Diversity and inclusion sound like the latest management buzzwords, but are they? Actually, they’re anything but the flavor of the day. Companies all over the world are realizing the power of celebrating their diversity and capitalizing on it through inclusion. One of the essential leadership skills you’ll need in order to have lasting success is the ability to harness the diversity already within your team and build a culture of inclusion with it.
Believe me, your team is more diverse than you think.
Diversity means so much more than the race or gender of your team, unit, or organization. Diversity is all around you. Work style, military experience, ethnicity and personality are all elements of diversity. So are communication style, geographic location, and sexual orientation. Everyone on your team and in your company is diverse.
How you become a leader is by recognizing the diversity around you and using it to help your team and organization succeed in the 21st century.
One of the essential skills of a leader, in any context, is taking advantage of what your people do well. This is where the concept of inclusion comes in. Involving everyone on your team and utilizing their unique qualities in order to produce the desired outcome is the essence of inclusion.
What are the skills of a leader when it comes to inclusion?
First you have to use your interpersonal communication skills to discover who your people are and what they bring to the table. Second, you must use your ability to inspire your people by focusing them on the vision of the organization and showing them how their backgrounds, values and talents help them contribute each day. Last, use the trust you’ve built with your team to empower them to bring the best they have to offer each day knowing that their efforts and results will be rewarded.
We all want to contribute. We all want to feel like the unique parts of us are meaningful – helpful to the mission of the organization. One of the skills of a leader you will call on again and again is the ability to recognize diversity and promote inclusion in your workgroup. Understanding and applying these concepts are essential leadership skills that pay big dividends. Diversity itself doesn’t guarantee success. Helping your people to use the best they have to offer each day produces success. Can we truly say we’re using our human capital effectively if we’re not giving our people the opportunity to be their best every day?
Using everything you have to offer is essential to your success as well. All too often, the best parts of us are hidden behind fear or locked away under a warm blanket of denial. Your FREE e-book, “The Human Condition” will help show you how this happens to best of us and how you can start becoming all that you were meant to be.
Seth Czerepak is a Personal Achievement Expert, the Vice President of VQ Success and creator of the behavioral transformation strategy Value Driven Transcendence, a powerful combination of Axiology Science, Human Needs Psychology and NLP.
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