Learn how to create a work environment where all team members feel respected, valued, and supported.
Managing inclusively is a critical aspect of fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) within teams. It involves creating a work environment where all team members feel respected, valued, and supported, regardless of their backgrounds or identities. Embracing inclusive practices enhances collaboration, boosts employee morale, and drives innovation. Inclusive workplaces depend on managers to serve as role-models of organizational values and priorities. What leaders say and do makes up to a 70% difference as to whether an individual reports feeling included.
Inclusion “greases the wheels”, enabling you as a manager to lead your team toward more positive outcomes. By providing intentional support to each direct report, cultivating an environment of psychological safety, and encouraging open communication, managers can create a team that empowers every member to fully contribute toward team goals. Embracing inclusivity not only enriches the workplace culture but also drives organizational success, as diverse perspectives foster creativity, decision-making, and problem-solving, ultimately benefiting the entire organization.
Managers face several challenges in their pursuit of inclusivity. Firstly, everyone has biases, often unconscious, hindering an inclusive culture; recognize and mitigate the fact that the majority of biases are positive (in favor of those who are similar rather than against those who are different). Secondly, true diversity of thought is cultivated intentionally, as it influences the quality of decision-making; managers must understand what is required to make that happen. Thirdly, research reveals that leaders tend to overestimate their inclusivity efforts, leading to the risk of complacency. Lastly, many managers lack inclusive skills, which require focused training to be learned effectively.
Inclusive leaders demonstrate visible commitment, embracing diversity, challenging the status quo, interrupting bias, and holding themselves and others accountable. With humility, they create space for contributions, admitting mistakes gracefully. They show awareness of bias, working towards a fair meritocracy. Curiosity defines their open mindset, seeking understanding without judgment. Cultural intelligence guides adaptability to diverse backgrounds. Effective collaboration empowers team members, valuing diverse perspectives and psychological safety, fostering team cohesion and individual potential.
LinkedIn Learning: Inclusive Leadership
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