Being an Inclusive Leader
In most cases diversity and inclusion are always together like peanut butter and jelly. Today, let’s focus on inclusion, which is the glue that makes diversity work. Leaders usually look for ways to capitalize on the strengths and differences of each team member to enhance collaboration.
Inclusive leaders will find ways to make their team members feel valued, heard, and create a work environment where employees can be their true selves. Being an inclusive leader will help to increase productivity, innovation, and teamwork. When employees feel that they belong in an organization, they will work harder to produce better outcomes.
Diversity is something that is all around us and a business imperative. Diversity simply means different backgrounds, experiences, perceptions, and beliefs. However, inclusive leaders should ask the question, is this the best representation of diversity? The "Next Level" leader will be intentional to not always have people in the room that look the same... they will look for women, different ethnic backgrounds, and varying perspectives in the room?
On the other hand, inclusion is about fostering the culture, structure, and the mindset of individuals and leadership. Inclusion gives each person on the team the confidence to say, I feel valued, creating a sense of pride in the organization’s mission and vision.
Here are a few traits of a truly inclusive leader.
Inclusive leaders are always able to treat people equally in terms of ability. Being curious about a team member's needs, goals and career paths can help a leader connect and promote fairness.
Inclusion is a choice, but diversity happens natural. Leaders will have to decide how to make full use of diversity. It is prudent to observe, listen, and learn from others on the team. On the other hand, Inclusive leaders can implement and hold team member accountable. They can frequently communicate about inclusivity to suppliers, businesses, customers, and stakeholders.
Being an inclusive leader, it is important to understand your own biases and organizational blind spots in order to develop action plans to overcome their bias. Highly inclusive leaders must understand the conscious and unconscious biases. They must realize that most organizations and teams have unconscious biases built-in. An inclusive leader will implement the right structures and processes to mitigate them. The starting point is to develop appropriate strategies towards reducing bias and never taking objectivity for granted.
An inclusive leader will trust his/her people. Inclusive leaders are committed to inclusivity. When people have trust for the leader, this can allow team members to bring their best efforts and expertise to the workplace. Therefore, it is advisable to foster trust, which enables people to feel safe and more confident to contribute their unique perspectives.
Next Level Training Solutions Group, LLC would like to partner with you and assist with finding solutions. You can still S.O.A.R. in difficult times.
S.O.A.R. is a Next Level Training Solutions Group, LLC customized action plan for promoting growth. The acronym stands for using the right Strategy to develop Objective(s) to Achieve your desired Result(s).
Tina E. Gilbert
Consultant I Coach I Speaker I Motivator I Author