Joe’s Take on Deepa Argawal’s Six Must Have Qualities for Inclusive Leadership
“ I enjoyed Deepa’s take on looking for similar qualities that leaders who would be considered inclusive have with each other. Once again I respect individuals that are trying to help others understand or become better leaders that provide concrete workable ideas for today and more important tomorrows leaders.
I believe the six traits that she touches on can help you focus on how to create that environment but more importantly the questions she asks you to make will also help you make sure your actions are giving you the desired results.”
A couple of notes in regards to my own experience on her stated traits would be the following:
EMPOWERING: agree completely but also in real world application it is as much if not more important to also set the expectations of the group on how and when their ideas will be used. I have found too often that if not communicated clearly up front animosity or lack of participation occurs if some of the ideas that come out of that working group don’t get used.
If they don’t see their ideas put into action or there is not clear follow-up as to why the idea was not used, the group can become closed and stop giving their opinion or become a group of “yes” folks.
BELONGING: this is of course very much in line with our VISION on how to try and get the most but more importantly the best out of your people as they must feel they belong. That they’re a part of the solution and whenever possible communicate to them the very specific reason they individually matter to the group.
I do not like to use the word respect in this context any longer though. I believe it comes from a place of judgement, I’d rather use empathy. Trying to get a large group of people to “respect” each other can be a daunting task. Getting them to come to a common understanding and have empathy for each other although more time consuming and never complete. Will be more lasting and ultimately if your team feels “they” can be who they are, you will always get a better outcome and in most cases it will turn out better than you thought possible.
You better have the courage to certainly do the steps she outlines and the next trait helps in that by being authentic. Even if people disagree with you, if they believe it’s your position and you have laid it out clearly they will be more app to believe in your leadership.
Her last trait, Compassion, is also a word that I believe needs to be replaced with Empathy. Once again compassion as in the context of business still is judgmental, it may make you feel good about yourself that you have “compassion” about someones position or topic they may be going through or have. But that’s still coming from you thinking you’re right! Hate to keep repeating myself but the word is “EMPATHY”. Understand the person, the how, the why, and then find a way to show them that their life experience is exactly why you want them on your team.
They can see and bring attention to parts of the idea or plan that no one else can. You want their eyes and their experience to tell you why it can or can not work or how to do it better.