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The Six Signature Traits of Inclusive Leadership

This report describes six key traits of inclusive leadership that prepare leaders for today’s business environment of diverse markets, customers, ideas, and talent:

  1. Commitment: Staying committed to diversity and inclusion because these objectives align with leaders’ personal values and they believe in the business case.
  2. Courage: Speaking up and challenging the status quo.
  3. Cognizance of bias: Being mindful and aware of personal bias, as well as being attentive to organizational blind spots, such as groupthink, confirmation bias, and implicit stereotypes.
  4. Curiosity: Having a non-judgmental mindset and being willing to understand other people’s perspectives, despite the risk of ambiguity and uncertainty.
  5. Cultural intelligence: Being confident and effective in cross-cultural interactions by being aware of cultural stereotypes, while remaining deliberate and specific in communication and language.
  6. Collaboration: Creating an unbiased working environment where individuals feel valued, empowered, and comfortable to collaborate and share ideas.

In addition, this report outlines inclusive leadership on an organizational level. Businesses can develop leadership capabilities and build an inclusive workplace culture by:

  1. Strategic alignment: Prioritize inclusive leadership as a core pillar in the business’s D&I strategy.
  2. Recruitment: Emphasize inclusive leadership capabilities in job postings and interview questions.
  3. Capability and competency management: Include inclusive leadership capabilities within the business’s leadership competency model.
  4. Performance management: Use KPIs to measure inclusive behaviours and inclusion outcomes.
  5. Rewards and recognition: Reward and showcase leaders who role model inclusive behaviour.
  6. Leadership development: Assess inclusive leadership capabilities among senior leaders and management to identify any gaps, and then create a plan to address those gaps.
  7. System integration: Incorporate inclusive leadership into the strategy for developing current and future leaders.

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