The most radical and uncomfortable conversation is about our gifts. The leadership and citizen task is to bring the gifts of those on the margin into the center. The gifts conversation is the essence of valuing diversity and inclusion. We are not defined by deficiencies or what is missing. We are defined by our gifts and what is present. This is so for individuals and communities. Belonging occurs when we tell others what gift we receive from them, especially in this moment. When this occurs, in the presence of others, community is built. We embrace our own destiny when we have the courage to acknowledge our own gifts and choose to bring them into the world. The questions for the gift conversations are: “What is the gift you still hold in exile, what is it about you that no one knows, what gratitude has gone unexpressed, and what have others in this room done that has touched you?”
The conversation about gifts is what unlocks belonging. Is there someone who is a gift in your life and community that you have not yet told? Imagine what that would bring forth for them and for the community you share?
Block, Peter. Community: The Structure of Belonging(p. 124). Berrett-Koehler Publishers.