Superficial change is generally short lived. No doubt this is why, when it comes to the topic of Inclusive Leadership, so much emphasis is placed on leaders having an authentic commitment to this goal.
What leaders say and do make up to a 70% difference on feelings of inclusion. It is therefore natural that Inclusive Leadership training focuses on clusters of traits needed by leaders to be recognized as authentic. Some necessary behavioural traits of leaders to instill inclusivity are visible commitment, Humility, Awareness of Bias, Curiosity about others, Cultural intelligence and Effective collaboration.
Authenticity Creates Authenticity
Such trait focus is a good foundation aligned to the central premise that authentic leaders unlock authentic contributions. Living such inclusive leadership traits encourages diverse people to bring their original or genuine selves to the workplace. People begin to put all aspects of themselves out there,enthusiastically engaging utilizing their hearts, souls and minds.
These transformations are an important dramatic shift. But they are just part of the mix required to achieve true lasting inclusion.
People will only feel a strong enduring sense of belonging when they see what they have offered is accepted within the organization. Without implementation there is no circle of trust and durable worth established.
Recognizing the Whole Professional
Leadership diversity and inclusion training therefore needs to be very clear that it is not just about a feel-good process of engaging and connecting. There is no escaping the reality that we come to work to perform, deliver and excel.
The type of leadership advocated in leadership inclusion training is, at its core, all about liberating people to be authentic professionals. The intention is also to make use of their rich offer of more diverse professional ideas, views and proposals.
Leaders facilitate and guide towards goals and enabling plans to secure performance. The concurrent leadership art, encompassed within the inclusion process, is to ensure outputs contain the best parts of each “whole” diverse person.Overlaying leadership inclusion traits is the leader’s determination to integrate a myriad of fresh professional influences that will create or recreate something new and sometimes unexpected.
Leadership inclusion compels courageous judgement. The leader cannot be superficial as they must have faith in diverse people and teams to codetermine better ways and to give effect to the realization of these within the workplace.
Diverse Outputs the Acid Test of Inclusion
When leaders back their diverse people as professionals it inspires strength, confidence and pride.
Inclusive leadership has an abiding preoccupation with whether each unique individual on the team is able to participate in the workplace as a “whole” professional person. It is in service to this noble pursuit that the spectrum of leadership traits is brought to bear.
When diverse outputs are used at work consistently, we see evidence that we are indeed now working together to make the whole the greater sum of the parts. Harmony and healing take place because finally we are really in it together. Jointly accountable and ever ready to learn, grow and deliver as professionals.