My Philosophy
How I Approach My Work
Throughout all of the services I provide at LIT Consulting, my philosophy towards the work remains the same. Whether in my leadership coaching, workshops, trainings, or consulting, you can be assured that the content and approach will be embedded within the following practices and philosophies detailed below. The combination of these frameworks is what makes my services one of a kind.
Photograph © Bruce Thao
Sunrise in Gili Air, Indonesia
Beyond Diversity & Inclusion
Although I do diversity work and diversity trainings, I am actually not a fan of the word DIVERSITY. This recent article from Sociology Professor Ellen Berry sums up my rationale. That being said, I approach my work BEYOND diversity and inclusion. I situate it at the intersections of the multiple identities that we all carry in regards to race/ethniticy, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and much more. Who we are and how we operate is unique to each of us.
 
 
Holistic Health & Wellness
At the same time, my work is grounded in a deep understanding and analysis of the broader systems which often perpetuate inequality, including racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia and others. With this understanding, I engage individuals, craft conversations, and create brave spaces that enable individuals to grapple with the uncomfortable, grow with one another, and transform into more effective leaders. 
I approach my work with leaders and institutions from a holistic approach, understanding that individuals can only show up as their best selves when their mind, body, spirit and emotions are aligned. Unhealthy individuals create unhealthy workplaces. Unhealthy leaders create unhealthy teams. Thus my work at individual, organizational or systems levels is always conscious of the multiple aspects of health and wellness in leadership. Often what is unspoken is what creates or perpetuates unhealthy work cultures. When we are able to name and work through these components, it enables us to show up at our best--which is when we thrive as leaders. 
Historical Trauma & Radical Healing
HISTORICAL TRAUMA
I have researched and studied historical and intergenerational trauma for the last 8 years and integrate it into all of the work that I do. In short, historical trauma is a framework for understanding how centuries and generations of trauma, war, migration, genocide, etc against a group of people can be passed down through the generations and manifest in future generations who may have never directly experienced the trauma. Much of the literature focuses on historical trauma in Native American and Jewish communities, although extensive work has also been done in the African American and other communities.
 
My research has explored historical trauma with the Hmong community as a case study. I believe that when we utilize this framework to understand what a community or racial/ethnic group has been through, it provides us with a broader context and perspective with which to understand current issues and create new and innovative approaches to address the issues. These strategies are also strengths-based and emphasize resiliency rather than coming from a deficit model. Until we have identified the complex, historical trauma our communities have endured, we can never heal as a community.  
 
RADICAL HEALING
One of the ways in which we can approach this healing process is through what has been coined "radical healing".  Radical healing emphasizes the importance of loving oneself first and foremost. It insists that self-care and self-love are revolutionary acts, without which we can never create a just world.
 
Once an individual has identified and found pathways to begin to heal from the complex trauma they may face, only then can they become powerful change agents in their community or family, which can then lead to systems level change. In this day and age we are bombarded with violence, microaggressions and oppression on a daily basis in the media or in our daily lives. By understanding concepts of historical trauma and radical healing, we are equipped with alternatives to how we live and operate, shifting from surviving to thriving.
 
I am currently working on my book, which will integrate these two concepts using both my life and intersections of my identities and the Hmong community as case studies. My hope is that this can then be a tool with which many communities can understand these concepts and adapt and apply them to their lives and communities as appropriate. I integrate these frameworks into all of the work that I do and am happy to discuss these topics further with you. 
Mindfulness
A core tenet of my life and work is mindfulness. I was introduced to mindfulness by the readings and teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh , a famous Vietnamese Buddhist monk who was nominated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for a Nobel Peace Prize. Mindfulness, at its simplest, is awareness of the present moment. Mindfulness can be a tool which we use to ground ourselves, de-stress, and find our center. 
 
After reading Thich Nhat Hanh's books for years, I then went to study at one of his Buddhist monastery's in Southern California: Deer Park Monastery . It was there that all his teachings became real as I saw the practices lived out amongst the monks, nuns and laypeople who lived or studied there. I have now integrated mindfulness into my everyday life, into my leadership, and into all aspects of my work, coaching, training and consulting. You will find that mindfulness is a gentle reminder to slow down, breathe, and enjoy this present moment. As we tune into our presence, we become more effective and intentional leaders who lead with purpose.