FOUR KEY POINTS:
- If you are not intentionally including people, then you may be unintentionally excluding them – because we are all biased. Human beings are not very objective and empathy doesn’t come naturally to most people – either cognitively or emotionally. As a leader, you need to put yourself in other people’s shoes because if you’re not mindfully doing that then it may not happen as a matter of course. You really must be intentional about being inclusive.
- Inclusion is about adapting to everyone’s differences, including the differences of ‘the majority’. When we talk about diversity people generally think about minorities, but actually everyone brings differences to the table – and acceptance of others’ differences is also about accepting our own differences. It’s important to integrate this and to create a space where people feel safe to really be themselves, whether that is through personality type or opinion, for example.
- There is so much that anyone can do to move toward being inclusive, especially if they are a business leader or manager – and a lot that you don’t need resources or permission from anyone to do. You can always choose to respond where you see stereotypical thinking or biased behaviour. In the book I talk about how it is very common for women to be interrupted, for example – research shows on average they tend to be interrupted nearly three times more than men. If you can be aware of the risk of this in your own team you can then organise your meetings in a way where they don’t get interrupted.
- Focuse on habit; you’re never going to be able to change everything that is important, but you can make a difference step-by-step. Once you integrate one habit into your life and work then you will integrate another, then another. You don’t need to be in a different organisation or have a different HR department to start to make inclusivity work. You do need effort and intentionality though. Being an inclusive leader is simple…but it’s not easy.
BY THAIS COMPOINT – https://www.everywoman.com