The need for inclusive work cultures – and the stable employee engagement it can foster – is relevant now more than ever. So in recent months, RW3 has been particularly focused on addressing the diversity, equity, and inclusion needs of our clients.
In our most recent addition to the Global Inclusion series, we've created "Becoming an Inclusive Leader," a course designed specifically to help leaders guide themselves and their teams in the right direction. This course reflects a hugely important aspect of integrating inclusion into an organization's systems, policies, and overall culture.
It's one thing to offer bias training or learn to identify and discuss problematic behaviors on an individual level. But taking it a step further and implementing inclusion on an institutional level requires leadership that appreciates, implements, and models consistently inclusive policies and behaviors. Take a look at the course highlights below to learn more about what this looks like:
Begin With a Targeted Assessment
As with all other RW3 courses, "Becoming an Inclusive Leader" starts with a short self-assessment. We use simple prompts that, when answered honestly, provide a gauge for learners to better understand how they respond to different concepts, values, and behaviors.
In this case, each question is designed to gauge how you understand different indicators of inclusive leadership practices and inclusive environments. You'll receive personalized feedback on each question so that you can integrate what you learn into the exercises in the following module.
Learn What Inclusive Leadership Looks Like
Once you have some insights from the self-assessment, you're ready to take a more detailed look at the characteristics of inclusive leaders. In the following modules, you'll learn about the value of inclusive environments and the role that leaders play in fostering them.
As you learn about each characteristic, you'll also receive corresponding tips. This will help you start to link each descriptor with behaviors and best practices that you can integrate into your own actions, team dynamics, and/or organizational policies.
Engage in Practical Exercises
RW3 prides itself on creating products that provide concrete, practical insights that are straightforward, easy to understand, and easy to implement. We want the experience to be fun and engaging for everyone, and we want you to walk away with real-world information that you can integrate into your daily life.
In this module, you'll walk through a detailed scenario that asks you to make leadership decisions based on what is happening on your team. The scenario offers multiple options that are at least somewhat inclusive, and you'll have to choose which one is best. This helps leaders recognize the nuances in complex team situations, and ultimately helps them integrate what they learn about inclusive leadership into their decision-making process.
Take Time to Self-Reflect
One thing that sets this course apart from others is that we wanted to hold leaders to a higher standard of self-reflection and critique. Part of learning to practice inclusion is learning to accept that we may not always have a positive impact – sometimes bias gets in the way, and we make mistakes. Part of what makes an inclusive leader, and therefore an inclusive workplace, is the ability to identify our blind spots, acknowledge our mistakes, and learn from them.
For the last module in this course, we invite learners to take their journey to a deeper level. Learners will be asked a number of questions about how they behave in the workplace and how others view their leadership practices. While these questions might make you feel a little uncomfortable at times, remember that going out of our comfort zones is often how we learn.
Leaders have an inherently powerful role to play in promoting inclusivity, so this course is a necessary part of any organization's journey on the road to the increased equity, engagement, and productivity that inclusion advances.