Everyone is Included...All People, All Places, All Ways

The Power of Inclusion

Everyone is Included
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The Power of Inclusion

Today we often hear the word inclusion used in the context of creating opportunities for all who desire to participate. When I think of inclusion, I focus on the internal behaviors and practices that are obvious to all which allow everyone to feel included in the quest to create success.

In my work as an organizational consultant, I have discovered that organizations which authentically embrace creating an inclusive culture where everyone feels valued are more likely to retain their top talent. With the current war on talent to keep the brightest and the best, it appears to make good business sense to explore how the power of inclusion supports sustained business success.

What does inclusion look like?

•Inclusion is the sharing of ideas from all perspectives.
•Inclusion is people working together despite differences to create success for a common cause.
•Inclusion is the creation of a culture where differences of thought and opinions are embraced with enthusiasm and celebrated.

What does inclusion not look like?

•Inclusion is not about creating the delusion that everyone will always get along.
•Inclusion is not about pretending to agree for the sake of avoiding conflict.
•Inclusion is not about ignoring the cultural and gender differences that may exist.

Within a truly inclusive environment, it is perfectly okay for people to have different perspectives. In fact, it is the leadership dynamic of allowing for the creation of diverse thoughts that provides the opportunity for innovation and high performance results to be achieved. Organizations that want to achieve sustainability understand the critical need to embrace internal cultural and gender differences, not minimize them.

So what makes organizational inclusiveness so powerful? An environment of inclusion is present when everyone feels free to offer their perspective in a professional manner without fear of rejection or loss of position.

I have encountered too many women who are reluctant to express their opinion within a male-dominated culture. They often fear being ridiculed for having a different opinion or approach.

People want to contribute to the long-term success of their organizations. Leaders should create a culture where everyone’s perspective is heard. Common courtesy must always be present because the reality is that not everyone is always going to agree. Being inclusive means becoming comfortable with allowing the disagreements to surface so that the best strategies can be determined after all opinions are heard.

Some of the known benefits of creating an inclusive workplace are:

•When everyone’s opinions are truly valued, the goals of the organization can be achieved in an accelerated manner.
•An inclusive environment minimizes the opportunity of an insider vs. outsider culture to gain traction.
•When people feel that they contribute to the greater good, they are more likely to go the extra mile.

In today’s tough, competitive business environment people want to feel valued for their contributions. The demonstration of valuing others does not always have to be monetary. Allowing emerging leaders to take on more responsibility is a good example of creating a win/win inclusive environment. As people feel engaged in creating tangible results they are more likely to stay onboard.

A combination of fresh thinking and experience is the most powerful ammunition an organization can have in its arsenal to beat the competition. The more organizations focus on creating an inclusive culture, the better opportunity they have to demonstrate agility in overcoming today’s economic barriers.

(Note: After I read this piece, I realized there were quite a few quotes that I could extract from it, so I contacted its author, Ms. Deborah Chambers Chima, and asked her for permission to post it in its entirety here at Everyone is Included. To the benefit of the many visitors to my quotes pages...by far, Everyone is Included's most popular pages, by the way...I have obtained her permission.

Deborah Chambers Chima, CEO of Chambers Consultant Group, Ltd. is an author, speaker, leadership coach, and consultant who collaborates with organizations and individuals to accelerate their productivity. You can visit her website at www.chambersconsult.com.)