Foundation: Human-Centered Practices

Foundational Skills for Your Organization’s Transformation

Your organization is ready for transformation. Leadership and all levels alike are eager for change and innovation. You want to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive company where people belong, want to show up, and do incredible work. Where do you start?

Organizational transformation requires a solid foundation to sustain you through hard conversations, times when growth feels good but uncomfortable, and uncovering unconscious biases with empathy and compassion. That foundation is cultural competency.

“The sessions and learning with Leverage to Lead helped me shift my thinking. I broke out of the mold of what I believed corporate life had to be. I know now it can be engaging, full of care for your teammates, and about putting the person before the work. It’s reversing what we’ve all been taught to believe, and it makes teamwork so much better.

I used to believe that you couldn’t do much about conflicts at work, but my belief system has changed. I believe now that we can absolutely make things work together, even when we don’t see eye to eye. Many firms may not think values and empathy are important, but they have become integral to even the smallest tasks at our company. I wish everyone could experience working with Leverage to Lead.” 

Sara Olson

Senior Paralegal, Outten & Golden LLP

group chart

Human-Cetered Practices is Leverage to Lead’s professional and personal development process, designed to increase awareness of yourself, others, and your relationships. Human-centered practices are essential to any change management, including creating a values statement, hiring, performance reviews, leadership development, creating DEI groups, and more.

We define Human-Centered Practices as:

      • Understanding and holding our identities responsibly 
      • Growing in compassion for oneself and others 
      • Leaning into discomfort 
      • Awareness of our emotions and their role in our relationships 
      • Inner agility to make intentional decisions about how we navigate conflict and tension 
      • Deep listening 
      • Relationships grounded in human connection and partnership

All that is required to begin is a growth mindset, willingness to learn, desire for better relationships, and motivation for improved overall function in your organization.


  • Stronger teams and relationships
  • Enhanced connection between employees and leadership
  • A deeper sense of belonging within your organization
  • Culturally competent and informed decision-making
  • Personal and professional growth in emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills
  • Increased capacity to normalize and work through discomfort and uncertainty
  • Establishing a shared vocabulary to surface multiple perspectives
  • Lasting organizational change through personal relationships and responsibility
Leverage To Lead

Program Structure

The Human-Centered Practices program includes three learning blocks:


Identity & Deep Listening

Identity & Deep Listening expands our ability to regard others fully and learn about their whole identities. Listening is a practice that enhances our understanding of ourselves and each other. Deep listening requires interrupting our own biases, assumptions, labels, and judgments. By holding space for each other’s full identities, we’ll explore how behaviors can receive different reactions, depending on one’s identity; how identities can shift; how white supremacy values impact our identities and support our biases. And we’ll implement strategies to interrupt how we’ve been socialized to value some identities over others.


Power Dynamics & Co-Creating Equity in Relationships

Power is present in every relationship. Holding equity-focused conversations requires acknowledging the power differentials between individuals and giving voice to those with less power. In addition to examining the power dynamics in a reporting structure, in the facilitated session, Power Dynamics & Co-Creating Equity in Relationships, we will increase awareness of the ways systems of oppression exert power, build a shared vocabulary around power, explore our socialization about power, and gain tools to plan and prepare for equity-focused conversations. We’ll also delve into the different responsibilities that come with power levels, and practice leaning into those responsibilities with partners.


Exploring Emotions & Inner Agility

In Exploring Emotions & Inner Agility, we build our capacity to respond with intention, which is a skill that resists our culture’s addiction to urgency and immediate response. Instead, we practice pausing and reflecting on our emotions and growing the agility to interrogate our interpretations, beliefs, and storytelling around our feelings. Inner agility is what gives us the power to speak and act in ways that create connection and inclusion, even when our brains and emotions are trying to get us to run or self-protect.

Our program is structured and paced for optimal balance between maintaining momentum and energy while allowing adequate time for processing, practice, and growth. Yet we know that your organizational transformation is unique, so our program sessions are flexible and tailored to your people, needs, challenges, and goals.

In every session, we prioritize personal connection, space for imagination, emotional exploration, and experiential learning and practice. Our program is hands-on, guided, and participant-focused, and our team at Leverage to Lead will model sharing vulnerably, asking questions, and learning through our relationships.