I was in a virtual meeting with a wonderful up and coming powerhouse in the L&D space today, Abiba KONE. We were having a casual Friday check-in on some really awesome projects we are both working on.
Towards the end of the meeting, my youngest daughter comes in the room sits down in front of me very quickly and mostly off camera. Without missing a beat Abiba says "Oh, you're about to braid her hair!" Then went right back to sharing some updates on a project.
That simple statement, while so casual in nature, felt good in so many ways. It also reminded me that as black women, this act of braiding hair is so much more than just a task. It's a time of connection more than anything. It is generational and taught on porches, in homes and even salons everywhere. It has brought community as we get together to braid hair. I remember sitting at my mom's lap to get my hair braided, and doing it for my older daughters.
And now here in the midst of work...where home lives and professional lives have collided in so many ways... Abiba basically just expressed affirmation of bringing your WHOLE self into your workspaces! It provided understanding and acceptance on a level that really touched my heart. So thank you Abiba!!
I also challenge so many of us to be willing to not only ASK employees to bring their whole selves to work, but to also affirm and accept it when they do.