“It takes courage to be yourself, to be true to yourself. It can be a challenge to even recognize our authentic selves, because we are not empowered to be our authentic selves. I developed In the Dark to identify and dismantle bias at all levels, from individual to systemic, and empower individuals to embrace their true selves and empower others to do the same. I have shared this unique methodology around the world, from multinational companies to village centers, across 5 continents. Regardless of the participants or setting, the theory, method and principles are the same: every person has value, when everyone is valued everyone benefits, and we ALL have the power to create positive change.”
- Sara Minkara, Founder of Sara Minkara LLC and
Creator of the In the Dark Methodology™
What is the In The Dark Methodology™?
Sara Minkara LLC’s In The Dark Methodology™ is a practical approach to introducing concepts related to Authentic Leadership™, inclusion and institutional and social change. Every one of SMLLC’s service offerings – speaking, coaching, consultancy and, of course, In the Dark workshops – guide clients through transformational experiences designed to foster large-scale change through individual action. All of the experiences focus on the discovery of the authentic self, and of the world in which we each live, as well as the relationship between the two. While every service from SMLLC incorporates key features of the In the Dark Methodology™, the namesake In the Dark workshops provide an even more comprehensive experience that integrates the full suite of SMLLC’s In the Dark tools.
Why is it “In the Dark”?
When our Founder, Sara Minkara, became blind at the age of 7, she also became keenly aware of how people treat one another and are themselves treated based on appearances. Visual cues trigger judgments, consciously and unconsciously, nearly instantaneously; it is estimated that we make assessments of each other within seconds of meeting. But what if that process could be disrupted? How would it change the quality of human connections? And would it change how we evaluate ourselves and what we can achieve? Sara believes that if our choices are not shaped by the reactions, or anticipated reactions, of those around us, we can be true to our authentic selves.
As to why our methodology is “In the Dark,” the answer is simple, but the impact is profound: it incorporates blindfolds to establish points of reflection and intentionality during facilitated, immersive exercises. The constraint of not physically seeing allows you to see more. Without distraction, we can both look inward and focus more clearly on what is around us. Importantly, this approach is not intended as a simulation of blindness. Nor does it contend that removing sight removes bias. Instead, the blindfolds are a mechanism to create a safe environment conducive to vulnerability, free exchange and more meaningful connection. That environment, in concert with SMLLC’s expert programming and facilitation, provides an impetus for broader examination of the ingredients of bias. Through awareness we can become more intentional, and by identifying sources of bias and inequality we can dismantle them.
Impact of the In The Dark Methodology™
Sara considers her blindness a strength, for many reasons. One benefit is that she avoids visually-cued judgments everyday—and instead meets every person just as they are. Although we don’t advocate for wearing blindfolds in daily life, there are tools and lessons from the In the Dark Methodology™ that we invite you to carry forward on your journey to create change and embrace your authentic self. And because so many assumptions that we make are implicit, it is only through concerted effort that we can recognize and reject those instincts. This is why all of our offerings include elements of the In The Dark Methodology™: not to simulate blindness, but as a means to acknowledge and eliminate restrictive social constructs and support participants in finding—and using—their voices.
Embedding the In The Dark Methodology™ into your organizational culture supports a foundation for open communication, mutual comprehension, accurate reporting, and bilateral and collective agreement. As a result, the long-term vision of core management and the institution’s guiding principles will reflect tenets of Authentic Leadership™. With Sara’s warm and expert approach, participants connect more deeply with each other, adopt new social perspectives, and are better able to effectively communicate and respect others’ voices.
Impact of the In The Dark Methodology™
Embedding the In The Dark MethodologyTM into your organizational culture supports a foundation for open communication, mutual comprehension, accurate reporting, and bilateral and collective agreement. As a result, the long-term vision of core management and the institution’s guiding principles will reflect tenets of Authentic Leadership.TM (NOTE: link to Authentic leadership page). With Sara’s warm and expert approach, participants connect more deeply with each other, adopt new social perspectives, and are better able to effectively communicate and respect others’ voices.