Let’s talk about Chris, a newly appointed leader.
Chris has just been promoted to lead an accounts team of four people in her company. She is determined to do a good job of it. She knows her new team will have challenging but achievable targets.
She is, however, worried about how to lead people. Over the past five years in the same organisation, she has experienced poor leadership. Her CEO and immediate manager, John, has a very aggressive approach, has a couple of favourites that he spends more time with and does not listen to or support his people. There is low morale in John’s company of 20 people and there is a high turnover of staff.
Chris wants to ensure that her own team are highly motivated to achieve their targets so she researches what she might do. She comes across the concept of inclusive leadership. But how can Chris use an inclusive leadership style to motivate her team?
Firstly, what is inclusive leadership?
I love this definition of inclusive leadership from Juliet Bourke and Andrea Espedido. It is ‘leadership that assures that all team members feel they are treated respectfully and fairly, are valued and sense that they belong, and are confident and inspired.’
Their research suggests that teams with inclusive leaders are ‘17% more likely to report that they are high performing’ and ‘20% more likely to say they make high-quality decisions’.
There is much that companies can do from an organisational perspective to become more inclusive. But what can an individual manager do with their team?