“Everyone is Someone Else’s ‘Other’”, Episode #73
Lara Khouri joins me from Dubai to share her insights about being seen as “the other”, some approaches to working with that experience, and approaches to working with conflict.
Lara is a self-professed serial expat. Born in London, she grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, moved to Lebanon when she was 14 after the end of the Lebanese civil war, lived in London for a few years when she was in university, and has lived in Dubai since 2004.
Although she identifies very strongly with her Palestinian roots, home is a fluid concept for Lara who feels like she belongs everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Growing up surrounded by difference – by people from different cultures with different languages, accents, traditions – being different, not of the place she lived, and being reminded of that every day, Lara developed a deep, soul-filling understanding of what it feels like to be the “other” along with an ability that has become so second nature it’s instinctive, to put herself in other people’s positions and view situations from their perspective.
This understanding is what eventually forcefully pushed her to do embrace her ikigai (or reason for being) and do something very scary: quit her corporate career with blue-chip multinationals and live the life of a solopreneur on a mission to make our world a happier place. Lara consults and trains on customer experience, employee experience, and corporate culture change from a place of understanding that it is possible for everyone to be happy as long as we take the time and accept the responsibility of understanding what makes us who we are and what makes others who they are.
Among other things, Lara is:
- a founding member of the global Women in CXTM community and community leader for the Women in CXTM Arabia chapter
- a certified Co-Active® Coach
- and a mentor with Regent’s University London.