Often when individuals are first learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the first question they will ask is “What can I do right now to make my organization more inclusive?” This question is important because anyone, from entry-level workers to top-level executives, can practice inclusion.
What is inclusion?
Inclusive behaviors are “actions that make others feel valued, respected, seen, and heard. Inclusive behaviors enable members from different identity groups to fully contribute their unique perspectives and contributions to the workplace.” (Read more about inclusive behaviors in Inclusalytics).
Here at Mattingly, we break down inclusive behaviors to three levels: everyday inclusion, inclusive leadership, and allyship.
Everyday inclusion includes any behavior we can enact in our day-to-day interactions to show individuals that they are valued, respected, seen, and heard.
Inclusive leadership includes learning and meeting individual needs, holding others accountable for DEI, and building diverse teams.
Allyship is when someone uses their power and status to advocate and support someone who is different from them in some meaningful way.
How can you practice everyday inclusion?
There are many ways to integrate inclusion into your everyday behaviors. Below are some examples:
Micro-affirmations are “apparently small acts, which are often ephemeral and hard-to-see, events that are public and private, often unconscious but very effective, which occur wherever people wish to help others to succeed.”
These actions foster listening, inclusion, and belonging. Read more about micro-affirmations here.
Encourage psychological safety.
Psychological safety is the ability to speak honestly or make mistakes without fear of negative consequences or repercussions.
You can encourage psychological safety by showing encouraging participation in decision-making, validating the ideas of your colleagues, and soliciting input, especially from those who are not as vocal in meetings.
Learn more about under-represented communities that you don’t know a lot about.
Educating yourself is an important step to learning how to be more inclusive. Reading blogs like this one and others can give you the tools to be a more inclusive coworker.
Do you want to learn more about stepping up your inclusion game? Contact Mattingly Solutions today to learn more about the Mattingly Inclusion & Belonging Assessment (MIBATM).