What is Inclusive Leadership? Five Key Skills to Know That Make a Difference
What is inclusive leadership in the modern work environment? Inclusive leadership is defined as the ability to hear all voices within your organization and act on what you’re hearing. In this modern work environment, inclusive leadership is a must; embracing and hearing those voices is key for a successful, productive, and welcoming organization.
So, how can you help grow inclusive leadership within your organization? Here are five key inclusive leadership skills to know – ones that make a difference.
Want to make deeper connections with your employees? Work on your relationships with them. Express a sincere and deep interest in learning about them – where they’re from, what they’ve seen, where they’re going. Set a comfortable, familiar tone. Listen carefully and ask thoughtful questions. You may be surprised at what you learn.
How clear is your communication style? As we’ve just stated, the simple power of listening is unparalleled. Commit to being an active listener. Reflect on your prior role in workplace conversations. Are you listening and thinking, or just waiting to talk? Also, think about your non-verbal messaging. Tone, body language, and other nonverbal cues can be just as important as the words you speak.
Looking to draw out the untapped skills of team members? Some of them might not even know what they’re capable of! Inclusive leadership gives those untapped skills room to flourish. Create opportunities to ask and observe what motivates others – and explore the differences between your key motivators and theirs. Again, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.
Is your feedback style as effective as it can be? Think about your approach. Are you even-handed with everyone – regardless of background? Does it include recognition and reinforcement for those that take risks? Are you receiving enough feedback from your own peers, mentors, or cultural guides? Effective feedback is a crucial part of growth; don’t let it go by the wayside.
One of the best elements to the “what is inclusive leadership” question? Encouraging teamwork. Ask the question, “Is your team as collaborative -and inclusive – as it could be?” It’s important to consider diverse competencies and profiles when constructing your teams and in every stage afterward. Work to provide agendas and materials in advance so non-native speakers can prepare. Structure meetings so that each team member can contribute and make sure those that take risks and speak up are encouraged – and not punished.
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