The term “inclusive leadership” refers to a mindset that encourages diversity and revolves around creating an environment conducive to individual growth. That said, it’s about understanding the unique perspectives and experiences that each person of an organization brings to the table and using that knowledge to build a stronger, more collaborative team.
At its heart, inclusive leadership is about building relationships of trust and respect. It’s about opening up the lines of communication and creating a safe space for everyone to share their ideas and opinions.
Austin Rotter is a strategic PR professional with over a decade of experience in the field. In this interview, he talks about the importance of inclusive leadership and shares his tips for building effective relationships with team members.
Inclusion is a controversial subject today, as more businesses are trying to move beyond hypocrisy and lip reverence to real, quantifiable actions. What do you think is the reason?
There are a few reasons. First, the business case for inclusion is becoming more explicit. Studies have shown that companies with diverse leadership teams are more innovative and profitable than those without.
Second, societal norms are shifting with an increasing focus on equality and social justice. This is reflected in the rise of movements like #MeToo, #TakeAKnee, and #BlackLivesMatter.
Finally, I believe people are becoming aware of their own privilege and realizing how they may use it to help create a more inclusive world.
How does inclusion impact an organization‘s ability to foster a workplace where everyone feels safe and seen? How to enforce it?
Inclusion has a massive impact on workplace culture because it directly affects how people experience and navigate their work environment. When employees feel safe, seen, and valued for who they are, they’re more likely to be engaged and motivated at work.
Successful strategies for encouraging inclusion include actively promoting diversity in recruitment and hiring practices, implementing guidelines for interpersonal interactions that support safe communication and engagement, providing accessible professional development opportunities, and promoting transparent processes for feedback and conflict resolution.
To begin with, organizations may establish an inclusive tone from the top down and cultivate an attitude of respect and gratitude across all levels. Ultimately, it is up to each organization to develop a tailored approach that aligns with its values and complies with the specific needs of its employees. With strong leadership and commitment to creating inclusive spaces, every workplace can achieve greater levels of safety, trust, and productivity.
Do you face any obstacles in your efforts to convince people of the gravity of the situation?
Yes, I often encounter people who still cling to the myth that “diversity is a nice-to-have,” and they’re not always receptive to the idea of investing in inclusion. To be honest, sometimes, I feel appalled, but then I take it as a challenge to convert their thoughts.
In this regard, setting the two concepts — diversity and inclusion — aside and demonstrating how they mutually reinforce an organization’s success has been helpful thus far. I do that by educating my clients on how such a workforce leads to better decision-making, more innovative ideas, and stronger financial situations. And they are able to trust me because I back up my assertions with well-researched facts and well-reasoned arguments.
Finally, what characteristics make a leader inclusive?
There are a few key characteristics that make a leader inclusive:
- Empathy: The ability to understand someone else’s thoughts and feelings.
- Open-mindedness: A disposition for fresh perspectives and experiences.
- Courage: Readiness to engage in difficult conversations, take risks, and stand up for what’s right.
- Respect: The ability to value others for who they are and the contributions they make.
If you want to become a more inclusive leader, start incorporating these four characteristics into your daily life. Pay attention to the way you interact with others, and work on making small changes that will have a big impact.
Thanks for taking the time to share your incredible insights with us, Austin. We hope our audience finds it as informative and useful as we did.
The post Austin Rotter Talks on the Value of Inclusive Leadership appeared first on Influencive.