Bringing Our Whole Selves to Work

by Mar 6, 2024

The Intersection of Emotional Agility, Belonging, and Inclusivity

As we reflect on the narratives celebrated during Women’s History Month and on International Women’s Day, we’re reminded of the undeniable strength that comes from recognizing and integrating our full range of emotions. Sonic Boom Wellness, a leader in health communications and workplace wellbeing, has always championed the philosophy of bringing our whole selves to work. More than just a mantra, it’s a proven strategy that enhances individual wellbeing and collective efficacy. 

Emotional agility is an ally of belonging, and its importance can’t be overstressed. Dr. Susan David, PhD, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School, explains emotional agility is the ability to manage your thoughts and feelings so you engage in behaviors that are aligned with your intentions and values. This skill is crucial in today’s ever-changing work environment. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health research found employees with higher emotional agility experience less burnout, greater job satisfaction, and higher performance ratings. 

At its core is the ability to navigate complex feelings, a competency that also fosters belonging and inclusivity — which is not only good for workers but for business too. Research from Deloittefound belonging can lead to a whopping 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days. For a 10,000-employee organization, that could be an annual savings of more than $52M! Plus, a study found that organizations with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets, six times more likely to be innovative and agile, and eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes. 

But belonging is not just about being included in the team photo. It’s about feeling safe to express your ideas, embracing the unique perspectives of colleagues, and knowing your contributions are valued and respected. When individuals, like the courageous women we honor this month, are emotionally agile, they’re more equipped to contribute authentically, support their colleagues genuinely, and embrace organizational values wholeheartedly.  

Our approach at Sonic Boom goes beyond the traditional wellness programs by intertwining emotional agility with belonging. That’s why we offer our clients the IOWA-B measure — a tool designed to help organizations gauge their company’s sense of belonging and validate the effectiveness of their Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) efforts. More than just a metric, the IOWA-B measure is a mirror reflecting employees’ lived experiences — empowering organizations to move from intent to impactful action. 

But, at Sonic Boom, we don’t just measure belonging; we foster it. Through our programs and initiatives, we’re dedicated to enabling organizations to thrive through the principles of emotional intelligence and the practice of genuine inclusivity. By creating an environment where every employee feels they can show up as their authentic selves, you’re contributing to a culture that’s as diverse in thought as it is in representation.  

As we move forward, let’s remember the lessons from the trailblazing women we celebrate this month. They showed us that embracing our emotional diversity is a personal strength and a collective asset. Let’s commit to actively shaping workplaces where emotional agility, belonging, and inclusivity aren’t just buzzwords, but lived experiences. This is how we honor the legacy of the past, nurture the talent of the present, and build the innovation of the future. 



Battilana, J, Yen, J, Ferreras, I, & Ramarajan, L. (2022). Democratizing Work: Redistributing power in organizations for a democratic and sustainable future. Organization Theory, 3(1), 263178772210847. 

Bohnet, I. (2016). What Works : Gender Equality by Design. Cambridge, MA.  

Brimhall, KC. (2019). Inclusion Is Important . . . But How Do I Include? Examining the Effects of Leader Engagement on Inclusion, Innovation, Job Satisfaction, and Perceived Quality of Care in a Diverse Nonprofit Health Care Organization. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 48(4), 716-737. 

Fox, KE, Johnson, ST, Berkman, LF, Sianoja, M, Soh, Y, Kubzansky, LD, & Kelly, EL (2022). organizational- and group-level workplace interventions and their effect on multiple domains of worker well-being: A systematic review. Work & Stress, 36(1), 30–59