Inclusive Leadership Creates a New Dream Team

Inclusive Leadership Creates a New Dream Team

Looking back through my deleted blog posts this week, I came across a post I wrote about inclusive leadership.

With the positive focus on diversity and inclusion in technology, I thought I would re-share the positive outcome from tweaking my leadership style to be more inclusive in a hope to inspire other leaders to do the same.

Reading Time – 2.5 mins

Are you in or out?

While I worked at UBS, I attended a webinar given by Dr Gillian Shapiro, a specialist in organisational development and change projects focused on inclusion and diversity.

UBS provides excellent opportunities to listen to some talented and thought-provoking speakers on leadership development and I took full advantage.

During part of the webinar, Gillian outlined how leaders unconsciously or even consciously separate us into two groups – the in groups and the out groups.

The in groups are the people who the leader shows favourability to through work assignments, language, opportunities, etc.

The out groups are well, the others.

Gillian asked us all on the webinar to write in the chat box how we feel when we are part of the in group, responses I noted were –

  • Motivated
  • Engaged
  • Positive
  • Excited
  • Untouchable
  • Driven
  • Special
  • Go above and beyond

She then asked us to do the same for the out group, responses I noted were –

  • I want to find another role
  • Unhappy
  • Demotivated
  • Disengaged
  • Insecure
  • Why bother
  • How do I become part of the in group?
  • Work to rule

The overall theme I observed was positive productive feelings if you were part of an in group and negative otherwise.

Gillian then asked us all a great question, a question that I have stolen with pride and used many times.

She asked, “What inclusive leader has had an effect on you?”

inclusive leadership Champion

Well, that was easy, my friend and colleague Jen. To me she is the champion of people and doing the right thing. Someone I constantly question my behaviour with.

When I was promoted to take on our boss’s job, she observed that unconsciously my actions and language were showing favourability to my old team.

Why shouldn’t I?

They went to war for me, I trust them, they deliver, I depend on them, they are my dream team. Who else can do what they do?

After a lot of discussion and some practical observations, she made me realise the effect I was having on the rest of my organisation, the out group.

She explained by simply changing my inclusive leadership behaviour, I could change the entire department to become the new dream team. She knows I love a positive spin.

It was not easy, and I had to continually make a conscious effort to control my behaviour until it became a habit. I also had the same conversation with my leadership team and ensured I constantly observed their behaviour and the behaviour of others.

Over the months and years of leading the department, I observed the huge positive effect the inclusive leaders had on the people in the department in terms of motivation, engagement and drive,

The department became the new dream team who I trusted to deliver and go to war for me.

can you Tweak You Inclusive Leadership Behaviour?

I will always value the advice my friend gave me. It made me a better leader, an inclusive leader and helped me influence the change in behaviour of other leaders in the department. This small change in my behaviour had a huge effect on others.

I hope you feel inspired to tweak your leadership style to be more inclusive and get the positive outcomes that I have seen.

If you do, I would love to hear the outcome.

So, what inclusive leader has had an effect on you today?