Before diving into the specific topic of diversity and inclusion, it is important to know what an inclusive leader is and what role he or she plays within a company. When we talk about an inclusive leader, we are referring to a person who is able to bring out to the maximum the characteristics and qualities of each of the members of a team with the aim of achieving a common goal.
How to recognize a good inclusive leader, within diversity and inclusion policies? We consider that a person with inclusive leadership is one who brings together the following qualities:
– Humility. He/she is capable of accepting and learning from mistakes and, on the other hand, sharing the success achieved with all his/her team members.
– Someone who is aware of the biases that may exist in the different decisions he/she must make.
– Makes all team members feel important within the team and are participants in everything that happens in the company.
– Knows how to play the role of mediator in resolving the different conflicts that may arise.
– Values each person, accepting their qualities and defects.
– Uses ethics in the decisions that must be made.
– Knows how to put himself in the “shoes” of others, in other words, is empathetic.
– Always makes the team work with respect, participation, and collaboration.
– Responds to the needs of the team, adapting to circumstances that may arise at any time.
It is important that there are people who, step by step, are transforming the business sector regarding its Vision of inclusive leadership. For that, some factors need to be worked on:
– Diversity Awareness. An inclusive leader must be aware of his or her prejudices.
– Awareness. Involve companies in the existing social reality, creating awareness of it in leaders.
– Strategic vision. Diversity and inclusion must become strategic elements.
– Dialogue. Promote a dialogue that gradually serves to transform and build the vision of companies regarding inclusion.
– Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion.
– Sensitivity. Know how to communicate with sensitivity and act against exclusion, inequality, and discrimination.
On the other hand, we must consider that there are different factors that occur in society and that can also be found within companies:
– Unconscious biases. These are very important elements in terms of diversity. It is important to understand them in order to change the way we think. They often lead us to have wrong impressions of someone without knowing them.
– Ignorance. The small knowledge that exists in companies in terms of diversity and inclusion leads to not betting or thinking – wrongly – that it is a risk to include diversity in teams. Several companies have already witnessed the opposite. A diverse environment promotes productivity and corporate happiness.
– Prejudice. These are probably one of society’s biggest “burdens” and are also transferred to companies. Judging a person before even meeting him/her leads, on many occasions, not to bet on hiring a worker who could contribute a lot to the company.
– Discrimination and rejection. Indifference to the “new” or the “different” leads to the rejection of very valid people. “First impressions” lead us in life to make quick and wrong decisions.
– Overprotection. A person with a disability within a company must perform the same functions as everyone else, without excluding him/her. Many companies when they find people with disabilities in their teams think that they must protect them more than others, and this is not so. They need more support or maybe more time to do things, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do the same tasks as other colleagues.
– Indifference. Not having a commitment to inclusion policies in companies causes less diversity.
Review these topics and remember that the success of any project depends a lot on the involvement of your teams. So, include all teams in your inclusive leadership.