Inclusive leadership

What is Leadership?

Defining leadership is complex as it has so many key elements of its definition. Leadership is known as the process of social influence, which maximises the efforts of others towards the achievement of a goal.

  • Leadership stems from social influence, not authority or power
  • Leadership requires others, and that implies they don’t need to be “direct reports”
  • It includes a goal, not influence with no intended outcome


What is inclusive leadership?

Inclusive leadership is based on the concept of “fully exclusive and equitable that can be adapted to the independent needs of the new generation of employees”

The key to making people feel included in organisations, to ensure that they are being treated fairly and respectfully, valued and belonged. Inclusive leadership is also known to directly enhance performance, as well as increase work attendance.

Research suggests that the most inclusive leaders share a cluster of 6 signature traits

Visible commitments: articulate authentic commitment to diversity, challenge status quo, hold others accountable and make diversity and inclusion a personal priority.

Humility: they remain modest about capabilities, admit their mistakes and create a space for others to contribute

Awareness of bias: show awareness of another person’s blind spots, as well as flaws in the system.

Curiosity about others: Demonstrate an open mindset and deep curiosity about others, listening without judgement, empathy to understand those around them

Cultural intelligence: They are attentive to other cultures and adapt as required. This helps develop an in-depth understanding of working styles in other cultures, demonstrating better tolerance, trust and understanding of global colleagues. 

 Leaders who are humble and empathetic will be open to criticism about their personal biases, and greater self-insight into personal limitations prompts greater humility, empathy and perspective-taking. Not only are these behaviours critical for leaders’ personal development, they also serve to make others feel more included along the way.

Effective collaboration: They empower others, pay attention to diversity of thinking and psychological safety. They also focus on team cohesion.