How to Be an Inclusive Leader Through a Crisis

Joel Lesko
May 11, 2020

Excellent article in Harvard Business Review by Ruchika Tulshyan.

Leaders are under extraordinary pressure right now. They are expected to make decisions quickly with incomplete and rapidly evolving information. And unfortunately, being in crisis mode can cause even the most intentional and well-meaning leaders to fall into patterns of bias and exclusion. Research shows that when we’re stressed, we often default to heuristics and gut instincts, rather than making deliberate and goal-oriented decisions.

Ms. Tulshyan offers practical suggestions and "specific tactics to make sure you are prioritizing inclusive behaviors in your workplace during this crisis."

Ensure that all employees have equal access to technology for remote work.
Make virtual meetings equitable by turning on closed captioning, sending documents, and collecting input in advance.
Begin meetings with acknowledging everyone in the room, not just those with high status or privilege.
Understand how gender bias may show up.
Check in with employees who may be disproportionately impacted by this crisis.
Above all, show compassion.

“The crisis gives us the chance to evaluate the structure of work and how organizational processes have to adapt,” says Abad. As we navigate uncharted territory, we have a unique opportunity to examine ways we could be more inclusive to all employees, but especially those who may be dealing with significantly more challenges.

When we get to the other side of this pandemic, my hope is that more of us learn to lead inclusively and with empathy, not only in crisis but also in calm.

Read: How to be an inclusive leader through a crisis.

More from our blog...

Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Letter from Birmingham Jail" expressed a truth that's important today: Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Read More

Unconscious Bias: Our Filter Bubbles Shape Our Worldview

Just like a Google algorithm that shows us web pages based on our previous clicks, our unconscious biases show us our pre-conceived, pre-loaded assumptions about the people and situations we encounter. Our internal filter bubbles shape our thoughts and behavior in significant ways. And here’s the dangerous thing - most of the time we don’t even consider that we’re being shaped by them.
Read More

Inclusivity and High Performance Begins with Psychological Safety

Learn how the creation of a psychologically safe work environment helps in creating an inclusive and welcoming workplace that emphasizes curiosity and can improve performance.
Read More

Our response to the Executive Order

The Trump Administration has issued a flawed and racist executive order that is not in alignment with SunShower Learning’s core values.
Read More

Creating a Welcoming Workplace by Putting Inclusion into Action

Inclusion in Action eLearning not only brings attention to inclusion as a necessary leadership skill, it teaches skills that everyone in an organization can learn and practice.
Read More

Strategies to Manage Your Own Unconscious Bias When You're Making Decisions

We all have unconscious biases. The question, is what do you want to do about yours? Do you want to take the time and energy to explore where your blind spots are? There are strategies that anyone can use and practice to disrupt biases.
Read More

On Being Consciously Inclusive

Discover how to be consciously inclusive? Leaders can work on their own implicit biases and learn skills for inclusion with our courses like Defeating Unconscious Bias.
Read More

How to Drive Inclusive Culture in the Digital Workplace

Want to be a more inclusive enterprise? Here are the top tips for digital workplaces that want to create a more inclusive company culture.
Read More

Moving Beyond Diversity Toward Racial Equity

Build a more inclusive culture by understanding how power works and how one can use it to understand conflict for creating a workplace with no differences.
Read More