You may be surprised to know that skilled inclusive leaders are rare, and organizations continue to face challenges in filling these roles. The good news is that with the right attitude, inclusive leadership can be assessed, coached, and developed.
In our current climate of change, which has sparked unprecedented demand to create more diverse and inclusive organizations, inclusive leaders are fundamental to the success. There has been a shift toward inclusive leadership, a new leadership style in which companies employ diverse teams to make better decisions.
We have never needed inclusive leaders more than we do now, for the road ahead.
What is an inclusive leader? I think an inclusive leader is one who values team members, who interacts with the diversity around them, who builds interpersonal trust, who is adaptive and creates an atmosphere where people feel their opinions and contributions improve the organizations well-being.
A truly inclusive leader leads with both their head and their heart and influences change by connecting with people on a radically human level. They listen to all voices at every level within the organization and has the capability to strengthen teams and unlock their collective intelligence.
Inclusive leadership is not just about having an attitude of openness, but it is set disciplines and traits that put importance on leadership behaviors that create a more egalitarian workplace.
Here are traits to consider:
Cognizance of Bias:
Inclusive leaders involve and rely on the opinions of others from diverse backgrounds, limiting their own biases and blind spots to strengthen the messaging and positioning of the brand. This is one of the signature traits of inclusive leadership.
Inclusive leaders will pay close attention to the words and experiences of others. Having a strong cultural intelligence will allow a leader to navigate between various settings and communicate more effectively with their teams. Inclusive leaders will ensure that diverse talents are employed, heard, and activated.
In decision-making initiatives of an organization, all employees should have a more equal say. This will allow for a more unified team, one in which inclusive leaders will be viewed as role models and not feared bosses.
Inclusive leadership is unique in the sense that it has the capacity to change. New waves of ideas will emerge, leadership development will shift, and more employees will come into the fold.
In conclusion, Inclusive leaders are critical to the success of an organization. Research has shown repeatedly that diverse and inclusive organizations outperform their peers. Inclusive leaders interact with diversity, build interpersonal trust and are adaptive with individuals, teams, and the entire organization.
Organizations must build inclusive models by design and not default and make decisions based on data and facts, not long-held bias. Organizations have a responsibility to hire and nurture inclusive leaders who can bring together diverse knowledge, perspective, and experiences to unite everyone behind one vision, for the road ahead.
Are you an Inclusive Leader?