Inclusive leadership is a leadership style that creates a work environment in which all team members feel valued, respected and supported. An inclusive leader should be someone who actively seeks out and welcomes diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) within their team and strives to ensure that all individuals feel empowered to contribute to the group’s goals and objectives.
Being a truly inclusive leader can result in a no-blame culture whereby people feel enabled to take ownership of their decisions and actions without the fear of retribution. This in turn will result in higher levels of engagement and performance.
Ask yourself the following 3 questions.
Are you clear on your own purpose?
Effective leaders identify their own purpose by reflecting on their values, strengths and passions, and even more importantly, they share that purpose with others. Becoming more inclusive starts with being open and honest about what you stand for and, in turn, helping others discover their own purpose. Inclusivity is a sense of belonging. If your team understands what drives one another it can only lead to a heightened feeling of trust and respect.
How self-aware are you?
Take the time to reflect on your own experiences, beliefs and assumptions. This can involve asking yourself questions like, “What are my personal biases?” or “What stereotypes or assumptions do I hold about certain groups of people?” Challenge your own assumptions and beliefs by considering alternative perspectives or seeking out evidence (others’ opinions or feedback) that contradicts your own beliefs. Be honest and be prepared to challenge yourself.
How inclusive is your network?
If you look around your own personal network of trusted and collaborative people that you engage with on a day-to-day basis, how similar are they to you? Are you in some form of ‘echo chamber’ where you’re only engaging with people with the same thoughts, opinions and background to yourself? You need to be open to listening and learning from the experiences and perspectives of all your team members, peers and colleagues, especially those from underrepresented groups. This will help you identify areas for improvement and to make informed decisions that are more inclusive and equitable.
To find out more about my approach to leadership development and talent culture, let’s continue the conversation by emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org with ALIGNED Talent in the subject to find out more.