Diversity & Inclusion "Empower U" Leadership SurgeTraining

Presented by Alex Willis

Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development awards $1.7 million in Skills Development Funding to the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario for diversity, equity and inclusion training


May 11, 2022 - Toronto, Ontario - The Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded Skills Development Funding of $1.7 million from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. Ontario’s Skills Development Program bolsters ground-breaking training and development projects that upskill workers and prepare job seekers for meaningful work in their communities.


“We're excited to continue the momentum started with the first round of 150 Skilled Development Fund projects, all of which have proven tremendously successful in helping further build the skills of hundreds of thousands of workers and job seekers,” said Hon. Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “It's imperative for the health of our province that businesses thrive and continue to grow, and key to their success is having a talented, skilled workforce.”





ECAO and IBEW members who want to participate in Leadership Surge training and development are encouraged to contact Cathy Frederickson at cfrederickson@ecao.org



About The Training


Over the course of 12 months, local union and management leadership and relevant staff will take enroll in and complete six training modules with the focus of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). These modules and their individual descriptions and goals are outlined below:


MODULE 1 - Vertical Mindset Indicator (VMI)
The VMI is an assessment that identifies a leader’s vertical stage of development. It’s no longer enough to be good at what you do—or even the best. Leaders need to have a greater range of understanding, resilience, empathy, and ability to respond, enabling them to adapt and lead across diverse situations. The VMI is a vital tool to help leaders grow more adaptive mindsets. As a result of taking the DMI and debrief process, leaders gain three key insights:

• Mindset—How does my mindset affect my leadership effectiveness?
• Opportunities—What are my opportunities for development and suggested practices based on my results?
• Culture—How does my organization’s leadership culture impact my behaviors and thinking?


MODULE 2 - Lenses Training
Every individual has a unique spectrum of personality traits that impact the way he or she communicates. During the Right-Thinking® workshop, participants are introduced to The Four Lenses®. This personality assessment helps everyone identify and understand their own temperament (i.e., Green, Gold, Blue, Orange). Groups then learn how to communicate with each other through a process of empathic listening. Rather than judge others for flawed behaviors, participants learn how to value diversity and appreciate unique perspectives. Participants gain a deeper understanding of themselves and a greater social awareness and acceptance of others.


MODULE 3 - Trust and Respect--Tackling Bias Workshop
This workshop enables your organization to take on implicit and unconscious bias by outlining a practical organizing framework that helps participants on their journey "beyond bias." By participating in this training, participants will:

• Understand the various biases that people exhibit
• Explore social identities and how those interact with bias
• Learn how to go beyond simple awareness of unconscious bias and discover specific actions to break the habit of biases and their negative consequences
• Leverage talent and cultivate equity, diversity, and inclusion in a diverse and global workforce
• Create an individual plan of action for each participant to overcome their specific bias challenges and contribute to a culture of greater authenticity and psychological safety at your organization


MODULE 4 - Overcoming Judgement
An essential element of diversity is “open awareness.” Open awareness refers to a quality of consciousness that is not evaluative or actively shaped by pre-existing ideas or intentions but is fully receptive to allowing the experience to simply occur “as it is.” In this workshop, open awareness is introduced by addressing the evaluative nature of the mind. While open awareness involves non-judgment, most of our daily awareness is clouded by countless judgments and evaluations. By becoming aware of these judgments, an important obstacle of open awareness is removed. In this workshop, participants experience the judgmental nature of their mind and learn about the problematic aspects of judgments.


MODULE 5 - Understanding Tolerance

Workplace patience and tolerance require an understanding and ultimately the adoption of suitable diversity strategies. While patience and tolerance go hand in hand, other diversity issues include self-awareness, understanding others and their behaviors, being responsible, and being accountable for your actions. It is imperative to be patient and tolerant with your team members, managers, and customers/clients in today's workplaces. Intolerant and impatient behavior is now being considered disrespectful and inconsiderate by many organizations. This program focuses on developing strategies to promote workplace patience and tolerance and understand the hidden costs associated when this does not occur.


MODULE 6 - Developing Compassion and Empathy
The aim of this workshop is to introduce self-compassion. Diversity, equity, and inclusion involves a kind and self-compassionate stance toward the self and others. Rather than a self-compassionate attitude, many people suffer from a non-accepting and self-critical relationship with the self and others. The nature of this relationship is perhaps most clearly reflected by the inner critic: an internal voice that criticizes the self and others. In this workshop, participants become acquainted with their inner critic and learn how to effectively cultivate a friendly and caring relationship with the self by increasing awareness of the inner critic and practicing compassion.

Related Documents:

SDF Registration Form

4 Lenses Workshop


September 19 - 22

VMI Workshop


September 29 at 10:00 am ET

Trust & Respect


October 19 at 10:00 am ET

Overcoming Judgment


November 1 at 10:00 am ET

4 Lenses + DEI Overview


November 18 - 22

Understanding Tolerance


November 23 at 10:00 am ET

Developing Compassion & Empathy


December 21 at 10:00 am ET

To learn more about ECAO’s DEI program, Click Here for a message from Alex Willis, founder of Leadership Surge.
For more information on the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, visit their website at www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-labour-training-skills-development.
For more on ECAO, visit https://www.ecao.org.


ECAO and IBEW members who want to participate in Leadership Surge training and development are encouraged to contact Cathy Frederickson at cfrederickson@ecao.org


  • Ontario's Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.