According to the Harvard Business Review, poor leadership is a leading reason people leave their jobs. Increasingly, people quit jobs because managers fail to recognize their blind spots and frequently engage in non-inclusive behaviors. Inclusive leadership is the solution. But what is inclusive leadership? What does it look like? What are some inclusive leadership examples and traits worth building towards? Trust our experts at CoachDiversity Institute to show you the answers.
What is Inclusive Leadership?
Inclusive leadership is the practice of being aware of one’s own biases as a leader and working towards mitigating their impact. Inclusive leaders celebrate different perspectives and don’t limit their decision-making to a single viewpoint. Plus, they create safe spaces by holding themselves and others accountable for their words and actions.
Is it possible to shift leadership styles to create an inclusive workplace?
Yes. CoachDiversity Institute has several training opportunities designed to overcome bias, teach the fundamentals of inclusive leadership, and provide support for leaders working to build inclusive environments. In this article, we will explore the qualities of inclusive leaders and take a look at some of the best examples of inclusive companies in 2022!
5 Inclusive Leadership Traits
Although the number of diverse workplaces continues to grow, inclusive leaders are hard to come across. Unfortunately, many decision-makers lack the critical competencies to craft the ideal inclusive environment. Hope is not lost, as CoachDiversity Institute has several courses designed to instill vital inclusive leadership traits into your organization’s leaders. Keep reading for the 5 inclusive leadership traits that are important for any decision-maker in a modern, diverse organiation:
Committed to improving diversity and inclusion.
The best leaders are people of action. The same holds true for inclusive leaders; they put DEI plans into action. These people understand that diversity starts with a personal commitment to demonstrate activities that support inclusion.
The commitment to improving diversity and inclusion extends to others as well. Inclusive leaders challenge team members to be accountable for their words and actions by actively standing up to the established status quo. Making that commitment speaks volumes about a person in a leadership position.
Humility is at their core.
To truly be human is to be humble, and many terrible leaders lack this essential characteristic. Practicing humility doesn’t undermine a leader’s authority or influence it. It supports and fosters it. Humble leaders are aware of their own limitations and actively seek different perspectives for further knowledge.
A humble leader will admit mistakes and hold themselves accountable for poor results. This doesn’t mean they claim to know all the answers. Instead, these rather inclusive leaders leverage team members by creating a space where everyone can contribute.
Self-aware of their own biases.
Have you ever met someone completely clueless? It’s challenging trying to communicate, and often that communication falls on deaf ears. The best inclusive leaders have strong self-awareness of their personal biases.
Self-aware leaders take steps to mitigate their personal biases and attempt to hold others accountable for their personal biases. Plus, an inclusive leader bases decision-making on credibility or merit, leaving any unconscious bias out of the equation.
Lead with empathy.
Everyone yearns to have a sense of belonging. And inclusive leaders who are sensitive to the needs of their direct reports make better decisions. But what does it look like to lead with empathy? Empathetic leaders are naturally curious about diverse perspectives. They are active listeners with growth mentalities who constantly search for ways to improve their cultural intelligence.
Inclusive leadership practices empathy to better understand their team members. Non-empathetic leadership uses close-minded viewpoints which actively work to destroy inclusive behavior. Besides, the world needs a little more understanding!
Collaboration is the key to growth. Not only does it grace action plans in virtually every business, but it’s an essential method of eliminating favoritism. Effective collaborating starts by empowering others. The most inclusive teams have communication from every level of an organization, not just senior leaders.
You can unlock the potential of your diverse workforce by promoting team cohesion and inclusivity. That means creating psychological safety when others are presenting different perspectives. Coach Diversity Institute’s wide range of programs helps train leaders in establishing a collaborative, inclusive environment where everyone feels safe to share new ideas.
The Best Inclusive Leadership Examples in 2022
Organizations realize that DEI initiatives have real functionality in the workplace that translates into improved revenue. These companies had the cognizance to implement wide-sweeping diversity and inclusion programs, creating high-performing businesses with outstanding metrics.
Deloitte is a professional services networking firm headquartered in the UK. As a leader in professional services, Deloitte commits to strong DEI practices with a robust program unseen in many other organizations. It starts with the six inclusive leadership principles that involve actions like treating everyone with respect, practicing courage to have tough conversations, and taking ownership.
Deloitte extends its commitment to DEI by crafting blog posts and articles that make it a cornerstone of corporate conversation. Not only is staff encouraged to read through, but the entire community at large also has the opportunity to learn from Deloitte’s example.
Salesforce’s leadership chose to focus on equity, making it a core competency for every employee. Salesforce states it believes business is a platform for social change and actively encourages community outreach and engagement.
In 2019, Salesforce aimed to employ underrepresented groups to fill 50% of its workforce. The following year it set additional inclusive leadership goals by doubling the representation of Black senior leaders. It’s not all talk, either, as the company publishes equity data yearly!
McDonald’s probably doesn’t spring to mind when thinking about inclusive leadership. Yet, their actions say otherwise. The fast food restaurant invests in cultural competency training for thousands of employees, with thousands more expected to receive the training in the coming years.
McDonald’s also actively worked to close the pay gap in corporate-owned markets and is progressively working to further women’s representation in senior leadership roles. They even partnered with diverse-owned suppliers and encouraged other suppliers to sign a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Few other companies on the planet are as diverse as Google. Diversity is in the very life-blood of the company, and it often breaks down barriers like celebrating women of color in technology roles, senior leadership, and partnership programs. Google even employs a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) to elevate its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
Google also encourages innovation to help with accessibility. Unique technologies and engineering practices pioneered by Google aid thousands of disabled people daily. The ultimate goal at Google is to build a world with a sense of belonging, and the DEI practices come with a public-view diversity report to highlight progress.
Build Inclusive Leadership with Coach Diversity Institute
Inclusive leaders are far from typical. Many non-inclusive leaders fail to recognize the benefits of a diverse team, are often unaware of their personal biases, and lack the cultural intelligence needed to fashion a high-performing team.
Looking for the perfect leader isn’t always possible. But it is possible to train leaders to be inclusive with inclusive leadership training through Coach Diversity Institute. Coach Diversity Institute’s accredited programs will leave leaders better equipped to manage team meetings, make better decisions, and smash performance metrics.
Coach Diversity Institute offers individual programs that cater to organizational professionals and senior leaders. Additionally, your entire organization can benefit from Coach Diversity Institute’s workplace diversity services designed to improve work environments and foster innovation. Find out what an inclusive workplace can do for you with Coach Diversity Institute!