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#Ep 33 Integrated Identity: Healing, Belonging and Inclusive Impact, with Mariane Power

adhd leadership neurodiversity podcast classroom 5.0 Mar 29, 2024

The world is facing a purpose crisis, and it's high time we turn that around.

These were the words shared by Dr Michael Steger, a recognized authority on meaning in life, purpose, happiness, psychological strengths, and positive psychology, at last week's World Happiness Summit. 

Dr Steger has been a monumental influence on my own work over the years. His relentless commitment to understanding and scaling the factors that make for a meaningful, 'good life' has seen him publish countless papers and deliver as many keynotes on the topic. So when he's noticing a crisis, you bet your bottom bippy it's time to listen up, and take action for change. 

But how have we arrived here? How is it that despite all the technological vehicles for global connection available, much of the world reports feeling more lonely, isolated and lost? And importantly, how do we course correct and steer ourselves into a future that benefits ourselves, humanity at large, and the planet we call home? 

These are the questions I hoped to uncover insights to in this season of Classroom 5.0. Five episodes in, I've decided to do things a little differently this week, with a conversation this time that pulls some of the pieces together, and sheds light on a starting point we can use to take a step forward into designing the future of work, learning and leadership.

Through the lens of self and social identity, this episode takes a look at the health and business imperative of personal development work that facilitates healing, boosts belonging and creates safe, inclusive cultures in our schools, communities and workplaces. 

It dives into research that demonstrates how getting to know the intricate layers of our identities—and those of our colleagues, students, or family members—can lead to more meaningful connections, heightened performance, and a stronger sense of belonging.

"If your role is to create a safe, inclusive environment that reduces psychological harm caused by risk factors like mismatched job demands, poor autonomy, poor physical environment, poor communication and relationships - how on earth can you possibly ‘identify’ the risks within your teams and workplaces if the people within your workplaces don’t come to work with a clear sense of who they are. 

So when you ask, what’s the case for investing time and resources on ensuring your people have access to personal development opportunities, to better understanding their unique struggles and strengths that differ by culture, neurotype, upbringing, education - we can start with it positions YOU with data that enables you to do the bare minimum - create a psychologically safe work environment that mitigates harm. 

But if you know me, you know I’m beyond the bare minimum. Let’s talk about the role identity plays in uncovering our potential, increasing our performance and delivering IMPACT".

Key Takeaways

  • 08:17 Safeguarding our psyche at work -  the essentials of psychosocial safety and psychological hazard risk mitigation at work, and the importance of policies and workplace environments that protect us from risks that threaten our mental well-being.
  • 15:34  How our group affiliations shape our sense of self and our interactions with the world.
  • 25:18 Revisiting Imposter Syndrome and how it relates to our identity with Alison Shamir
  • 28:04 Understanding the changing expectations of today's workforce and what the research says about what top talent are seeking in their professional lives
  • 29:32 Charlotte Connell shares insights on how the  push for sustainability is intertwined with our need to belong and find our place.
  • 32:06 Navigating the complex world of labels and the influence they hold .
  • 33:03 Why founders must invest in their own development to lead with authenticity and vision.
  • 36:50 The business case for building belonging, from financial gains to enhanced performance.
  • 38:15 The critical role of schools in nurturing identity development and fostering inclusion.
  • 41:58 How a strong sense of self can amplify our ability to create positive change.
  • 44:13 The challenges and rewards of incorporating our traumas into our identity narrative, and exploring post-traumatic growth - a revisit of conversations with Zach Mercurio.
  • 53:23 Practical steps for cultivating environments where everyone feels they truly belong

Listen to the full episode here 


"Belonging is significant within itself. It’s a basic human drive and need I believe should be at the top of every leader’s agenda. But, if you’re a numbers person, or again are wanting levers to pull to help build the case for belonging, and let’s face it - in a world driven by a financial economy, numbers matter, consider research published in the Harvard Business Review that demonstrates how closely belonging is connected to both individual and overall business performance:

In research investigating the cost of exclusion and the benefits of inclusion, Better Up surveyed 1,789 full-time U.S. employees across many industries and then conducted a series of experiments with more than 2,000 live participants. Their findings suggest High Belonging is linked to mitigating psycho-social risk factors, including 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days. To be clear, that equates financially to an annual saving of 52mill US dollars for a 10 000 person company. Annual. Saving. 

AND drove a 56% increase in peak performance. Plus, employees who reported higher workplace belonging showed a 167% increase in their willingness to recommend their company to others, received double the raises, and 18 times more promotions."

In addition to featuring insights from guests within Season 4, this conversation features highlights from my conversation with Zach Mercurio, which you can find here 

Integrated Identity is the first pillar of our 6 factor IMPACT framework that unpacks the individual and cultural characteristics that help individuals and organisations deliver on environmental, social and governance goals that build a better world. 

Read more about the Impact Framework here 

Other links and resources discussed in this episode: 

  • Listen to the full episode here, or by clicking on the images in this post. 
  • Connect with Mariane via LinkedIn here 
  • See research that points to the psychosocial risks associated with undiagnosed ADHD, in the paper - Andreassen et al. (2016). The relationships between workaholism and symptoms of psychiatric disorders: A large-scale cross-sectional study. PloS one11(5), e0152978. Available here 
  • Read a thesis entitled "Women & ADHD Functional Impairments: Beyond the Obvious, available here ". It speaks to how we, as women, often mislabel our ADHD traits as laziness or lack of effort, which can haunt us into adulthood.
  • For Millenials and Genz , work is an extension of identity and needs to reflect their core values, beliefs, and purpose. Read the 2024 Workmonitor report by leading Global Talent Solution company, Randstad Sourceright here 
  • In addition to featuring insights from guests within Season 4, this conversation features highlights from my conversation with Zach Mercurio, which you can find here 
  • Watch a keynote presentation that unpacks the 6 pillars of The Impact Framework here 
  • Learn more about Messy Magic, an online coaching program supporting ADHD women here 
  • Read research published in the Harvard Business Review that demonstrates how closely belonging is connected to both individual and overall business performance
  • To discover how The Posify Group can support your school or workplace in achieving its diversity and inclusion learning and development goals, email 

I hope you’ve found this conversation around identity both interesting and helpful as you consider how you and those you live and work with can create inclusive environments that enable us to deliver on our unique skills, talents and strengths, to create the impact we personally desire, and that our world desperately needs. 

Liked this episode? Here's how to rate and review on Apple Podcasts!

This helps us support more people, just like you, to imagine and create inclusive impact that benefits our future. Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then be sure to share what you loved most about this and other episodes! 

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Thanks for tuning into another episode of Classroom 5.0, and helping to imagine alive the future of learning, work and leadership.  



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