Take It Personally: 5 Proactive Steps To Become An Inclusive Leader

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Inclusion is often elusive at a personal level. Many feel it’s a non-issue, and some need clarification about inclusion as a priority. Today, many examples indicate that the development of inclusive leadership is the primary responsibility of the workplace. This article will outline why individuals need to embrace inclusion as a priority and take personal actions to be inclusive leaders, for professional commitment alone won’t do the trick. So individuals must proactively resolve the gap. Here are five doable ideas to plan to implement.

1. CREATE OPPORTUNITIES TO BUILD CURIOSITY SKILLS

In everyday actions, lean into curiosity to cross-examine steeped knowledge. Doing so will build skills to leverage as an inclusive leader. An article by Francesca Gino, Harvard Business Review, suggests ways to bolster curiosity. One of the strategies on the list is the willingness to be inquisitive. Taking that notion forward, why not practice being curious? In conversations, notice the desire to defend and embrace discomfort by following the discussion, temporarily adopting the opposing perspective. Try this exercise frequently, being self-aware. Document the experiences and revisit them to see lessons learned and applicable to take forward.

2. JOIN A BOOK CLUB TO MAKE THE LEARNING JOURNEY FUN

Learning new topics in an environment conducive to learning is another non-threatening way individuals can tip-toe into building inclusive knowledge. Searching Amazon yields over 1000 books on inclusive leadership. What’s the point? Many books can help with personal grooming as an inclusive leader. And if reading isn’t preferable, head to Audible to find options for listening to audiobooks. Consider also searching the Good Reads site for inclusive leadership groups.

3. FIND AND ENGAGE IN CONVERSATIONS WITH PROGRESSIVE YOUNG PEOPLE

Today’s youth are navigating diversity, equity, and inclusion inside and outside the classroom. Get on the bandwagon and leverage these relationships to soak up inclusive leadership knowledge. Examples one can learn from include exploring the variety of family structures, experiencing different cultures, and having a strong desire to implement learning without fear. Also, check out programming targeted at the younger generation. Returning to the beginning to pick up fundamentals is a sound strategy to begin training as an inclusive leader.

4. LEVERAGE AND PARTNER WITH THE LOCAL LIBRARY TO DEVELOP A GROWTH PLAN

The library is a low cost option and a center of excellence. Think back to when there was the intention to make the library a regular destination. If fuzzy, it’s time to invite trained resources to do the leg work of curating inclusive experiences. Begin by checking out multiple library event calendars to find diverse offerings. Then, should zero or limited opportunities exist, tap the research librarian to ask for help in providing exposure to inclusive leadership resources. Reviewing offerings for younger adults at the library could yield dividends.

5. SEEK OUT TARGETED COMMITTEES TO JOIN IN THE LOCAL AREA

What diversity, equity, and inclusion opportunities exist for residents? Review local newspapers, magazines, e-zines, and applications to tap into local happenings. Social media can also highlight inclusive leadership opportunities in the neighborhood. The key here is to engage in a way that will drive personal growth. Resist the urge to show up with the intent of only gaining knowledge. Give and take.



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