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Inclusive Leadership and Why it’s so effective! [Video]

Diversity and Inclusion

Inclusive Leadership and Why it’s so effective!

Inclusive leadership goes beyond diversity and inclusion, focusing on performance improvement, innovation, employee engagement, retention, and creativity.

In this episode, we discuss the following:
πŸ‘‰ Utilising inclusive practices to maximise team performance and achieve organisational goals.
πŸ‘‰ Different aspects of inclusive leadership based on individual preferences and backgrounds.
πŸ‘‰ Inclusive leadership entails valuing individuality while nurturing a sense of belonging.
πŸ‘‰ Practical tips on how we can implement inclusive leadership in our organisation.
πŸ‘‰ Importance of belongingness in fostering inclusion and the need for it to be a collaborative experience.

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Welcome back to the next episode of The Leadership Zone. This is probably going to be my favorite episode so far, and there’s a couple of announcements throughout the episode. So the first thing is that many of you will know that inclusive leadership is what I’ve been focusing on over the last while mainly.

Because I’m doing a PhD within inclusive leadership, and that of course has trickled into how I’m thinking about it in terms of industry and in terms of language and in terms of why people say we need to be inclusive and whether that’s actually the right conversation. And so today’s episode we’re going to speak about inclusive leadership from the perspective of why bother.

And this may not be to everyone’s likings. I put that upfront in advance. So to start with, I see inclusive leadership as effective leadership that utilises inclusive practices so that you can get the most out of your team and support your organisation achieving its goals. And one of the challenges is, depending on your background, your approach to inclusive leadership may preference a different part of the conversation.

So if you’ve been sitting there thinking, I’d like to be more inclusive leader, well then it’s worth also thinking about why and which part of that do you want. Often when people hear me speak about inclusive leadership, they go straight to A D N I lens, a diversity and inclusion lens. They don’t necessarily think about it from a leadership lens, which is how do I use inclusion and inclusive practices so that.

My team are more effective. Their performance improves. We have more innovation, more employee engagement, more employee retention, better ideas, more creativity. These are the types of things that inclusive leadership lends itself really well to. Now, one of the challenges is that often when I’m in workshops or training, people will say, well, is inclusive leadership not just being polite and nice to everyone?

And it’s not because you can be. Polite and kind to someone and still be excluding them. Inclusive leadership is this balance between uniqueness and valuing somebody’s unique contribution and also their belongingness, facilitating and opportunity for belongingness. Now, this is where it gets complex because a lot of diversity and inclusion agendas see that uniqueness as an identity.

Now while someone’s identity is part of the uniqueness that they add, what’s often happening is that we only see the person through the lens of their identity and in diversity and inclusion work, that the uniqueness can often be about the identity of the person rather than their full uniqueness. And this is where it’s really important to consider how different lived experiences and identities do inform different viewpoints, but also to know that somebody’s uniqueness may go far beyond a identity label.

It may lean on previous experiences, it may lean on previous training, it may lean on a worldview we haven’t considered. It may lean on a strength or a skillset set that we haven’t utilised before. And so while uniqueness does have a relationship with somebody’s identity, if we only see it to the limit of their identity, it can be a barrier to actual inclusion.

The other thing is there’s a big conversation at the moment about belongingness, and belongingness is only half of the equation for inclusion, because when we focus overly on belongingness, what we’ll tend to get is an assimilation. Where people will have to assimilate to belong, they will have to give up parts of their uniqueness so that the group will accept them.

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