By Christian Keegan, Zuora Employee Communications Intern
Individuality is powerful. While teams unite around a single purpose, you cannot ignore the power of the individual perspective to carve alternate paths to achieve a common goal. It’s this collection of diverse experiences, points of view, and personalities that creates thoughtful and constructive collaboration and ultimately success. Individuality, now more than ever, is more important as we all work together in a virtual environment. Virtual expression at work is all about finding the balance between individuality and harmony among many voices who are all working together. To sum it all up: Expressing individuality equals powerful results as a group, company, and team.
Here’s a few ways to express your individuality at work:
Pronouns are part of how people refer to us. They go hand in hand with our names, it’s part of our personal identity, expression and it matters. So knowing and using someone’s gender pronouns is a positive way to support the people you work with. Adding your pronouns to every day apps like Zoom or Slack profile is a great place to start. Using gender pronouns in email signatures and in your LinkedIn profile also serves as a consistent reminder on an internal and external level that this is important.
The table below provides examples of gender pronouns from MSU’s Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender Resource Center.
Express Yourself Through Video
Just because you’re not physically sitting in an office doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of all the fun and creative ways to express your uniqueness. Show off your personality through your personal style choices. Yes, we welcome your colorful clothes, fun prints, your wild hair and innovative fashion ideas. It may just be from the waist up, but personal style choices go a long way. Additionally, with Zoom Video Conferencing’s rising popularity, virtual backgrounds are the perfect personal accessory. Let others catch a glimpse of your interests, experiences and what matters to you!
Honesty and transparency are so important to helping you express yourself at work, creating a real sense of individuality. Your experience and point of view are valued and needed to help you shape your work. Be honest and engage with others because we all want to know what makes you, you and vice versa, because two-way openness is where connection and understanding really happens.
Being an individual at work is an amazing privilege. Listening and learning from one another must be a group effort to be successful.Learning from and listening to others will foster community and acceptance of identity. It is every single person’s responsibility to actively listen to your coworkers and create a safe space to invite their awesome individualities to come forward. If you are not sure how to open up at work, listen to those who are sharing their experiences. So much expression is through what people talk about. Speak wisely, and listen with intent and empathy. There is deep value in learning from those around you.
Freedom is individuality. Expression is power. Be yourself, because no one can be just like you and your team will reap the benefits!
Want more resources? Here are some good places to start!
Human Rights Campaign: Talking About Pronouns at Work
Mercer: Let Employees Be Themselves!
Out Leadership: Visibility in the corporate world is key for transgender equality