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What are Inclusive Behaviors?

Updated: Sep 30, 2022

The term "inclusion" has become lost in translation. This ideal of workplace culture has become more aspirational than operational; a concept so big, abstract, and vague that it can be near impossible to turn the idea of inclusion into a reality.

So let's simplify things. Inclusion means ACTION. It's what we do—from a senior executive making a company-wide policy change to support vulnerable groups to how people acknowledge/give credit to others for their unique contributions during meetings.

Here at Mattingly, we define inclusion as the BEHAVIORS that result in others feeling valued, respected, seen, and heard.

Now, if inclusion is all about behaviors, then what exactly are inclusive behaviors?

Inclusive behaviors result in others feeling comfortable and safe enough to bring their true authentic selves to work, especially those from underrepresented or historically disadvantaged groups.

Inclusion looks like asking about and learning from others' unique perspectives and amplifying the thoughts and ideas of marginalized group members. We like to break down inclusive behaviors into three major categories, as shown in the figure below.

Everyday Inclusion

The easiest to implement are behaviors that we refer to as "everyday inclusion," or the small actions we can take to make others feel valued, respected, seen, and heard. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Showing someone that you are actively listening as they speak