A graphic for the definition of Inclusive Leadership

What is Inclusive Leadership?

Inclusive leadership is a style of management that celebrates the individual’s strengths whilst also being supportive of their areas for development. An inclusive leader recognises each employee’s unique abilities in the context of who they are in the workplace. They demonstrate tolerance, understanding and empathy with each team member regarding their identities, life experiences and choices.

The changing business context that requires more significant innovation and agility has led to an evolution in leadership practice. Many acknowledge that a focus on enabling others is essential, not just for equality and equity but also for growth and performance. Leadership styles such as ‘Compassionate ‘, ‘Servant ‘or ‘Leader as Coach ‘, similar to inclusive leadership, promote leadership behaviours like trust, empathy, curiosity, enquiry and vulnerability. 

Psychological Safety is an outcome of Inclusive Leadership; both are critical features of a diverse and inclusive organisation. Evidence shows that enabling others builds better teams and helps organisations grow and outperform their peers. Because to capture and harness the full potential of individuals in a group, it is necessary for them to feel encouraged and safe enough to experiment and fail. These are essential elements for problem solving and creativity – critical business responses to the volatile context. 

The future of work with increasingly distributed leadership throughout teams and the probability of sustained hybrid and ‘work anywhere’ practices will continue to demand more from leaders. Understanding how to lead inclusivity begins with self-awareness and understanding the link between emotional regulation and behaviours. 


Related Concepts 

Psychological Safety

Related Resources 

To find out more about Inclusive Leadership, read ECC’s Intro to developing Inclusive leaders or Inclusive Leadership – future proofing your management style

To understand more about leadership and psychological safety take a look at Unlocking your leadership potential 

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