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Creating A Sacred Space For Inclusive Conversations

By Edna Figueroa - May 30, 2018

As I watched the recent Royal Wedding, I could not help seeing the human movement on display, one that is welcoming a more inclusive world. And I thought, creating the space for more inclusive conversations at work also is an intelligent choice. Millennial and post-Millennial employees, who represent over a third of the current and emerging workforce, demand more inclusive workplaces.

But at work, employees often shy away from difficult conversations that touch on cultural issues. What can companies do to create the space for more meaningful cultural conversations? Here are three steps that can help leaders and organizations embrace the movement toward inclusion.

  • Assess your inner strengths and gifts as an inclusive leader. Ask yourself: “What is the culture I “must” build to ignite creativity and engagement?” Embrace those unused innate talents, such as managing diverse relationships and creating opportunities for all. These actions will help cultivate more authentic relationships with people of diverse talents and group affiliations.
  • Be vulnerable. Be willing to state what needs to be said — it can ignite growth of your character. I often saw the improvements generated by teams that were challenged to unwrap the benefits that come from leveraging individual differences. They discovered their true capacity and achieved higher levels of commitments.
  • Embracing the power of cultural diversity is an intelligent choice that can enhance your reputation as a leader. But remember that culture doesn’t just reside at the top; it must be modeled at all levels.

Getting to inclusiveness is an inside job – that is, each of us needs to take a look at the leader you “must” become to create a more inclusive world.

Be Intentionally Inclusive

We can start by intentionally engaging with others, especially those who are different than us. Through many years working in the corporate space, I noticed that many leaders and professionals who are in the position to make a difference in the culture tend to engage primarily with those who are similar to them. Organizations will have a tough time building cultural competence unless they invest in creating more genuine connectedness to recognize individual voices and contributions.

Cultural Competence Will Drive The Future Workforce

No matter how great a company’s strategy might be on paper, if its actions don’t match the inspirational mission statements and posters in open spaces and conference rooms, it won’t be able to retain its best workers, or inspire its employees to do their best work.

As management guru Peter Drucker famously said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Companies must be culturally competent to survive. Customers demand it.

With the rapid change in the composition of the workforce, companies and individuals must be willing to roll out the welcome mat to accept individual differences required to organically achieve higher levels of diversity into their work.

Leadership Must Be Engaged in Creating A Happier, More Resilient Workplace

It’s been proven that organizations that create the space to hear the voices of all its workers generate better ideas and are more successful over the long term.

Creating authentic connections with employees is at the heart of creating engagement and is proven to inspire employees to believe in the bigger picture. This can result in a happier, more collaborative workplace.

How To Get There?

Team coaching and leadership development programs can help organizations be less anxious, more resilient, and more willing to elevate sacred conversations to help employees do their best work.

The vision of Elevate Leadership Coaching is a world where the values of individuals and organizations are aligned in pursuit of equity, fulfillment, impact and success.

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