In a world where “Diversity and Inclusion” are much more than mere buzzwords in the marketplace, business leaders around the world are finding themselves at the crossroads of getting on board, or getting left behind. Diversity and inclusion are no longer niceties, they are must-haves for companies anticipating influence, profit, long-term success, and respect.
Deloitte provides an exemplary outlook of The Six Traits of Inclusive Leadership and what leaders must do to excel in an ever-changing world. I’ve combined their insightful definitions with examples of practical application to show you just how easy it is to level-up your leadership and rise to the occasion of shepherding your flock before it’s too late.
The Six Trait defined by Deloitte
- Commitment: Committed to diversity and inclusion because these objectives align with their personal values and because they believe in the business case.
- Action: Fairness must come first. Take daily ownership of treating each team member with mutual respect.
- Courage: Speak up and challenge the status quo, and they are humble about their strengths and weaknesses.
- Action: Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know” or “I’m sorry.” Ditch the superman/woman complex and know that you’re human with your own weaknesses and mistakes.
- Cognizance of bias: Mindful of personal and organizational blind spots, and self-regulate to help ensure “fair play.”
- Action: Identify your biases and NEVER allow them to influence decisions about hiring/firing, promotions, staff recognitions, etc.
- Curiosity: Open mindset, a desire to understand how others view and experience the world, and a tolerance for ambiguity.
- Example: Depict a genuine desire to know more about your team’s ways of thinking, working, and doing. Ask meaningful questions and be authentic.
- Cultural intelligence: Confident and effective in cross-cultural interactions.
- Example: Never make assumptions. What’s acceptable to one culture can be of utmost disrespect to another. Intentionally learn some of the heritage of your team members that makes them unique.
- Collaboration: Empower individuals as well as create and leverage the thinking of diverse groups.
- Example: Consistently remind your team that their individual thoughts and voices matter. Encourage full participation in meetings and discussions.
Remember, your leadership style must be as diverse as your consumers, clients, and partners. It’s not enough to have multidisciplinary, multicultural, and mixed-aged work teams of men and women under your wings. You must effectively build and cultivate unity, trust, value, and collaboration, for optimal performance and total team success.