Being an inclusive leader not only means promoting diversity, but also having the capability to innovate and deal with the many uncertainties they may face. While these leaders may all have very different approaches on how to lead, they all share the same characteristics making them more inclusive. These characteristics help to form a framework which leads to building a more diverse workplace and inclusive of all no matter race, religion, or sexual orientation. The following are just a few of the characteristics demonstrated by these leaders, on what it means to be more inclusive.
Cultural knowledge is the key to becoming a more inclusive leader. Having knowledge regarding other cultures is necessary when conducting business with someone who may share different values. Working as a leader requires being able change up styles when it comes to responding to someone who has different cultural norms. For example, when handling business with a client who demonstrates more humility and modesty, a true leader will know when to dial things back and show some restraint. Self-awareness is crucial because recognizing how one’s own social norms may come across to someone of a different culture is necessary.
A sense of curiosity and open-mindedness is what it takes to become a more inclusive leader. When a leader is curious, they are craving to learn more from a different perspective other than their own. They understand they may have certain blind spots in their own mirrors, and want to learn and gain exposure to different ideas from others. These leaders work hard to make those around them feel valued and actively listen to their viewpoints and contributions to the table.
Inclusive leaders work hard to create a collaborative environment for their employees. They realize that in order to build a successful team it requires collaboration from the entire team. Creating this type of workplace helps make everyone feel comfortable enough to be open to sharing their ideas. Instilling that everyone is working on the same page and that there is only one team is important. This allows everyone to speak more freely and share their ideas. Discussing the teams shared goals and everyone’s strengths and capabilities is proven to build a more tight knit workplace.