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Building Leadership For Inclusion

Maddie Brindley-Slater
19 July 2022
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There are many different types of leaders in this world, but whatever the leadership style, some of the best leaders are those that recognise the importance of inclusion.

A leader’s qualities and skills go a long way to shaping an organisation, ultimately playing a big part in a company’s success. The leaders that build up their teams to promote inclusivity and equality for all members often go on to see the best results.

These types of leaders are committed to delivering support in a way that compliments all team members, helping all to reach their full potential.

If you’re wanting to discover how to build your leadership skills in the most inclusive way possible, so that each team member can feel included and valued, we’ve got you covered.

What is inclusive leadership?

Put simply, inclusive leaders are those who make it imperative that their management looks after all team members, irrespective of any background factors that could set them apart. They abide by a strict code of fairness and equality, no matter the circumstance and seek to share this with others around them.

Inclusive leadership encompasses the day-to-day management of teams, as well as how a company operates. Inclusivity aims to treat all members in the same manner, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, disability or any other factor. The end goal of inclusive leadership is to make all team members feel safe and to create the fairest possible environment for all.

There are lots of traits of inclusive leadership that help to make the workplace a better place for all. Let’s take a look at developing leadership for inclusivity…

How to develop leadership for inclusivity

Weave inclusivity into your company’s fabric

Start by ensuring inclusivity is part of the foundations of your business, by weaving inclusivity-friendly policies into the very fabric of your company’s mission.

Having this positive attitude deeply ingrained in your ethos means there is little room for error when it comes to dealing with people’s issues. Inclusive leaders will make it a priority that the company they work for shares the same values, as this is something they feel strongly about.

This has the added benefit of imprinting all staff with the same mentality, which leads us to the next point.

Create a strong & supportive culture amongst staff

Inclusivity should be a feature of your company culture that is shared by all those involved. This should be an example set by senior leaders and passed down to all staff members, rather than a token afterthought by those at the top. This means that all employees should be aware of your company ethos and should actively seek to be a part of the inclusive environment.

Creating a strong cultural intelligence means your staff will be well versed in inclusivity and will be actively playing their part in creating a better environment for all. Diversity and inclusion will therefore be an important aspect of all team members’ professional lives.

Prioritise communication

Having a strong and trusting communication factor amongst your staff is another feature of inclusive leaders. Creating an open-door policy creates safe spaces for staff to feel comfortable sharing any issues or concerns they may have. This means if instances that go against the inclusive culture occur, they’ll be highlighted by staff immediately.

Essentially, ensuring staff feel comfortable enough to share any issues means that problems are nipped in the bud before exploding with the snowball effect further down the line.

Approach scenarios with empathy

Empathy is a crucial skill; reports show that it’s a quality that sets a lot of female leaders apart, but can be cultivated by anyone.

An empathetic leader typically approaches scenarios in a balanced manner, with full respect and sympathy for another’s problem. They are able to put themselves into another person’s shoes with ease, fully understanding their plight as if happening to them.

This approach to leadership means that leaders can get on the same wavelength as their employees, rather than viewing the scenario from a detached perspective. This leads to more understanding, quicker resolutions and a stronger sense of trust and connection.

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Get additional support

Inclusivity can feel like a tough nut to crack, and an important one at that, so to ensure you’re getting things right, you may wish to work with an expert in this area.

An inclusivity expert can provide a frame of reference for transformation if lots of work is needed. Additionally, they’ll continue to help you navigate challenges as and when they arise.

In addition to this, leadership training and development help to cultivate strong communication, empathy and a whole host of other traits that are valuable for all leaders wanting to diversify the company inclusion practice.

Oftentimes, you just need to talk to someone with the experience and expertise to make things make sense - take the plunge with a business mentor. Get lots more information through a free consultation with our team here.

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