Importance of inclusive leadership

We live in a diverse business world. Not only is there variability in our workforce, there is also diversity in the customers we seek to attract, the messages we share or use through different platforms, and the markets we plan to expand into.

Inclusive leadership helps balance all these elements – inclusive leaders adapt quickly to different situations and alternative perspectives with an open, non-judgmental mind to produce the best possible results. And research shows that, when done right, there are many benefits; Teams work better and more collaboratively and make better overall decisions.

As businesses increasingly optimize their diversity and inclusion programs, inclusive leadership is more relevant now than ever. No matter how great your company’s diversity metrics are – whether it’s in terms of new hires or hires – you’ll lose out if you don’t have an inclusive environment that embraces all these differences and creates a workplace where everyone can do their true best. , your D&I initiative will fail. That’s why inclusive leaders are needed to set the right tone.

Encourage inclusive leadership
When hiring for senior roles or promoting someone to a managerial position, it’s good to keep these traits in mind. There are also ways to strengthen these traits over time. Here are some best practices for inclusive leaders:

Attend an inclusive leadership training: Through some activities (like storytelling) you can learn what biases trigger you the most and ways to overcome them. You can recall and practice them regularly to stay bias free.

Find a mentor: Talk to someone who has more experience in the area, and who has mastered managing diverse teams. It doesn’t have to be your own manager – it can be an external source you trust and look to for the leadership behaviors and skills they embody.

Ask for feedback: You can use your 1:1 meetings to openly discuss with your teammates how inclusive your management style is. Do they feel valued as members of their team? Do they think they can ping you when something goes wrong? Leaders shouldn’t take them for granted – it’s easy to get lost in translation when talking about bias.

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