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Top 3 Reasons to Foster Inclusive Leadership

By: Erich TollDiversity Insights
Colleagues in a meeting

Today, organizations strive to embrace diversity by fostering teams with various backgrounds and perspectives. However, this alone is insufficient. For the best results, inclusive leadership is essential in making team members feel inspired and respected.

Recent research shows that inclusive leadership isn’t just a “nice to have,” but a must for those who want to advance their performance.

According to Deloitte, teams fostering inclusive leadership are:

  • 17 percent more likely to report high performance
  • 20 percent more likely to say they make high-quality decisions
  • 29 percent more likely to report behaving collaboratively

If you’re seeking similar favorable outcomes, here are a few more reasons why cultivating inclusive leadership is crucial.

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Inclusive leadership allows you to connect with team members

Connections are the links that bring people together. They allow us to build social and emotional bonds that help us gain information and enhance workplace performance. When employees feel connected to one another and their managers, they’re more likely to be satisfied with their roles.

Inclusive leadership is built on the foundation of reaching out to others, asking about their experiences, and actively listening. When you implement a model of inclusive leadership, you show them that their perspectives matter, and you want them involved in the future of the organization.

Inclusive leadership helps your team feel more comfortable

As an inclusive leader, you should take the time to learn about each of your employees. Acknowledge them as individuals and understand how they like to be supported, especially according to cultural differences and customs. When you practice cultural competency, you can help make your team feel more comfortable and supported in their roles, which enhances both loyalty and productivity.

As you’re prioritizing inclusive leadership, you should also note how you should not act in the workplace. For instance, being very direct or overpowering can often be off-putting to employees, and it can also limit the contribution of certain parties to the conversation. This is exactly what you’re trying to avoid in inclusive leadership.

Likewise, you should avoid discounting any alternative views. When you’re vocal about your own strong opinion, it can make it feel risky for team members to bring forward opposing viewpoints and threatens any diversity-of-thought environment you’re attempting to cultivate.

Inclusive leadership reveals your organization’s blind spots

In the past few years, society has been met with a harsh reality regarding the state of racial justice in our world. While we may have previously lived in delusion, we’ve been forced to face and address this issue head-on because of the footage captured on smartphones and blasted all over social media. This technology revealed a blind spot that many were oblivious to.

Similarly, inclusive leadership can bring blind spots to light. It prompts you to reflect on your own shortcomings and limitations, and reveals any unconscious bias you may have. It asks you to reach out to others and hear their experiences. It helps you become better equipped to take meaningful actions and accessible to all employees.

Final Thoughts

Being an inclusive leader gives you the power to harness a diverse team. When you implement this strategy in your organization, you’ll see the results in the performance of your teams.

Ready to foster inclusive leadership? Explore our Diversity and Inclusion Training and empower your team to thrive in a diverse and equitable workplace.

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