Four Commitments That All Leaders Who Are Truly Inclusionary Must Make

Four Commitments That All Leaders Who Are Truly Inclusionary Must Make

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2022 marked the debut of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Accountability for Inclusive Leaders. We will have to meet increasing demands from customers, employees and business partners in the future. They expect us to be more proactive and to address societal problems and needs across all human diversity. Although it won’t always be easy, the rewards will be great.

Let’s add some substance to our understanding of inclusive leadership. Let’s take a closer look at four key concepts and skills that inclusive leaders need to master in the next year.

1. Be kind and not a liar.

It is unclear when and why kindness became a sign that someone was ineffective or fragile. There are a number of leaders who call out people they disagree with, demonize them and refuse to help, but instead cause the suffering of transgender people. There are too many examples of cruelty and meanness to mention. In the workplace, kindness is seen as weakness. It’s easy to give in to the self-deprecating urge to be right and wrong. This is an easy way to destroy relationships. We see a lot of malice in social media.

Respecting the dignity of another person is kindness. It means helping them to be happy, comfortable, heard, or whole.

The same can be said about inclusion. How can you make sure your team knows that you are concerned about their mental safety and daily struggles? Be kind and help others be okay, not sorry. Give priority to relationships.

Similar: Leaders can learn from kindness

2. Be open to the idea of evidence-based decisions

Leaders who are inclusive think critically and use reliable data to make informed decisions. In decision-making, they include their peers and teams. This does not mean that inclusive leaders are objective and coldhearted. They take into consideration the complex human identities of their team members, as well as the emotional needs of the others. The idea of inclusive leadership is based on evidence, facts and truth, no matter what language you choose.

Leaders who are inclusive must refuse to accept conspiracy-based views without evidence or excessively emotional pleas for advocacy over the business they’re responsible for. They also need to reject arguments that lack proof, opinions that don’t have any basis in fact and analyses that do not actually make a decision.

Your leadership efforts should reflect equity, diversity and inclusion. You should have a clear definition of what constitutes evidence (emotions are just one type of evidence) and make inclusive decisions.

3. The past is the foundation of the future.

It is simple: children and adults cannot be prepared for the future without being aware of their collective past. A policy, law or practice that censors history is not acceptable by a committed leader who values inclusion. It is unproductive and fearful to pass legislations that “protect white people against discomfort”, when trying to address the continuing impacts of antisemitism or racism.

This stance is detrimental to learning and does not prepare our children for multiracial, diverse world. It also supports systemic biases that true patriots battle every day. Imagine that your local government or school district has adopted such policies or laws as inclusive leaders. You should think about how you can change these decisions through strong education and persistent kindness.

Similar: Fear Doesn’t Have to Control Your Greatness

4. Champion demography as destiny

Multiculturality is already here. Perhaps even our families are evolving: Interracial marriages and babies of color make up the majority of all children for 6 years. You will see that our population is diversifying over the generations if you look at the 2020 Census. Your customers and employees are very different. Neurodivergence is a way of learning about diversity. It involves working across generations and navigating languages to understand the global impact of religion and spirituality.

The demographics make it easy to see how the future looks. The elements of DEI are only going to grow in the future. This change will have an impact on how your business operates: how you source products and people, manage customer differences and find new customers, and how suppliers and regulators interact with you. How DEI helps you measure the value of your units, and why you should invest in markets or mergers. To thrive, inclusive leaders must engage the demography.

Inclusion leaders will face many challenges in the next few years. These are the Four C’s that I recommend: Choose kindness; commit to evidence-based decisions-making; center your future around the reality of the past, and champion the demographics.

A final thought. Keeping these issues in mind will allow you to manage and care for your family during this holiday season. Wherever we are, it is possible to listen and build trust.

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