Day 3 – Breaking the Tension: The Power of Enabling Your Employees to Show Up Authentically

Let’s just be people…show people what human beings look like. One character study — how they became the person they are and how that shows up as authentic, especially at work.

It’s easy for people to see you as yourself when you just tell them who you are.


  • The Cosby Show, set in mississippi: Black -> Smart.
    • Media is central
    • Empathy for disabilities from temporary blindness
  • Second grade — better school, academically
    • No black people
    • Always sent to the principal’s office…why? Teacher didn’t like black people
    • Understood what racism is, for first time
  • Fourth grade — Black teacher
    • Shouldn’t be self, followed rest of the life — can be black here or not?
  • Sixth Grade — in a gifted program
    • “You’re special”
    • Kind of internal pressure, be the best black person
  • Junior, high school —
    • Crisis, medical professionals back to life
    • Transfer high school, learned about self-care and manage stress
  • Conceived at Harvard (freshman dorm)
  • College — applied to many colleges, started in Duke
    • Met awesome roommate
    • One crush that converts you to something else? 😀
    • Scared to tell mom, she said she knew since 8 yrs old
    • Mom was okay, but said “you might not be able to be OUT everywhere”
  • Navigate all these different complexities?
  • Graduated, first job
    • Kept asking, “how can I be myself while doing this job?”
  • Next job
    • Realized trans identity
    • Asked to use they / them; pushed back refraining from using it — HR violation?
  • Recruitment at Apply
    • Decided to be self
    • Changed name in directory, 100% accepted and no issue
  • Then to Netflix
    • Met a lot of people, can be who they are
    • Dave Chappelle controversy
    • Can’t believe it! 
    • Memo came out — reasserts Netflix principles
    • Emails are terrible mediums when having humane conversations — better to have in-person communication