Inclusion in both the workforce and community organisations is so important. There’s no point in kidding ourselves about the stigma and bias that has occurred in the past and what still goes on today. I do think that we are beginning to overcome several of these issues and at least they are out in the open. The major issues of gender equity and racial equity still appear to be dominant. The stigma around mental health has really been addressed as a result of the pandemic. Ten years ago it was spoken about in hushed tones and people who experienced issues were often considered weak. These days it is recognised as a legitimate health issue and just as serious as any physical one. Likewise, I think we have come a long way in terms of attitudes towards physical disabilities and LGBTQI issues. That said, we still aren’t out the other side yet and there is much more work to do.
What Is Inclusive Leadership?
The instances above are simply examples of some of the issues that are confronting in our organisations and community. But there are subtle unconscious biases that we don’t even necessarily recognise are going on. This can go back to the LMX Theory of Leadership where there are in groups and out groups and the leader treats people differently. Inclusion is all about trying to be as equitable as possible. That said, we are human beings after all and we resonate with others more at different levels. The table below sums it up quite well.
This can be a huge factor in creating an inclusive environment because it may well be happening beneath your own radar. In other words, you may not even realise you’re guilty. This is where self-awareness in a leader is of critical importance. Having the ability to look within and identify issues with particular biases are important. The video below is an excellent explanation of this phenomenon. I will suggest that the worst form of unconscious bias at present are those caused as a result of confirmation bias. With social media feeds constantly reinforcing the ideas we hold dear, we can often believe that everyone is completely wrong and we are absolutely right. A good leader knows that things are not that simple.
Assignment 3 is virtually done and dusted. I was ready to submit and then realised I hadn’t put it through one of the writing tutor software sites that AIB provide. I am happy with the content, but another pair of eyes never hurts. As soon as I receive the feedback it will be ready to go if I don’t feel compelled to do any further edits. Either way, I am about a week early in getting the assignment finished and lodged.
It doesn’t matter what sort of leadership style you identify with, you still need to create an inclusive environment. Failing to do so will leave you with a team of what is known as PLMs (People Like Me). This leads to a loss of innovative thinking, a loss of variety with ideas and perspectives and an essentially stale group of people.