Creating a talented and diverse team/organization is top of mind for many of us. But we cannot let our work stop there.
In order to leverage the full capabilities of a diverse and talented team, many other things are required. Chief among them is to lead the team in an inclusive way – so that all those talents are unleashed, collectively.
What are the inclusive leadership skills that we need to develop?
An assessment and training tool, recently described in a Harvard Business Review article, suggests that there are ten different behaviors that leaders can develop in order to be more inclusive:
1. Builds diverse, equitable, inclusive teams. Ask “who’s not at the table and includes them.”
2. Empowers voice and decision-making. Includes and amplifies all voices.
3. Models authenticity, vulnerability, and openness. Shows vulnerability that inspire trust.
4. Takes risks and pushes through fear with courageous actions. Speaks truth to power; remediates cultural conflicts.
5. Admits then disrupts personal biases with personal reflection. Recognizes biases in social systems and their negative impact.
6. Applies empathy and cultural awareness to bridge divides. Seeks to engage in different cultural experiences.
7. Engages in fair, frequent and forthright discussions. Communicates with candor and fairness.
8. Connects with others through shared goals. Builds collaborative relationships with diverse groups across the organization.
9. Seeks to understand the unknown and unfamiliar. Encourages divergent thinking and life long learning.
10. Anticipates resistance and remains steadfast. Articulates the moral and business case for DEI; takes action to make it a priority.
That is a pretty comprehensive list! You can self-assess and then ask some trusted advisors who can provide you with feedback for improvement in these areas.
Not only will improving your inclusive leadership capabilities make your team more effective, it will help you retain and attract the most talented people. And that will help you make even more of a Mission Impact.
*Ideas for this blog taken from: Rahim-Dillard, S. “How Inclusive is Your Leadership?” Harvard Business Review online, April 19, 2021.