But inclusive leadership is a lot more than just lending an ear every now and then...
Before you get started, try and reflect objectively on what qualities you currently possess that make you an inclusive leader and consider which areas you may need to improve on. Using a self-assessment tool such as this one will help you understand these better. Everyone is susceptible to attribution errors or confirmation bias, but being aware of this gives you the chance to make some improvements.
The modern workforce is diverse – especially here in the UAE - and this means you may have to use different communication styles for each employee. An inclusive manager does not see this as an unnecessary burden, but rather an untapped advantage. Though it may take a little adjusting in the beginning, once you are used to the unique strengths of your various employees, harnessing that potential will allow them to feel more empowered in their work environment.
Moreover, inclusive leaders are tolerant in situations of ambiguity. Patience is an important aspect of dealing effectively with change, and encourages out-of-box thinking that can work towards finding more creative solutions to problems. Staying open to novel ideas, even in a role of experience and seniority, indicates a willingness to learn that benefits both you and your employees.
Taking a more personable approach to your employees can help them feel heard and invested in, which makes them want to do the same for the company. Though it may feel easier to lean on the same few high-ability employees in times of crisis, assigning responsibility evenly and nurturing less confident members of staff can be a great boost to morale and overall motivation within the company. Staying approachable and demonstrating an authentic interest in the welfare of your employees is a big part of being an inclusive leader. This is definitely easier in theory than in practice, and you don’t have to compromise on professionalism.
All this means is that you maintain a relationship built on mutual respect and understanding, creating a two-way channel through which you can communicate with each other. Though it may take time, the statistics on inclusive leadership don’t lie. With a little patience and time, you’ll be boosting company productivity in no time.