There are many kinds of different leaders out there with different styles, some good and some bad. When we are considering our team, our employees or those we mentor how are we leading in the best way for them?
Some leaders are tyranical, some are more passive, some keep a healthy distance while some want a closeness to those they are leading. While there can be elements from different approaches that could be cherry-picked for the best experience of both leader and ‘follower’ a great strategy is to be an inclusive leader.
The inclusive leader roots their team with the principle that diversity is a good thing, teaching an inclusive attitude bringing in the ideas, thoughts, feelings and beliefs to combine them with the overall strategy. An inclusive leader, while aware of biases and possibly diversive potential, see pass these things and know that the greater good of the team is greater than a hang-up: they discourage division and embrace unity.
We know that the culture in any organisation matters and so the inclusive leader invests and believes in what the company is about and will take time to have the culture permeate through every level of the business, every employee ‘gets’ what they’re about and that they too believe in the vision of the culture.
As the culture is at every level, even the small matters are treated in the same way as larger company defining moments. How the inclusive leader treats the staff, their customers and situations needs to be dictated to by the culture. Even little problems are dealt with for the common good so they don’t explode into major problems down the line. Everyone being treated equal and with respect, people’s thoughts and feelings taken into account.
Everyone is stronger in some areas and weaker in others and the inclusive leader is aware and wants to work to better themselves and their business all the time. A good inclusive leader sees where they are weaker, recognising the strength is in someone else and will delegate without ego or pride threatening them. Setting the example of learning and development, which will benefit the team as they aim to better themselves and rely on each other.
Everyone is different and the inclusive leader sees this as a positive and not a negative, so they will see that using people’s different strengths and abilities will only see increase in the team. Where people are weaker, they can be coached and developed so that growth and support are a constant, benefitting everyone.
When the leader is inclusive, people are in a safe atmosphere, people feel they can contribute because they are valued.
Do you lead inclusively?