As we celebrate Black History Month, Chief Inclusion Partner Wade Hinton sheds some light on creating an inclusive workplace.
Over the last few years, many organizations have focused on inclusion and diversity (I&D). Not only is implementing an I&D strategy the right thing to do, organizations are also seeing positive impact on their bottom line, recruiting, and company culture.
As we celebrate Black History Month, we’ve asked our Chief Inclusion Partner Wade Hinton to share some insight on how to create a more inclusive workplace, whether you’re working with people in your office, a professional driver, or warehouse team member. Here are three simple questions to help advance your inclusion journey and disrupt existing bias.
Have I leaned in to better understand someone else’s experience?
This question goes right to the heart of challenging your perspectives because it requires you to act. This can range from reading books and articles, to watching documentaries, to partnering with nonprofit organizations. Challenge yourself to celebrate the story of groups with backgrounds different than your own. Another helpful strategy is intentional listening. Bryan Stephenson, a lawyer, social activist, and professor, calls it “getting proximate.” In other words, get in proximity with people such as coworkers, friends, and community members and listen to their experiences.
Have I made room for voices to be present other than my own?
It’s difficult to create equitable spaces if we don’t seek out more voices. Inviting other voices can be challenging because our routines and cultures encourage us to embrace the familiar. The next time you’re seeking input on decisions, take a moment to be intentional about including other voices.
Am I creating space to encourage others to be their authentic selves?
Inclusion champion Vernā Myers said, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” Perhaps belonging is being able to dance to your own beat. For this to happen, we have to create an environment that is psychologically safe and encourages authenticity. This requires being okay with vulnerability or not knowing the answers. It also requires us to be more authentic, embracing our own imperfections.
As you navigate your own inclusion journey, there will be no silver bullet. However, asking the right questions and having growth mindset is a great step in the right direction.
Want to learn more? Check out Wade’s TedX: Three Questions to Leading and Living More Inclusively.