On Being Consciously Inclusive

Joel Lesko
August 4, 2020

Rhodes Perry, in his book, "Belonging At Work" outlines everyday actions you can take to cultivate an inclusive organization. He writes, "An inclusive leader communicates the feeling of belonging by offering their stakeholders a sense of purpose. They have the ability to connect their organization's mission and values to those they lead, and they ignite a sense of meaning for each and every stakeholder."

Here at SunShower, we share Perry's perspective on the need for belonging. Everyone is familiar with the research about salary as being only one of the factors that employees consider. They also want to be valued and want to belong to the mission. What a surprise! Being valued, respected and made to feel like you belong is a head and feeling thing. It requires emotional intelligence.

As Jonathan H. Westover writes in Forbes "As we strive to become consciously inclusive leaders, I believe it is important to acknowledge that it isn’t rocket science. In fact, it is quite the opposite; often it is rather commonsense approaches that can help us be more inclusive. In large part, it is simply a matter of consistently treating yourself and everyone around you with dignity and respect.

Everything you do should demonstrate your awareness and understanding of the ambiguities, messiness and complexities of the world around you. Help those on your team understand and feel that you sincerely see them and hear them; that they are truly valued, needed and wanted; and that they have a meaningful opportunity to contribute to the organization’s successes and future strategic trajectory. Make your organization a place where everyone wants to be and where they can flourish." 

We invite you to consider our Defeating Unconscious Bias and Inclusion in Action courses - leaders can work on their own implicit biases and then learn and practice 9 skills for inclusion. The Inclusion in Action elearning course is a foundational course that can start your DEI journey, or accelerate your learning as an organization.

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