Essential Leadership Qualities in an Inclusive Leader
An inclusive leader is an asset to an organization. A leader who creates an inclusive culture for their teams sees an increase in performance and better collaboration. The trust and compassion they have for their followers yield results. Over the years, how people work, manage responsibilities, and collaborate have changed. The workplace we know will keep evolving. An inclusive leader values differences and will leverage those differences so that organizations can benefit from them. Given below are strategies to adopt to become a more effectively inclusive leader.
Empathy is the capacity to relate to the thoughts of others. A leader who practices empathy is more supportive. They are able to recognize signs of stress and overwork in others and will take out time to check in with others. They would ask team members about how well they are handling their workload and help them to avoid burnout. When empathy and inclusion are merged, they lead to authentic and meaningful participation of every individual in the organization. It is important that an empathetic leader debunks stereotypes and misconceptions. People want someone to notice and appreciate simple things like someone giving up weekend plans to finish a crucial project.
Treat people with fairness
Inclusive leaders recognize and appreciate major differences. They amplify the voices of people who are different from them and provide them with opportunities at team meetings. They do not resort to bias during work opportunities, hiring, and performance reviews. Treating people fairly doesn’t mean that everyone gets the same treatment. It means the correct assessment of individual strengths of people and giving each individual the role that best fits their skill sets. For instance, a person who communicates well may be better at projects that involve acquiring key partnerships.
There are many benefits of diversity of thinking. A team having a variety of perspectives is at the core of inclusive leadership. An inclusive leader may lead a big team, but they will be aware of each team member and the work they do. They make sure that everyone on the team gets the opportunity to contribute. Every individual makes an input. In key projects, cross-team collaboration is encouraged.
The leader that creates a meaningful why for others requires fuelling. When one is not inspired, it is hard to inspire others. People who get results understand the workplace in broader terms. They bring the best of who they are to work and help others do the same. They give their trust and share their knowledge willingly. An inclusive leader is committed to their own learning and growth. They understand that it is not possible for one person to have all the answers and they seek out opportunities to sharpen their own leadership skills. They practice effective listening skills and they listen to understand. Listening helps them to understand challenges and they are better equipped to resolve conflicts.