What leaders say and will contribute up to 70 % to whether an individual will feeling included.
The more people feel included, the more they speak up, go the extra mile, and collaborate.
If a leader wants to know what is the most important trait, commitment is the most critical.
For those working around a leader, the single most important trait is a leader's visible awareness of bias - a leader that constantly challenges their own bias and encourage others to note their pre-conceived leanings. Raters also care about humility and empathy.
Humble leaders will acknowledge their vulnerability to bias and ask for feedback on their blind spots and habits.
Research shows that awareness of bias combined with high levels of humility can increase raters' feelings of inclusion up to 25%.
Raters want their leaders to understand their viewpoint and experience with empathy, not just as a dry intellectual exercise.
When a leader shows empathy, it makes the leader more approachable, trustworthy and shows their eagerness to work with and support peers, colleagues and superiors.
Put the traits into practice is to establish a diverse personal advisory board (PAD) - a group of peers who have regular contact with the leader and whom the leader trusts to have straight conversations. These trusted advisers can give leaders feedback on interpersonal behaviors that support or prevent inclusion.
Leaders could share their learning journey about recognizing and addressing biases. The leader can share what they have learned that week about diversity and inclusion.
Leaders could allow themselves in uncomfortable or new situations that expose them to diverse stakeholders. It will expand their thinking and point out pre-conceived ideas.
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