Newsletter – June 23, 2021

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A guide to relationship-building; queer, trans, nonbinary inclusion resources; and more!

Our Guide to Relationship-Building

A circular chart with soft maroon and blue colors describing the four elements of relationship-building: authenticity, trust, navigating power, and shared purpose.

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.

Read the Guide

Beyond Parades: Steps Toward Queer, Trans, & 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 recomQuote by Ocean Vuong that reads, Being queer saved my life. Often we see queerness as deprivation. But when I look at my life, I saw that queerness demanded an alternative innovation from me. I had to make alternative routes, it made me curious, it made me ask, "Is this enough for me?"mend 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.

Have a model inclusion policy or practice you want to share? We’d love to learn from you! Email

TMC Receives Generous Gift

The Management Center is honored to be among the recipients of a major gift from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. This generous unrestricted grant recognizes TMC’s growing impact supporting social justice and educational equity leaders. Of course, you know this already because you make our movements stronger every single day. We could not let this moment pass without thanking you.

Please join us in cheering for our talented staff, as well, who bring “excellence with heart” to their work every day. As we face the lasting effects of a global pandemic and enter an era of recovery and possibility, we are proud to partner with you, our clients, across a broad range of movements to create the systemic change we need.

What We’re Reading & Learning

The Liberatory Design Deck—a creative problem-solving approach that helps us better understand challenges in highly complex interconnected systems, see ways systems of oppression are impacting our context, and root our decision-making in our values.

How’s Work? with Esther Perel—In this podcast, famed therapist and psychology expert explores the significance of work relationships.

‘On Juneteenth’ Historian Examines The ‘Hope’ And ‘Hostility’ Toward Emancipation—an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed.

In May, TMC staff started a journey to better understand the racial, political, and cultural facets of Indigenous identity and tribal sovereignty in a U.S. context. We were joined by Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation). Here are just a few of the resources she shared:

Training Updates

Just as the pandemic is winding down, so too will our limited offering of the Managing Remotely through COVID-19 training. However, you can find many of the same concepts in our Managing to Change the World training, exclusively online through December 31st.

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