first Diversity and Inclusion Hero as she introduced him (also known as made him go) to events where he would be stretched to understand better people who were different. He was introduced to Oktoberfest, Polish Festivals, Hispanic Heritage Festivals, First People’s POW WOW’s, amongst a host of other events.

Not only did they go to events, but they invited “difference” into their home as they had exchange students from France, Japan, Germany, and Brazil (well, the Brazilian exchange student lasted only one day after realizing that they were a black family).

This rich exposure ignited Justin’s curiosity that would lead him to start on his own Inclusive Mindset journey.

While working in Corporate America, he realized that to make Diversity and Inclusion effective, it had to be less of a mandate and more of a mindset. Less of an initiative and more of a part of everyday lives. Justin is committed to tackling this tough topic imperfectly as he pushes to make work meaningful for everyday people, his two high-energy kids, and improve the overall employee experience.

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Our Impact

Work. Meaningful. as a company is committed to positively impacting the world around us.

We prioritize impact over income. We are building a company where we not only help people with our work, but we also give it forward with our 5% pledge. We give forward to educational initiatives on the continent of Africa and the country of the United States. We have provided clean water and are constructing a new middle school building in Justin’s dad’s home village in Ghana.

Our impact vision is to build a company that is raising and giving over one million dollars a year to educational initiatives on the continent of Africa and the country of the United States. Consider joining with us as we make our work meaningful and 100% of what you donate goes directly to the educational initiatives, because Work. Meaningful, the Foundation's Board of Directors, and some grants cover all administrative costs of the Foundation.

To Date We Have Directly Given and Helped Raise Over: $70,000