Belonging comes from being in relationships where you are valued for who you are intrinsically, and where you value others as well. We long to be a part of something that matters, but we need it to be real — not conditional or fake or constantly up for negotiation, we long for authentic belonging.
Brene Brown in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, defined belonging this way:
Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it.
True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are: it requires you to be who you are.
People desperately want to be part of something that matters, and they want to experience profound connection with others at work, but they don’t want to sacrifice their authenticity, freedom, or power to do it.
Effective leaders strive for the inclusion of all people, opinions and perspectives because that makes us all better and stronger. They promote a culture of belonging where people can be themselves through recognising achievement, validating contribution, and developing a system that includes power with, power to, and power within.
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