Inclusive leadership is a style of leading that embraces diversity and knows how to realise its advantages for the organisation. Inclusive leaders value difference. As a result everyone feels able to play their part by utilising their strengths and collaborating with others with different strengths.
Inclusive leaders support their team member and concentrate on making them feel valued for the individual skills and unique talents that they bring to the organisation. When individuals feel valued in this way, their performance, input of ideas and motivation increase dramatically. This, of course, has a positive effect on the organisation as a whole.
Are there groups of people that feel excluded in your organisation? Without realising it we sometimes have an unconscious bias towards those who are different to us in some way, be it through gender, ethnicity or disability. Sometimes, these groups just carry on quietly, not wanting to draw attention to themselves.
However, I have come across situations where being excluded in this way and not feeling valued and appreciated has had serious effects on the confidence and well-being of these individuals. A healthy organisation cannot allow this type of exclusion to persist. Inclusive leaders recognise that it is up to them to raise everyone’s awareness about how they can be exclusive without even being aware of it and what it means to be inclusive.
How I coach inclusive leadership
Through my coaching, leaders become aware of any unconscious bias they may have and how to recognise it in others. They learn how to understand and value difference in others and to utilise it to enhance creativity and performance. We look at ways in which you can:
- Create an inclusive environment
- Make people feel valued for their difference
- Encourage more collaboration between different people
We do this by identifying skills that need to be developed to achieve this. Inclusive leadership requires strong people skills – including recognising individual talent and strengths, building people’s confidence to play to their strengths, and ensuring that difference is appreciated and valued in others.
During the coaching inclusive leaders develop:
Adaptability: Inclusive leaders show their adaptability by adjusting their approach and style to get the best out of the different individuals in their team.
Ability to build a diverse pool of talent: Identifying vital talent from a diverse array of people is a powerful skill to have.
Innovation: This style of leadership requires the ability to utilise diversity to release greater innovation and creativity. What needs to be done to evolve and improve this business? What skills do we require?
The overall role of an inclusive leader is to get the best out of everyone in the organisation so that collectively the organisation thrives. Inclusive leaders ensure that every member of the team has an equal part to play in its progress and success. As a result of this style of leadership ideas are shared, individual skills are utilised and the team collaborates healthily and effectively.