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Capitol Correspondence - 06.29.21

Two Management Resources: Relationship-Building and LGBTQ+ Inclusion

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To assist our members in their functions as employers, we share two helpful articles from The Management Center (TMC).

Guide to Relationship Building:

Many of us have experienced profound disconnection, fear, loss, and fatigue over the last year. Some relationships suffered, some flourished, and some helped us through the hardest times. How would you describe your relationship with your colleagues or manager? What about with the people you manage?

At TMC, we believe relationship-building is a core competency for effective management. Few relationships shape our experiences at work more than the one we have with our manager. If our schools and organizations are organisms, relationships are the connective tissue—they bind, support, and protect us.

Strong, supportive relationships:

  • Help us counteract the effects of systemic oppression by creating connections
  • Make it easier to show up to work and avoid burnout
  • Supercharge our teams so we can work well together and get better results.

Relationship-building requires authenticity, trust, navigating power and difference, and a sense of shared purpose. We’re offering a new guide for managers looking to build (more) supportive and functional relationships with their staff.

Beyond Parades: Steps Towards Queer, Trans and Nonbinary Inclusion

We’re here, we’re queer, it’s Pride month! Let’s all show up for our queer, trans, and nonbinary community who are impacted by mounting backlash to basic human rights, alongside attacks on voting rights and reproductive freedom. Here are four ways to create a more inclusive workplace:

  • Review your policies and benefits—and work to update them. We recommend providing benefits to queer, trans, and nonbinary team members’ spouses and families; including sexuality and gender identity in your non-discrimination policies and sexual harrassment trainings; and creating a comprehensive Trans Inclusion Policy (check out this sample!). We are excited to check out this new guide Re-Framing Pride: Best Practices and Policies for Supporting LGBTQ+ People in the Workplace, too. Remember to always check with your lawyers or HR experts before adding new policies!
  • Normalize asking for and sharing pronouns. Add pronouns to your communications (Zoom name, email signatures, and bios) and ask for them during hiring and onboarding. Check out this tutorial on they/them pronouns by Dr. Jeanie Austin. When in doubt, ask, “What pronouns do you use?”
  • Broaden your definition of family when it comes to leave time and bereavement, check-in questions, and staff gatherings. Acknowledge people’s chosen family in conversation; this not only supports queer, trans, and nonbinary staff, but also people with disabilities with mutual aid networks, single parents podded with friends and relatives, and many others.
  • Be mindful about asking for gender identity and sexual orientation on surveys or forms—and if you do ask, include a range of options or let people self-identify. Explain who will see the info, how it will be used, and how it will be kept confidential.

Additional reading to facilitate inclusivity: Oregon Science and Health University has published resources for education coordinators, families and caregivers, and direct support professionals to help inform youth with intellectual / developmental disabilities about sexual health.