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How to be an inclusive leader?

  • April 29, 2022
  • 5 min read
How to be an inclusive leader?

Introduction

Ever wondered about the gravity or significance of being an inclusive leader in the realms of workplace dynamics? 

Or have you ever (closely) discerned the effective steps an organisation should take to have inclusive leaders? 

If so, you’ve reached the right place.  

Who is an inclusive leader? 

To define, Inclusive leaders are individuals who are aware of their own biases, consider different perspectives to inform their decision-making and collaborate more efficiently with their employees. 

Indeed, inclusive leadership is one of the best strategies to lead/manage a team of heterogeneous people effectively while transcending the existing differences or conflicts. In addition, An inclusive leader should be a great team player, an excellent communicator, and highly flexible in adapting to the workplace culture. On the contrary, Workspaces do not demand an authoritarian leader or a dictator, rather it yearns for the leaders who are eager to help, willing to complement their employees, etc.  It is to quote and not sugarcoat that inclusive leaders should bridge the gap between the varied points of view, reconcile the different opinions and promote inclusivity.  In reality, Such leaders are exceptional decision-makers, who are aware of their preferences and work in a way that drives the best results.  Furthermore, we need such people, who can not only collaborate with employees but are willing to go beyond to harness the real potential at work.

  However, this is not it. An inclusive leader should remain indifferent to the team of employees and exercise this style of leadership in the best possible ways. To expand, an inclusive leader should adopt a holistic approach,  uphold the workplace virtues like diversity, and respect the multiplicity of ideas, while simultaneously creating a safe space for the employees to contribute to the development of a respective project. 

 

Let us read more to unveil how one can be a good inclusive leader. 

Traits of an Inclusive leader

It is undeniable that the definitions of being a perfect leader may vary. Nevertheless, the following are some of the characteristics of an inclusive leader, which can surely promote growth and development in the workplace. Let us read- 

 

  1. Collaborative 

We have been moaning and groaning for ages, claiming how teamwork is equal to dreamwork. So to fulfil that,  inclusive leaders should be responsible individuals, who should promote the convergence of ideas and support collaborative nature at work. To be a good leader, one should inscribe a space among its employees, where all feel at ease and empowered enough to vocalise their opinions, without any judgement intervening in the process. The very idea of diversity in inclusive leadership is embedded in the concept of collaboration itself.  For example, as a leader, make groups, promote shared goals and ensure whether the team can coordinate and value each other’s perspectives or not. This is especially true when you have a team with many voices. Also,  Collaboration should bring to the light the unsung voices, while creating a room for discussion. Hence, an inclusive leader should be a supervisor, while regulating this healthy collaboration in the right direction. 

Read More: 10 Tips for Developing Your Leadership Skills

2. Free from bias 

Inclusive leaders must be cognizant and aware of not upholding organisational biases and letting them ruin the existing work culture. They should avoid their personal opinions and learn ways to prevent such ideas from disturbing work-related decisions. To understand the psychology behind such biases, we believe that at some level, we develop an unconscious feeling of biases prevailing and we often ignore them. However, inclusive leaders should learn to acknowledge the minus points and take valuable steps to correct them. One should constantly look after those biases and not let them take a toll/on the actions in the workplace. The following are how you can keep a check on yourself- 

  • Ensure that you act as a good listener, and equally respect each other’s contribution.
  • Work fairly and eliminate personal grudges. 
  • Ensure effective communication to avoid any conflict. 

3. Respect the true potential and facilitate growth

In a work environment, inclusive leaders should embrace the goldmine of talent, and embrace the real potential in the best possible ways. For instance, if an employee has come up with a new business strategy, or an idea, support them and give it a try. Encourage your team members to experiment and work on new goals. Check and recheck if the work is equally distributed among them. Witness them taking the initiative while working on the project. Also, when they achieve or accomplish a certain task, make sure you highlight their successes and give them the required credit. For instance, the women leadership program is one of how you can look at pursuing these leadership goals while applying the same at work.  

 

4. Curiosity 

Inclusive leaders are the ones who have a willingness to learn, where listening to different ideas helps them mould their opinions. In addition, it helps them underscore diverse viewpoints and engage themselves in a discussion along the constructive lines. Furthermore,  They are great communicators and listeners, who make people’s opinions seem respected and heard. Thus, inclusive leaders should deter from making wrong choices because of any organisational biases, rather they should be cognizant of understanding the situations and solving them effectively. 

Conclusion 

To conclude, an inclusive leader is an ambassador of effective leadership, who is cognizant of biases, promotes a holistic approach, incorporates different voices and promotes growth. Yes, it is an aggregation of many factors. Thus, this is how an inclusive leader should be, especially in the workplace. 

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