Organizational methods exist that can aid leaders in being more inclusive and improving the output of their teams.
The ability to adapt an organization to different consumers or clients, markets, ideas, and talent is developing as a distinctive and crucial competence. The one quality that has the most impact on creating a sense of inclusivity for individuals who work with a leader, such as a manager, direct report, or peer, is a leader’s apparent awareness of bias. Leaders must, however, demonstrate both humility and empathy in order to fully benefit from their awareness of bias. What about organizations that help people feel included? Feel as though they are respected, cherished, and part of something? Of course, there are several factors to consider, such as the goals, rules, and procedures of a business as well as employee conduct.
However, leaders play a major role. According to our research, a leader’s actions and words can influence whether a person feels included by up to 70%. This is important because it encourages employees to speak up, go above and above, and collaborate, all of which improve organizational performance. As a result of this equation, inclusive leadership is emerging as a distinctive and crucial capability aiding organizations in adapting to various clients, employees, stakeholders, markets, concepts, and talent. The single most crucial quality of creating a sense of inclusivity for people working with a leader, such as a manager, direct report, or peer, is a leader’s obvious awareness of bias. When a leader “constantly confronts (their) own bias and encourages others to be conscious of their preconceived leanings,” for instance, or when a leader “[Asks] others to test whether their thought process is skewed in any manner,” raters on the ILA tell us that they pay particular attention. Not only that, though. The simple admission of bias that is flavored with a fatalistic belief that there is little that can be done to change it is not what raters are searching for. They are concerned with bias awareness as well as the following two extra behaviors: humility, empathy and perspective-taking. Others are more likely to offer their opinions when one is humble. Instead of moving forward with prejudices or a limited set of notions about their perspectives, empathy and perspective-taking give individuals hope that a leader cares about them and takes their opinions into account. Additionally, it fosters a sense of intimacy among leaders and a broad range of stakeholders, which makes it simpler to develop and carry out consensus choices. In a workforce with more varied markets, clients, and talent, inclusive leadership is an essential skill to have. Only one in three leaders have an accurate perception of their capacity for inclusive leadership. While third lack confidence in their abilities to lead inclusively and therefore engage less actively to actively guide others and question the status quo, the remaining third believe they are more inclusive than they are actually seen by others around them to be. Establishing a varied personal advisory board (PAD)—a group of people, frequently peers—with whom the leader regularly interacts and whom the leader trusts to be honest—is one strategy for putting the insights into effect. These dependable advisors can provide leaders with specific comments on typical interpersonal actions that promote or obstruct inclusion. The sharing of leaders’ experiences in identifying and eliminating biases is a second strategy. A third strategy is for leaders to put themselves in challenging or novel circumstances that expose them to a variety of stakeholders.
Self-development depends on increasing consciousness, yet awareness by itself is insufficient. Without humility, empathy, and the ability to adopt a different perspective, it is challenging for leaders to get a deep understanding of the nature of their blind spots or corrective measures and, as a result, to develop. While this involves work, the learning cycle is luckily beneficial. Leaders who are modest and compassionate will be receptive to feedback regarding their own prejudices, and increased self-awareness of one’s own limits leads to greater humility, compassion, and flexibility of viewpoint. These actions are crucial for a leader’s own growth, but they also help others feel more included along the path. And obviously, it is the goal.