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In Case You Missed It: Fair Housing Luncheon 2023

In Case You Missed It: Fair Housing Luncheon 2023

Nearly every seat was filled by an enraptured audience of more than 200 NEFAR members when Melissa Majors spelled out seven simple habits leaders should cultivate to become more inclusive in their business strategies.

Majors, CEO of Melissa Majors Consulting, was the keynote speaker during NEFAR’s 2023 Fair Housing Luncheon May 4 at the Marriott Jacksonville at Southpoint. During the luncheon she discussed concepts in her book, “The 7 Simple Habits of Inclusive Leaders: A Guilt-Free Guide on How to Boost Innovation and Performance By Involving Others Equally.” Free copies of the book were later distributed to each member of the audience.

Prior to Majors talk, NEFAR 2023 President Diana Galavis introduced NEFAR’s leadership, both past and present, as well as the association’s annual sponsors, and special guest District 1 Vice President Berta Odom. Also introduced by NEFAR CEO Glenn East were the 52 NEFAR members who are part of Florida Realtors® Honor Society and 19 new members of NEFAR’s professional society, EDGE (Ethics, Diversity, Goals, Excellence). At the end of the meeting, multiple drawings were held where Galavis distributed gift cards to the winners.

Joining EDGE so far this year were:

  • Andrew Bell of NextHome Assurance Realty
  • Beverly Carr of Century 21 Lighthouse Realty
  • Margarita Diaz Cavanagh of Keller Williams Atlantic Partners Realty
  • Deanna Foerman of Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty
  • Shari Girouard of Keller Williams Atlantic Partners Realty
  • Mario Gonzalez of Navy to Navy Homes
  • Mindy Griffin of NextHome Assurance Realty
  • Kimberly J. Hanna of ReMax Specialists
  • Samantha Heflin of Watson Realty Corp.
  • Kristina Hinson of Watson Realty Corp.
  • Katherine Karr-Garcia of The Beaches Realty Group
  • Linda McInnis of McInnis Realty Inc.
  • Gonzalo Mejia of Watson Realty Corp.
  • Jennifer Mezera of Slate Real Estate
  • Quntra Love Pinckney of eXp Realty LLC
  • Kimberly Smith of Slate Real Estate
  • Matt Strickland of Slate Real Estate
  • Betsy Waltrip of NextHome Assurance Realty
  • Danielle Wolbert of Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty.

Members of the Florida Realtors® 2022 Honor Society include:

  • 1st Year – Clifford Baker, Craig Clear, Amanda Feagle, Samantha Heflin, Mary Henton, Cynthia Kaneer, Rae Laws, Quntra Love Pinckney, Lauren Rohman, Philip Scarborough, Susan Severson, India Vance, and Carray Young.
  • 2nd Year – Lisa Brannon, Eric Cavanagh, Margarita Cavanagh, Paula Givler, Christian Oliva, and Richard Zeisel.
  • 3rd Year – Cole Slate
  • 4th Year – Jan Jenkins, Katherine Karr-Garcia, Scott Nyman
  • 5th Year – Sonny Downey, DeDee Harper, Wanda McReynolds, Tiea Vincent
  • 6th Year – Mario Gonzalez, Joyce Roberts, Janna Thomas
  • 7th Year – Patricia Sherman
  • 9th Year – Diane Cook, Kim Knapp, Mark Rosener
  • 10th Year – Diana Galavis, Marc Jernigan, Gonzalo Mejia
  • 11th Year – Ronald P. Harris, Clark LaBlond, Sally Suslak
  • 12th Year – Ben Bates, Jr.
  • 13th Year – Andrew Bell, Missi Howell
  • 15th Year – Rory Dubin, William A. Watson Jr., Carol Zingone
  • 17th Year – Millie Kanyar
  • 22nd Year – Russell Grooms
  • Life Members – Wendell Davis, 27 years; Dee Bumbarger, 28 years; Glenn East, 31 years; Beverly Garvin, charter member 35 years; Cathy Whatley, charter member 36 years.

In her talk, Majors discussed the difference between “intentions” and “habits.” She said that seven of the 20 most powerful predictors of a toxic workplace were directly related to how well a company encouraged the representation of diverse groups of employees. She discussed “mental shortcuts,” which are internal biases that each person has based on their upbringing and innate survival instincts. “Mental shortcuts inform the snap judgements we make about people,” Majors said.

She also quoted Jeff Campbell, CEO of Burger King in the 1980s as saying that inclusion means the same thing as “full team engagement.”

The 7 Habits she encouraged the audience to cultivate have to do with perspectives, hiring decisions, empathy, leading people and self, collaboration, mindset, and values and strategy design.

The following are a few main points she asked the audience to consider:

  1. If I’m solving a problem, then I will intentionally involve those responsible for the execution and consider their opinion.
  2. If I’m building a team, then I will be intentional about hiring for difference, not familiarity.
  3. If someone describes an unfair experience, then I will actively listen to understand and empathize, even if I disagree.
  4. If my first impression of someone is negative, then I will ask myself, “Did they earn this impression through their actions or did my biases assign it?”
  5. If team members have conflicting ideas, then I will say, “Although this feels uncomfortable, let’s lean in until we thoroughly grasp each other’s positions.
  6. If I catch my biased thoughts, then I will examine them and mindfully choose my actions.
  7. If the majority of my social circle looks and thinks similarly, then I will acknowledge that I may have blind spots to the experience of others.
  8. If someone disagrees with my beliefs, then I will accept that I’m not all-knowing, and there may be truth to their position and inaccuracies in my own.
  9. If I hear someone get interrupted, then I will echo their voice.
  10. If I’m in a group discussion, then I will intentionally involve all, especially the less vocal.
  11. If I have an idea for a new initiative, then I will proactively solicit all the reasons why it might not work.
  12. If we are sharing opinions and ideas and I am the leader, then I will wait to share my thoughts last.
  13. If someone shares a contrarian opinion, then I will choose curiosity instead of getting offended and will ask them to tell me more.