Inclusivity has recently become a trendy buzzword, especially in the workplace. However, the concept of being an inclusive leader is not new. Being a great leader takes many different skills, but understanding how to be more inclusive is possibly one of the most important.
Taking the time to make individuals feel valued for their insights and efforts goes a long way toward creating a more productive, more collaborative environment. This post will cover a few tips for helping anyone in a leadership role cultivate a more inclusive mindset.
Keep an open mind in all things.
Not only should inclusive leaders welcome feedback and suggestions from their team members, but they should actively seek out new information and fresh ideas from each person.
Recognizing that everyone has a unique perspective to offer is an excellent and easy step to take toward inclusivity.
Admit to biases and blind spots.
Everyone has certain personal blind spots, and many organizations have company-wide blind spots or biases that should be openly acknowledged and thoughtfully challenged whenever possible.
According to Harvard Business Review, when leaders admit to biases with an honest and empathetic mindset, the rest of the team is much more likely to feel seen and empathetically understood.
A certain level of vulnerability is a valuable quality for an inclusive leader to develop.
Consistently advocate for all team members.
Taking time to recognize potential imbalances of power or underrepresentation of certain groups in the workplace is crucial to creating a collaborative, inclusive work environment.
This can be as simple as asking colleagues and staff how they wish to be addressed or thoughtfully reminding other team members that it is extremely important to stay educated about the issues that marginalized groups often face in society and the workplace.
Leaders can set an example by being more transparent about their struggles. Whenever they make mistakes, they should willingly admit to the error to their team. If a cultural blunder happens during a one-on-one conversation, they should feel safe in acknowledging the faux pas and apologizing to the team member.
Awareness and Action Are the Keys to Inclusivity
Becoming an inclusive leader doesn’t happen overnight. With an open mind, a curious spirit and a willingness to grow, any great leader can become inclusive.