This article is about inclusive leadership and what behavior can contribute to the positive effects of inclusion within an organization, the people who work there and to the world.
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Recently, I work not only from home but also at a real office. It is an office for entrepreneurs who want to work together or individually for a world where people enjoy working and experience more joy, positivity, connection and love in their work. This fits in exactly with my Why, my vision and mission. I feel at home there.
An English word that I regularly hear and see is “inclusion”. All kinds of companies use it. Examples are “Financial Inclusion”, “Military inclusion”, “Inclusive Architecture “,” Inclusive Design “,” Inclusive Leadership “or” Inclusive management “.
This article is about inclusive leadership within an organization.
For me, inclusion means that someone belongs to a group, organization, tribe, country or company. This regardless of race, origin, orientation or disability. In my experience it is also about belonging, that you fit in and that you can feel at home there.
In addition, inclusion is the extent to which you are appreciated for who you are. Within an organization this can be your personal and professional background, your experience and your skills.
Effects of inclusion
If an organization is inclusive, it can have positive effects on the people who work there, the organization itself and the world. Below, I give you a few examples:
If you inform people and involve them in decision-making, this will lead to more involvement. It also meets the need of people to belong.
Inclusion is about appreciating people for who they are and what they do. Inclusion leads to more diversity.
More self confidence
Because people belong, they feel more secure and have more confidence to speak up about possible improvements, errors and concerns within the organization.
If people know where the organization is headed, they can contribute better to the success of the organization. Inclusion delivers better individual performance and that of the organization.
They see a future for themselves within the organization because the mission, vision and the Why of an organization is clear to people.
Inclusion as a value
For many organizations, “Inclusion” is a value. Values don’t mean so much to me if they are not supported by an organization and if people do not express those values in behavior.
The behavior of inclusion
The question is what you as an organization, company, manager or leader can do to increase “inclusion”? What behavior comes with inclusion?
You create trust by getting to know everyone and by listening to them. In this article I will give you 7 ways how you can listen better. In order to listen, you also must ask good questions. The challenge with asking questions is to ask them out of sheer interest and curiosity and not to provide them with a statement or opinion. Here I have my most favorite questions for you.
And don’t assume that you already know everything. Often, others know much more and have more answers than you.
It’s about making conversations. It cannot be a single conversation. A series of conversations is better. Maybe that is a challenge with people from different backgrounds, but try to find out where they come from, what concerns them, what drives them (or not), what their strengths are and get to know their world. If you know this, you can also be a better leader.
Without trust you will not have people around you who feel involved, who belong, who are motivated and who do their best to perform well.
Show empathy and compassion
While listening to the stories, put yourself in someone’s situation. That is empathy and you can read more about it in this article.
Chances are that as a professional, you are often in your head (logical thinking). With compassion it is about not making a head to head connection but a heart to heart connection. Feel what the other person is feeling. This will also ensure more trust.
And don’t assume that you know what the other person is thinking and feeling. Check whether you have understood correctly and be curious what others think or how they came to say or do something. This also requires that you do not immediately respond to the actions or statements of others. Often, they cause a certain feeling or emotion in yourself such as anger or fear.
Within inclusive leadership you focus on how you respond. You have a choice for how you react to emotions and feelings (they can exist). You can use this as an opportunity to have an impact and to be compassionate. People will therefore feel safer, recognized and heard.
Promote your mission, vision and why
Do this in an effective way. That does not mean that you present them in your annual report at the entrance and in various places of your organization. It’s about talking to others and asking them about their mission (“why are you doing this work?”). Involve the people, connect them with the bigger picture, the mission, vision and Why of the organization.
It is therefore important to know it of the organization and yourself well. If you do not know your mission, vision or your Why, it is difficult to help others. If you know that, then you are a better leader who can work on inclusion, know how to involve others, on-board them and motivate them by showing the best of yourself.
Do you also want to find an organization where you belong? Or do you want to be a better leader who can be more inclusive and have more impact? Discover your Why! Contact me today to take the first steps!
What do you do (or what does your organization do) to be more inclusive? Let me know in the comment field below. I and the other readers of this article are looking forward to reading from you!
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