What is inclusive leadership training and why is it important?

leadership training
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The importance of a leader’s ability to create an environment of inclusivity cannot be underestimated. Without inclusivity, engagement and commitment within organisations are rare. We know that engendering respect, dignity, trust, caring, and support are critical ingredients in building inclusivity and unleashing superior performance from individuals, teams, and the broader organisational community. It is through inclusive leadership training that participants come to grips with the pure wisdom on inclusivity.

The conversation about “what is inclusive leadership”, has at its heart the acknowledgement that what we really want from individuals, teams, and organisations is a value-added contribution. At the same time, we recognise that many people are more stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, and withdrawn than ever before in the world of work for various reasons. This makes a value-added contribution a remote prospect.

The real question then becomes why are people suffering in this way in organisations and what can be done to re-energise people? We want to ignite their spirits to give of their best freely and enthusiastically. Clearly some crucial conversations are needed to get to the root causes of negative dynamics, feelings, thoughts, and behaviours and begin the journey to reimagine positive possibilities within the workplace. 

Asking the right questions

Inclusive leadership training is important as it gets participants to start asking the important questions afresh. Participants emerge from such training with skills at appreciative inquiry. They go through a process of evolution, allowing them to focus increasingly on the perspectives of others as essential information that can be used to connect rather than polarise people.

With heightened awareness of others in terms of their values, strength, and potential, inclusive leaders begin to always strive to overcome limiting factors and encourage others to do the same. Centre stage becomes the desire to talk to other human beings and truly, often for the first time, understand their essence rather than superficial work masks.

Inclusive leadership approaches every situation as an opportunity for learning and growing; the goal being to seek out what is constructive and of universal worth in numerous conversations. It is through inclusive leadership training that time and attention are given to steer towards the empowerment and upliftment of others.

Focusing on the right outcomes

In the face of problems and challenges, attention is shifted away from judgement on right or wrong. What is helpful in the situation carries more weight and people avoid getting bogged down and defeated. The strength of an inclusive leadership orientation is that it opens up new spaces for people to explore and express themselves. This process naturally flows towards a stronger sense of inclusion. 

Inclusive leadership training teaches us that fear of the unknown is destructive and unhelpful. The greater good is served by focusing on the here and now in the moment. This is where new creative possibilities lie. Rather than remaining entrenched in the past or future, it is better to concentrate on uncovering individual, team, and organisational collective assets that can be usefully harnessed to move forward with consensus and buy-in from all.

When we begin to see through inclusive leadership that proactivity in relationships is the answer and the impetus is open and genuine dialogue, we begin to make real progress in unearthing our collective truth and similarities.

Inclusive leadership training is important because it reminds us that “we are all connected and operate within living fields of thought and perception. The world is not fixed but in constant flux; accordingly, the future is not fixed, and so can be shaped. Humans possess significant tacit knowledge – we know more than we can say. The question to be resolved: How to remove the blocks and tap into that knowledge in order to create the kind of future we all want?” Bohm, 1998: unknown.

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