Conflict Resolution and Leadership Mindfulness into Action (MIA) for Cultural Humility and Awareness (MIA-CHA): Toward Ending Microaggressions and Fostering Harmony

Conflict Resolution and Leadership Mindfulness into Action (MIA) for Cultural Humility and Awareness (MIA-CHA): Toward Ending Microaggressions and Fostering Harmony

Mariana I. Vergara Esquivel, Barbara Wallace, Apeksha Mewani, Adriana Reyes, Victoria Marsick, Lyle Yorks, Edmund W. Gordon, Xiaoxue Du, Fung Ling Ong, Clare Parks, Irma Hidayana, Susan Tirhi, Karla Ruiz, Adam Mac Quarrie, Carl D. Brustad Tjernstad, Jingyi Dong, Ingunn Hagen, Marit Honerød Hoveid, Jimmy Cuaran Guerrero, Pedro Rocha, Fausto Calderon, Katharina Steinlechner, Fernando Caicedo, Mariana I. Tamariz, John-Martin Green
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1049-9.ch006
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Mindfulness into Action (MIA) for Cultural Humility and Awareness (MIA-CHA) has the two main aims: 1) training students in how to be transformational leaders who are capable of addressing and resolving tension around diversity issues within organizations/ communities/ societies, as they emerge skilled in ending microaggressions (Pierce, 1995; Sue et al, 2007) and fostering cross-cultural harmony; and, 2) training students to emerge as competent researchers who may contribute data regarding the utility of MIA-CHA for ending microaggressions and promoting cultural humility and awareness to meet contemporary diversity challenges. The anticipated result is a new generation of researchers and new era of grant-funded research that pioneers MIA-CHA for ending microaggressions and fostering harmony. Through participation in a leadership skills development methodology (chapter 31) that incorporates indigenous knowledge and organizational learning techniques, students gradually become more aware of their own unconscious behaviors, more in tune with the people surrounding them, and increasingly skillful in engaging in conscious and intentional action. They become what Boyatzis and Mckee (2005) call “resonant leaders.” This means that they are capable of achieving a new awareness that is vital in cross-cultural interactions: i.e. the ability to connect with their thoughts, emotions, and hearts in ways that enable them to counteract the destructive effects of stress, dissonance, and self-limiting mindsets often associated with contemporary diversity challenges; and, instead, they learn to nurture the development of sustainable, harmonious, and high functioning relationships shared among the diverse membership of organizations and communities. Further, they enter into a process that is consistent with learning cultural humility, as a valued construct in the discourse on achieving cultural competence (Tervaln & Murray-Garcia, 1998; Waters & Asbill, 2013; Hook et al, 2013). This is virtually the process described by Wallace (2008), as shifting from hierarchical authority (A/B) in interpersonal and organizational relationships to non-hierarchical equality (A=B). In similar way, Participatory Action Research (PAR) is doing research with people rather than on them (Fals Borda, 1979; Heron, 1996; Heron & Reason 1997; Reason 1996, 1988; Reason & Bradbury, 2010).
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To date, Mindfulness into Action has been implemented in three countries within higher education institutions. Additionally, in 2009, Dr. Mariana Vergara did a MIA informal intervention with the indigenous Kichwa community in the Amazon rainforest. Research suggests (Chapter 61) that participants of MIA experienced transformations within themselves, whereby they became more aware of their psychological and emotional processes and behaviors, including their self-limiting assumptions about themselves and self-sabotaging actions, and experienced reductions in feelings of dissonance (frustration and disequilibrium among cognitions).

These types of self-transformations are needed into today’s world where many countries, communities, and organizations are plagued by diversity issues. It is important to create educational initiatives that effectively address and remedy the deep-rooted misconceptions (microaggressions) that we have about ourselves and one another, and foster self-awareness and more inclusivity. In this way, we will move towards becoming more liberated from the fixed and restrictive ego-based ideas that overlay our minds and hearts, and begin to realize our true natures and potentials (chapter 46). This progressive self-change will not only bring us into greater alignment with ourselves, but also into greater harmony with the people we interact with in our lives. This is the new paradigm mode in leadership that includes cultural humility and awareness (MIA-CHA) for ending microaggressions and fostering harmony.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mindfulness: Being awake and aware of the social setting. In the leadership management context, mindfulness enables leaders to interrupt the vicious cycles of sacrifice, stress and dissonance.

Indigenous Knowledge: Knowledge that involves an intimate relationship with the belief systems and that has been accumulated through a long series of observations transmitted from generation to generation.

Unknown Behaviors: Behaviors that are embedded in our subconscious that associated with the fundamental way of thinking and perceiving the social process in various social settings.

Arrogance: An attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.

Microaggression: Microaggression has been defined as “the brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, sexual-orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or groups” (Sue, 2010a AU42: The in-text citation "Sue, 2010a" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. , p. 5).

Reflectivity: Decisive evidence for the capacity of humans to engage in self-conscious inquiry into their own conditions.

Participatory Action Research: Participatory Action Research is doing research with people rather than on them. Such a posture requires acknowledgment that academic researchers are not outside the system, but rather are an elemental part of the composition of the system involved in the study.

Transformational Leadership: Leadership approach that causes participants to become more present and gain the growing self-awareness and inner transformation.

Innovation: Application of optimal solutions that meet requirements and collaborative ventures in corporate and entrepreneurial worlds.

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