Inclusive Leadership

What it was

A half day’s training in London on 20 November 2018, attended as part of the Future Leaders Scheme.

What I learned

  • There are broadly three components of inclusive leadership:
  • Culture
  • Relationships
  • Decision making style

Inclusive culture

  • Imagine a time you felt alone in a crowd. How did you feel/think? How did thismake you behave? How might others have interpreted this?
  • Psychological safety: a shared belief that the team is a safe environment to put oneself at risk
  • Psychologist standing: a sense of entitlement to speak up and act
  • Servant behaviour: collective goals and team working for one another
  • Components of trust: cognitive (are they technically capable), affective (do Iget on with them), transactional (do what they say they will do)

Culture tips:

  • Actively encourage everyone to contribute
  • Listen to different views and challenge
  • Value others expertise and experience
  • Create a sense on entitlement to speak up

Inclusive Relationships

  • Building team cohesion:
    • Creating a shared team identity
    • Avoiding fault lines
    • Avoiding favourites
  • Investing time:
    • Get to know people as individuals
    • Increase contact with people from different backgrounds
    • Mentoring people from under represented groups
  • Networks:
    • Diversity of your network
    • Developing their networks

Relationship tips:

  • Conduct a network analysis – how inclusive are you?
  • Work as a team, not sub groups
  • Challenge yourself, don’t go to the usual suspects
  • Invest time
  • Mentor someone different

Inclusive decision-making

  • Openness versus perception of risk
  • Flexibility
  • Avoid gut instinct
  • Awareness of bias
  • Bias thrives under these decision making conditions: Pressure, high cognitive load, need to reach closure, overall impressions, tiredness
  • Micro-messaging: brief verbal and non verbal interactions that make people feel under valued, undermined and excluded
  • Negative micro- behaviours: interrupting, assumptions / benevolent attitudes, limited eye contact, ignoring contributions
  • Micro- affirmations: Non verbal: eyes, body language, acknowledgment, time and attention; Verbal: involving, encouraging; Recalling: remembering (contribution)

Decision making tips:

  • Understand your biases
  • Stand back and look at how decisions are being taken
  • Set the right conditions
  • Be aware of micro behaviours
  • Listen to diverse points of view

We completed a quick inclusive leadership assessment. Actions to address these weakest areas are captured below.

  • My strongest areas were:
    • Psychological safety
    • Openness
    • Flexibility
  • My weakest areas were:
    • Investing time
    • Diverse networks
    • Psychological standing

What I will aim to do differently as a result:

  • Actions to create a more inclusive culture:
    • Allow time for people to speak up, and not just at the end
    • Ask people to say what they want out of the meeting, then cover that
    • Make more time with team leaders to discuss things, not just updates
  • Actions to create more inclusive relationships:
    • Spend more time with my teams at other sites, don’t just go for a meeting and leave
    • Involve a wider set of people in planning and senior team meetings
    • Become a mentor e.g. to a staff member from a minority group
    • Make appointments with colleagues outside my area and increase network contact
  • Actions to create more inclusive decisions:
    • Have one to ones with team members other than team leads. Some people may not feel able to speak up in a group
    • Try the Harvard bias ( implicit association) test

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