Building Community Across Differences: An Interview with Harvey Floyd II

In her book, Daring Greatly, Brené Brown says, “The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time.”

What does it look like to show up? How can we show up to and for one another, even when we differ greatly in our ideas and beliefs? How can we allow ourselves and one another to be imperfect, to make mistakes, and to come around to a new perspective that wasn’t available to us before? We can build and rebuild a sense of community when we are willing to engage rather than disengage, to lean in to the discomfort even when our survivor brains are telling us to run back to our echo chambers.




Someone who personifies this ability to build community and relationships across differences is my dear friend and colleague, Harvey Floyd II.

Harvey is a Lecturer in the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Program (MSOD), and Wharton School of Business Executive Education program, where he teaches on Diversity and Inclusion in 21 Century Organizations, High Performance Teams, and Strategic Persuasion. Harvey serves as Lead Coach for the Executive Development Program at Wharton. Harvey is also a Faculty member at Team Diagnostics, LLC, supporting the development of team coaching practitioners, and an Adjunct Faculty in the U.S. State Department’s School of Leadership and Management at the Foreign Service Institute.

Harvey talked about how we as facilitators handle when we are triggered by comments or behaviors of others. He is a master at inviting people to talk about the elephant in the room instead of glossing over it and practicing emotional ownership by articulating when we have reactions to something a person says or does.

We also discussed the importance of expanding beyond our immediate social networks to not only broaden our own line of sight but also to ensure we are exposing opportunities to a wider network of people. Often, there are many who could benefit from our connections and are, as Harvey says,  “hidden in plain sight.”

Harvey’s combination of intellectual prowess in organizational development and diversity and his deep heartfelt curiosity and love of people is a powerful force. Enjoy!

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