What is inclusive leadership?

What makes people feel included in organizations? Feel that they are treated fairly and respectfully, valued and belong? Many things of course, including an organization's mission, policies and practices, as well as employee behavior.

But mostly it comes down to management. Research shows that what managers do and say makes a difference of as much as 70% to whether a person reports feeling included. Feeling included is important because the more people who feel included, the more people speak up, go an extra mile and collaborate. All of which ultimately elevates organisational performance.

The knowledge we have about inclusion and its importance for organizational performance, inclusive management appears as a management style that creates inclusive organizational culture. This results in an organization that is attractive to a diversity of customers, markets and talents.

What is inclusive leadership?

Inclusive management is basically designed to equip leaders to be able to:

·   Recruit and retain the brightest talents

·   Display a management behavior that holds all employees

·   Create well-being and a better working environment

What does the inclusive management style require?

Research shows that the inclusive conductor is particularly characterized by the following six signature characteristics:

1) Visible commitment: the inclusive leader articulates authentic commitment to diversity, challenges the status quo, holds others accountable and makes diversity and inclusion a strategic priority

2) Humility: The inclusive leader is bespectacred about his own abilities, admits mistakes and creates space for others to contribute.

3) Awareness of bias: The inclusive leader shows awareness of personal blind spots as well as shortcomings in the system and works hard to ensure a meritocracy.

4) Curiosity to others: The inclusive leader demonstrates an open mindset and deep curiosity about others, listening without judging and searching with empathy to understand those around them.

5) Cultural intelligence: The inclusive leader is aware of other cultures and adapts to the needs.

6) Effective collaboration: the inclusive leader empowers others, is aware of diversity in thinking and psychological safety, and focuses on group cohesion.

Why is inclusive leadership important?

·   Because it promotes equality and well-being

·   Because it helps to recruit and retain the brightest talents

·   Because it streamlines and increases productivity

- Because it helps organisations manage and motivate a diverse workforce

If you want in-depth advice on how you or your company can specifically promote an inclusive management style, please do not hesitate, contact us now!

The collaboration worked very well and great trust was created from the start, where Louise Marie and Nikoline were very thorough in identifying our needs, interest in the company, the organization and the participants

Louise Marie & Nikoline led the process with great impact and authority, based on their strong professionalities and solid experience. They were at eye level and matched the different levels of management in the facilitation. At the same time, they are both efficient and very pleasant to work with.

Dorthe Dinesen, HR Director, Tivoli

Want to learn more about inclusive leadership with us?

We have created an online course with GoLearn: "Inclusive Leadership: How to Put Diversity to Work"

On the course you will learn: 
  • How inclusive leadership helps create innovative workplaces
  • The 6 characteristics of an inclusive leader
  • How to increase awareness of your own and the organisation's biases
  • Where you can take immediate action to create a more diverse workplace

This course is for leaders in organisations who want to cultivate a culture that embraces difference and diversity. The course does not require prior knowledge of diversity management and leadership, but will complement with knowledge, tools and concrete action areas in inclusion management.

Portrait of Nikoline on a black background. She is facing the camera straight on and wearing a denim high-neck dress and silver hoop earrings.

Nikoline Nybo

BA Anthropology and Chaos Pilot.

Experience in cultural analysis and anthropological methodology, project management and process design, organizational development and facilitation.

Portrait of Louise Marie on a black background. She is facing the camera straight on and wearing a red v-neck jumpsuit.

Louise Marie Genefke

Cand. mag. Marketing & Communication, MA Management and External Lecturer AU.

Experience with management, talent and organizational development, facilitation and Employer Branding.