A year ago, I facilitated a conversation with the awesome Catherine Chang on how we can make space for diverse voices to be heard in our work places. How are leaders doing one year later to foster more inclusive conversations at work?
One senior executive I’ve been coaching is an expert in his field who moved up through the ranks at the same company over 25 years. With in depth knowledge and expertise, he’s known as the “go to guy” in the room. Recently he acknowledged the extent of his privilege, and how it enabled him to progress into leadership with relative ease. He’s spent part of last year learning about systemic racism in his community and reflecting on how he can change his own behaviour to create a work environment that is more inclusive. For starters, he’s working on taking up less space in meetings. Saying less in order to give others a chance to be heard.
This shift takes deliberate attention. A focus on deep listening instead of pushing forward with an agenda. Acknowledging when you don’t have all the answers. And perhaps most importantly, being curious about other points of view instead of advocating for your own.
Another senior executive I’ve been coaching is the only woman on the leadership team at her organization. Based on 360 feedback she received, her competence is highly valued and according to the CEO she is a superstar. Yet she often feels excluded from the “boys club”. The story is familiar. She doesn’t play golf. When she’s not working, she’s busy parenting two teens who demand a lot of her energy and attention. She’s also an introvert by nature, and it takes effort to engage in small talk, especially with peers who seem to share so much more in common.
Recently, she decided to speak to the CEO to bring her concerns to his attention. This wasn’t easy for her to do. She didn’t want to be seen as a complainer. To his credit, the CEO reassured her about her value to the team and acknowledged that they could all be doing better. Since then, she’s noticed subtle shifts at the senior leadership table. He’s asking more questions and inviting her to share her views more explicitly. Change isn’t happening overnight, but the CEO is modelling an inclusive style at the executive table and that gives my client hope.
How are you showing up to create space for more inclusive conversations?
What efforts are you making to understand different points of view?
When do you say less in order to hear more?
To learn more about how to create more positive and inclusive conversations in your work place, contact us for a complimentary call and tip sheet.
NEW AND NOTEWORTHY
Discover your Work Style Preferences and Improve Work Place Relationships
I recently became a licensed partner of the Wiley Brand EverythingDiSC©.
EverythingDiSC© is a user-friendly platform and I’ve been impressed with its applications for professional growth and building stronger teams. Personally, it’s given me a better understanding of my priorities and preferences, and practical strategies for working effectively with colleagues who have different styles.
If you are interested in learning more, I will be offering Workplace DiSC© at a reduced price over July and August. For $495 + HST receive an EverythingDiSC© Profile + Introductory Call + 60 minute Coaching Session. Group workshops will be coming in the fall. Stay tuned!
We will be taking some time off in July. Our response time may be a bit slower than usual. Have a great summer!