It may seem daunting at first, but becoming an inclusive leader is something that is possible for anyone. Below are five useful tips for developing inclusivity skills in the workplace, and viable strategies to begin your inclusivity journey.
1. Take Responsibility
If we can’t be inclusive in our leadership, we don’t deserve to be a leader. Good leaders recognise a responsibility to support and nurture the people around them, and strive to make work as inclusive an environment as possible.
We have developed the ROC Model for Inclusive Leadership, which gives you all the tools needed to take responsibility and support your transition into becoming an inclusive leader. You can sign up here.
2. Listen to those around you
One of the best things you can do to become an inclusive leader is listen to those around you. Talk to people about what they feel is important, alongside listening to criticisms they may have. It can be hard to acknowledge shortcomings, especially your own, but there is so much we can learn from the experiences of other people.
By listening, you can learn exactly what you can do to be more inclusive, and tailor specific ways to tackle any challenges. Take the time to arrange discussions, workshops and meetings, and give people a platform to express themselves.
We need to stop sometimes and create space for reflection. Simply taking the time to think about what you could be doing better is something a lot of people neglect to do, but can help massively.
Ask yourself these questions, and write down your answers.
What am I doing to make sure my workplace is diverse and inclusive?
What can I change about my leadership style to promote inclusivity?
How can I make sure that I make sure everyone feels welcome?
What do I do well currently?
If we never reflect, we never really learn anything. It can be uncomfortable being honest in your reflection, but it’s nothing to be embarrassed about; the important thing is that you want to and are willing to change.
4. Widen your comfort zones
Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusiveness is being asked to dance. It’s not enough to have a diverse workforce, and it can be uncomfortable having conversations. But people will appreciate you making the effort, and moving out of your comfort zone.
There is plenty of literature online detailing the experiences of community leaders and issues surrounding race, and challenging yourself to understand different perspectives can help you fully understand the need for diversity and inclusivity. To get you started, the CIPD offer statistics and resources relating to Race Discrimination at work, which you can access here.
5. Be Yourself
Sometimes in our roles as leaders we feel we need to have a certain persona, or need to look and act a certain way. By allowing ourselves to be authentic, and by dropping any facade, those we work with will begin to feel comfortable in communicating with you.
If you expect people to be honest with you, you have to be honest with yourself. Any good leader is open with their emotions, and by opening up you allow yourself to grow and develop.
If you’d like to learn more about how to be More tips and tricks can also be found on our blog here.