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Inclusive Leadership: It Starts with You

Inclusive leadership starts with you as the leader.

Today’s leaders are becoming more and more inclusive; they promote collaboration, positivity, are approachable and take the time to get to know their team on an individual basis.

They also look for ways to include everyone and find win-win situations while understanding that inclusive leadership is all about having a conversation, bringing brainpower together and knowing they can’t do it alone.

To understand inclusive leadership means, take a step back to reflect on your own life and when you may not have felt included. Whether it’s inside your organization or in your everyday life, how did that make you feel? Did it make you feel good? I’m guessing the answer is a resounding no.

Inclusive leadership is just not about you. It’s also thinking about how you make others feel. It’s showing them and letting them feel your positivity and your authentic energy. It’s creating a space for them to feel 100% comfortable to be their true authentic self and having a place of belonging. And it starts with you as a leader, leading and encouraging inclusion.

Who is an inclusive leader?

Inclusive leaders are those who are aware of his or her own biases and preferences and actively seek and consider a different perspective that helps inform better decision making. They build trust with others, show interest in other people genuinely and strive to inspire people in and outside of the organization towards a diverse and inclusive environment.

They also have a higher chance of success as he or she works well with a team. They look for ways to build influence; they look for ways to include others on a shared journey of success and achievement and are motivated by the success of their teams.

There is power in inclusion

There is power when you as a leader create inclusion. Understanding your team’s strength and their differences, promoting collaboration and innovation, all while creating a channel for open communications and creativity to flourish, is key.

Inclusive leaders are not afraid to recognize the contributions of others. They encourage inclusion and know that their words and how they interact with others have a huge impact. Inclusive leaders also give voice to their teams, which truly make a difference as the team automatically become emotionally invested in the success of not only their leader, or the team but the company as well. Because of this, their team feels safe to contribute without the fear of punishment or embarrassment.

Are you an inclusive leader?

If you lead from a place where you open your doors to ideas, thoughts, tap into your team’s diversity, encourage collaboration and challenge everyone on the team to bring their true authentic self to the dialogue, have an open mindset, have empathy to understand those around you and make diversity and inclusion a priority — then you are an inclusive leader.

Nadidah Coveney is a GovLoop Featured Contributor. She is the CEO and founder of CTM Consulting Group and a certified coach, speaker, trainer and Forbes contributor. She has been in the Banking Industry and has over 19 years of leadership experience in management, coaching, and training. As a leadership expert and executive coach, she is dedicated to growing leaders while helping them create meaning in their own lives. She helps individuals get to the next level by connecting who they are to what they do, which results in motivated employees, customer commitment, and bottom-line performance. You can read her posts here.

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Profile Photo Nicole Blake Johnson

I love everything about this post, especially this part: “Inclusive leaders are those who are aware of his or her own biases and preferences and actively seek and consider a different perspective that helps inform better decision making. They build trust with others, show interest in other people genuinely and strive to inspire people in and outside of the organization towards a diverse and inclusive environment.”