On November 4, 2021, Amelia Dunlop, Chief Experience Officer at Deloitte Digital, took the virtual stage for our conscious community to share the importance of fostering love and worth in the workplace. By focusing on the human experience, Amelia believes that we go beyond just showing up—we build relationships that matter.
In her recently released book Elevating the Human Experience: Three Paths to Love and Worth at Work, Amelia expands on those three avenues: the self, others, and community. Read on for our takeaways of each.
1. The first path: love yourself and claim your worth.
Before delving into what it means to love and value yourself, Amelia shares her definition of both as outlined her new book: “Intrinsic worth is something’s or someone’s intrinsic value just for being, before they say or do anything. … Love is the choice to extend yourself for the purpose of your own or another’s growth.”
“Love is the choice to extend yourself for the purpose of your own or another’s growth.”
So, at work, bombing a presentation doesn’t, and shouldn’t, diminish your worth. It’s about not defining yourself by a moment or actions that have taken place, it’s about seeing the value you bring just by being yourself.
At this point, Amelia decided to invite the audience to engage in a moment of self-love. First, she shared that early on in her career, she had a devastating day professionally—feeling unloveable and unworthy, she spoke to her mentor who advised her to not only take the opportunity to grow professionally, but to embrace the vulnerability she was feeling and grow in her head and her heart. Amelia’s mentor challenged her to write down 30 reasons she was, in fact, loveable and this is the prompt Amelia delivered to attendees. The chat populated with answers like, I am loveable because…
- I am family-first always
- I am generous
- I see the best in others
- I know how to laugh
Being able to engage with ourselves in a loving way and make self-gratitude and esteem for ourselves a habit dismantle the mindset that “we’re not worthy … not good enough,” according to Amelia. And loving ourselves can also help us extend the same compassion and positivity to others.
2. The second path: love others.
Loving others and receiving love from others allows us to build connections and relationships that matter at work. As Amelia said, “It’s when we connect that we find meaning and purpose.”
“It’s when we connect that we find meaning and purpose.”
Loving others means seeing their worth and reflecting it back to them to ensure they see it too; Amelia calls this “mirrored worth” and it shows up in four types of allies which she outlined as:
- Friends: those that listen to us, support us in difficult moments, and just want to be with us.
- Mentors: those that share wisdom, tips, and skills with us.
- Sponsors: those that use their power, whether personal or positional power, on our behalf to secure opportunities for us.
- Benefactors: those that assume all three other roles, but also bears witness to the ups and downs of our long-term journeys
To Amelia, “we can all be good leaders if we’re friends and we’re mentors to the people around us and serving as an ally,” but she does not feel “we can be great leaders unless we’re actively sponsoring people around us, mirroring back their worth, and going on a journey over a longer period of time as benefactors…”
3. The third path: engaging a broader community in the work.
Finally, Amelia shares the the Equitable Experience Framework created by her and her team over the course of the pandemic to understand what it means to see whole populations of people.” The Equitable Experience Framework, dubbed the “flower framework” by Amelia and her partners, outlines what most communities need to feel loved and valued in the workplace.
Amelia notes: “What we realized through the deep ethnographic interviews we did was that all of these petals were so important and foundationally, at the center, is what it means to be seen and what they’re lived experiences are.”
This framework provides leaders looking to lead with love and value at the core of how they operate with the tools needed to act with intention and consistency.
To get the full conversation, watch the recording of this virtual gathering.
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