7 skills to create inclusive spaces in the workplace

It is increasingly common to see workplaces implementing environmental responsibility plans, such as recycling innovation programs that involve employees. But just as they are concerned about environmental impact, they must also pay attention to corporate social responsibility.

Diversity and inclusion must be two priorities in business discussions to start putting them into practice in order to increase inclusive spaces in the workplace.

Working to create an environment that actively supports diversity and inclusion is paramount. It may be a lot of work, but it is necessary to work that requires intention and innovation. Megan Kollar Dwyer, Director of global diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DIBs) at ServiceNow, provides some advice in Forbes. Through her work and experience, she knows how to make the world more empathetic and inclusive. 

During the DIBs Digital Leadership Summit, Kollar and the participants reviewed and delved into the business obstacles facing organizations. Learning focused on collaborative problem solving and practicing tangible skills enables solutions for inclusion and diversity in the workplace. She suggests honing the skill set of DIB because anyone can become a more inclusive and empathetic leader. Participants were asked some questions to come up with solutions together that are actionable.

Initially, each participant was asked to focus on one inclusive leadership skill. In the following days of the event, participants practiced that skill in groups with an active learning coach. In this way, they received feedback from each other to improve their skills in their workplace. This resulted in seven skills that participants chose to become inclusive leaders.

Some ideas for inclusive spaces in the workplace

Having the ability to listen and understand content and context is important. To validate experiences, build connections and trust, listening is critical. It is valid to cross-examine to better understand when what is heard needs more detail. In the work environment, any comments, testimonials, suggestions, etc. should be heeded as it strengthens leaders’ relationships with others.

To listen, one must be receptive to a variety of ideas, experiences, styles, and practices. Questions should maintain the curiosity to learn something new, without judgment. It is important to remain open and forget biases of conscience because openness helps to have a broader and more inclusive picture. With understanding without complexes, problems are better solved.

Being empathetic requires looking beyond our point of view and considering how someone else thinks or feels about something. Therefore, as leaders, we must seek a variety of perspectives to inform problem-solving and decision-making. In addition, this strategy empowers voices and a wide range of identities. For example, cultural differences are included, creating equity and belonging.

A leader must know how to connect authentically and meaningfully with people who are different. That is, he or she must develop cultural competence and adaptive communication skills. Finding ways to work with diverse groups, building common ground for all is important. Having the ability to challenge our expectations to broaden definitions of success.

Systems thinking is also fundamental. Thinking, designing, and acting in order to address the interrelated parts of a system must be a priority. Leaders can learn about systemic inequalities to generate awareness of their role in creating conditions for all. Inclusive design principles should serve to benefit all, and eliminate structures that do not serve. With this exercise, it is possible to create more successful long-term solutions.

Errors may arise during these diversity and inclusion procedures. It is therefore advisable to challenge thinking around data, interpretations, assumptions, conclusions, beliefs, and others. By investigating biases, objectivity is tested and data sources, perspectives, and lived experiences are reinforced. 

Having these skills involves taking risks and overcoming fear of courageous actions. Leaders must also have the courage to change their minds, challenge themselves and others by accepting feedback. Sure there will be uncomfortable situations, but they must know how to overcome them in order to grow and learn. 

Responsibility and social development

With this information, and with the will to create more inclusive spaces, it is possible to achieve good results. A commitment to incorporate these skills into corporate strategies will create a more empathetic and inclusive workplace. Employees will feel more engaged and the results will be seen in their performance.

At eSmart Recycling we believe that diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the development of all people without exception. We also believe that technology is necessary to close gaps. That is why we work in computer recycling and donation to contribute to the future of children and people in need. 

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