Decades into the digital age, global communication has given rise to awareness, connection, important lessons and inspiration. We can see the missteps on the path behind us and imagine a brighter destination ahead. As glass ceilings shatter past perceptions of race, gender, socioeconomic class and disability, the workplace has become a primary meeting place for people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. We’ve come a long way, but the path ahead, though better lit, is long as well. While representation and awareness improves, persons who use managerial skills should remember that the work of inclusion is paramount.
The importance of soft skills has gained new focus in recent years. The human face of the workforce and the purpose-driven habits of consumers have led to tremendous growth in the business world. Due to their positions within companies, managers are the face of implementing better practices. Developing inclusive managerial skills not only makes work life better for individuals and teams, but improves overall performance and employee retention for companies.
Keep reading to learn more about key inclusive managerial skills to develop.
Lead With Humility
Though not a word that has always been associated with business, humility is a proven fundamental of effective management. It’s also a key element of inclusive management. When a manager is willing to admit mistakes, acknowledge shortcomings and seek out opportunities to learn, they instill trust within their team, foster communication and open a path to collaboration. Team members are more comfortable approaching managers who demonstrate humility, which means they’re less likely to suffer issues quietly, develop feelings of resentment, and burn out.
The humble manager proactively seeks feedback on their performance from their team members and openly shares feedback they’ve received from their superiors. Share action items based on the feedback you receive and on areas for improvement you’ve learned on your own. Implement lessons and engage your team in tracking your progress. Humility enables you to maintain a healthy back-and-forth with your team, keeping the conversation going and fostering a culture of empathy and growth.
Develop Fluency in Humanity
Our perspectives are shaped by our own lived experiences. Members of historically and presently marginalized communities have different perspectives from people who aren’t part of those groups. Neurotypical and neurodivergent individuals often see and respond to things differently from one another. People who grew up without money have had very different experiences from those raised with wealth. National, regional and religious backgrounds and age also shape perspectives.
It is the responsibility of a manager, regardless of their own background, to become fluent in humanity. This includes learning about cultural differences in communication and traditions and getting familiar with different perspectives and perspective-based triggers. Being fluent in humanity also requires learning to believe people when they share a perspective that differs from your own.
This inclusive managerial skill is widely beneficial for you and your team. In addition to helping you identify and address issues early, without putting the onus on wronged parties to reach out, it helps you develop empathetic conflict resolution skills which help you infuse the work itself with awareness and delegate tasks more mindfully.
Support Individuals as Well as the Whole
Inclusive managers remember that while their team is one unit, it is composed of individuals. Celebrate authenticity in your team. Historically, the business world has required a certain amount of assimilation with dominant norms, which can be alienating for people who fall outside of those norms.
Encourage your team to show up as themselves while establishing reasonable professional boundaries. Every individual needs to feel safe, supported and heard as well as free to exist without pretense. When employees feel authentic at work it improves their output as well as their job satisfaction.
Modeling a celebration of your team’s individuality will help them do the same, forming a more cohesive unit. Give individuals regular feedback on performance, sharing wins and areas for improvement while also asking them what they need, what they’re interested in doing and if there are any development opportunities they’d like to pursue. Do the same with your team. Give them general feedback and encourage collaborative conversation about what they need as a group.
Embrace Inclusive Leadership with ESP IT
ESP IT puts the human element in technology professional recruitment and consulting. We value the opportunity to make affirming professional connections between our clients and candidates. We take the time to get to know a company’s hiring needs and environment as well as their tech stack, operations, and perks. With open and honest communication, we find the right consultant or candidate to provide the technical prowess and cultural fit that they need. We prioritize candidates’ needs as well, making sure they’re entering a workplace environment that will best support their expertise, goals and personality.
Partner with ESP IT today to foster a great environment and lasting success. Contact us at 612-337-3000 or visit us online at https://esp.com/.