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Inclusive in the work environment – Being inclusive is so much important in today’s professional life. Imagine that you’re in your new job, and you see all your co-workers and colleagues are eating lunch together and not inviting you at all. How would you feel? Of course, you won’t feel top of the world. In any professional or personal setting, not being inclusive sucks. Most probably, you’ve heard this expression that what you give comes back to you. So when you know that not being inclusive is not good enough, why not make a commitment not to make anyone exclusive at any moment of time.
The thing is, it’s a realization within yourself. No one can make you become more inclusive. You need to do it yourself. Talk to yourself for a moment about this. And read this article. This article will help you realize the value of being inclusive and to help others feel inclusive too.
Now, in this article, we will talk about what being inclusive means! Then we move on to show you some practical ways to become more inclusive. Lastly, at the conclusion, we will discuss the benefits of it in a professional setting.
Sounds good? Let’s begin.
What does being inclusive mean?
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We all love to belong to something bigger than ourselves. No one wants to get judged, and no one wants to be left behind. Feeling behind is the worst feeling in the world, and if it happens in your professional arena, then nothing can be worse than that.
So, how do you improve when you’re excluded because you’re a new employee or you’re an introvert and don’t like to be a blabbermouth all the time. The only solution is to not exclude anyone from your area of connection.
To illustrate this situation, let’s take a hypothetical situation.
You’re a new employee in an organization. It’s your first day, and you are feeling nervous about how everything would go along! Then to your utter shock, you see that you’re not even paying heed to. During lunchtime, everyone around you is sitting and having lunch, and you’re ignored completely. Even while being in work, no one is feeling the need to introduce themselves to you, and as the day goes on, you’re feeling very much anxious.
So, what to do in this situation?
If people don’t include you in their group, share your resources with them to include them in your group. You don’t need to feel left out. If they’re not sharing lunch with you, simply share your lunch with them. This is a simple tactic you can use everywhere.
If you want to feel inclusive, simply include others in your group. Instead of blaming and complaining about why they do not include you in their group, it’s a great idea to share your resources with them. People love people who love to share their resources.
Being inclusive is easy. You just need to use common sense. You also need to realize that everyone is human and everyone is imperfect. So, there’s always room for judgment, mistakes, taking you for granted, making conclusions, thinking wrong about you and so on and so forth. So don’t let these obstacles stop you from being inclusive.
In the next section, we will talk about ways you can become more inclusive. Just read and if you feel, take notes and apply. It may change your professional life.
Ways to become more inclusive.
There are a thousand ways through which we can become inclusive in an organizational setting. But we will pick the top ten which will help you become inclusive. All others are just the sub-parts of these tips. Let’s get started.
It’s such an easy word. We have already mentioned it before. But this is the most effective method to become more inclusive in an organization. Whenever you see any resistance from your peers and colleagues, simply see what you can share with others. It can be your lunch, tips or resources like books/systems/processes. You can share what you think is feasible for you to hold on to for a long time. Here’s a point of caution. Don’t share everything. And don’t share the things that you cannot keep up for a long time. So, start small. Share things that you would be able to do even one year from now—for example, your lunch for the day. You can share your lunch every day if you like. But don’t share your personal belongings. Even being inclusive has a limit. You would try your best to be inclusive, but for that, you shouldn’t sacrifice your own values and principles. Know till what you can share and then share to be more inclusive.
This is a big issue for most of the newcomers or people who feel shy. They can’t initiate a talk or a conversation. But give it a try. If you’re too scared, go deep and understand the source of your fear. Is there any reason that you feel so scared to talk to a stranger? There’s only one fear and that she may not respond to you properly. Usually, in a professional setting, 90% of people respond warmly. Even if they don’t feel to talk to you, they don’t want to do it in the face. Just go out and initiate. Give your introduction and leave room for the other person to share himself/herself. You can also write a script of introduction and practice before you initiate. The thing is when you think whether you should talk to the stranger or not, maybe s/he is also feeling the same thing. Don’t wait for anybody to become inclusive. Choose inclusiveness. Initiate for a conversation. Or initiate a small talk after office. Choose your time, choose your people and choose your script. But initiate to become more inclusive.
Most people talk but don’t empathize. So to be more inclusive, you need to empathize. As per one recent research, it was found that the leaders who were given a top rating by their subordinates are all empathetic and compassionate. They put themselves in the shoes of their employees and think from their perspective. Thus, instead of judging them, they allow the employees to expand. And thus, it creates magic. They become more inclusive, and the leaders also get a team always supporting them for their projects. You can do the same. Instead of judging a co-worker for her comments, simply look into her eyes and try to understand her. Empathize in your heart, even if you’re not able to express it in your professional arena. If you empathize, you would be able to make yourself and others much more inclusive.
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Before you ever become inclusive, you need to know why you need to become inclusive. Being inclusive helps you produce things that individuals cannot be done. We all are interdependent human beings. And that doesn’t change when we are in a professional setting. On the surface, we may be different. But actually, we all have an invisible chord connecting us in humanity. Every day before you jump off to make conclusions and judgments, take some time to ruminate about why you need to be more inclusive. And it will do the trick.
This is the age of globalization. Within seconds everything can be connected with each other at a global level. Thus, naturally, many cultures, people, religions, personalities come together and work in a common setting. So, if you can’t handle diversity properly, you won’t be able to be inclusive. Imagine that you’re judging someone on the basis of his culture and discriminating against him on the basis of his upbringing. Will he feel inclusive when you’re around? Moreover, will you be able to include him in your organization? No. So, go deep and look deep. Don’t judge people on the basis of what is visible on the surface. Everyone is different. And you need to embrace that if you want to be inclusive.
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Open your mind:
There’s a beautiful phrase which speaks – “Be open to everything, attached to nothing.” If you open your mind to know a person more, you will be able to make yourself more inclusive, and you will make him/her inclusive too. Instead of reacting according to your year-long programming in your mind, take some time and talk to yourself. Instead of judging someone, open your mind, be curious. You will see as you begin to learn a person, you would be able to learn a lot from that person. A person is like a book with many, many years of experience. If you simply be curious and try to learn what s/he has to offer, becoming inclusive will be much easier than you think.
Conduct informal meetings:
Create some framework which will allow you to conduct a monthly or quarterly meeting where all people from all cultures and will share their cultures with all of you. It’s like taking a seminar from all kinds of people from all over the world and taking notes and learning from them. There can be no big way to celebrate inclusiveness. This sort of informal meeting will not only make you become more inclusive, but these meetings will also bind the whole organization in a beautiful bond. And if any crisis period arises in the near future, you will find that most of your employees are behind you, supporting you. This is called inclusiveness in its rightest terms.
Write thank-you notes:
If you’re the owner of a company and make all the decisions for your organization, then once a month or once a year, write a letter to each of your employees. Don’t just say ‘thank you. Know why you are saying ‘thank you to them. Yes, it’s difficult to find out who is doing what. But if you can delegate the work to someone about finding out about what each of your employees is doing during the year, it wouldn’t be a great issue. Just write the reason and say ‘thank you.’ And sign your name. It would be an honour to all your employees. They will feel appreciated. And being appreciated is one form of being inclusive. Do you know how people become more affiliated to an organization? It is to the extent they feel inclusive. So why don’t you give them the opportunity to become more affiliated to your organization?
Do inclusive training every year:
This is costly for a lot of organizations. At least many organizations view the cost of training as an expense instead of seeing it as an investment. But if you value inclusiveness and you know how inclusiveness can help you, you would know that how beneficial it is to do some sensitivity training programs on inclusiveness and diversity. They are not costly if you think of the long term benefits.
Develop your culture to be more inclusive:
You need to create a culture which naturally encourages employees to become more inclusive. You can post a coordinator in every corner of the office as “Inclusion Executives” to oversee how people are behaving with each other. And if anyone (new employees or shy people) is feeling left out, they will help them get connected with the group. If this can be done, employees working in the organization will understand the values of being inclusive and be naturally inclusive after some time.
Benefits of being inclusive
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There is no one benefit of being inclusive. But here, we will give you the top five so that you can understand why becoming inclusive helps you a lot to build and sustain your professional career and your organization.
- It helps you become more progressive and to create a bond among all employees which can last a lifetime.
- It helps organizations create a synergy which helps them create better results and makes them more productive.
- Inclusiveness helps create more love in the workplace and reduces competition among each other. Thus, the working environment improves a lot.
- Inclusiveness reduces the toxicity from the working environment and helps people get connected to each other irrespective of their varied cultures, personalities and diversities.
- Being inclusive sustain an organization for a long time as it fosters growth, expansion and interdependency.
This is a comprehensive guide on being inclusive. All you need to do is to read the article, pick the thing you can implement right now and go ahead and implement it. Go. Being inclusive is the new form of efficiency in the organization.