Navigating the Path to Inclusive Leadership: Key Considerations for Training Rollouts

people in a workshop
Marissa Ellis
Marissa Ellis

Diversily Founder

In today’s dynamic workplace landscape, the demand for inclusive leadership has become more pronounced than ever. Rolling out inclusive leadership training is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor; it requires a thoughtful, organisation-specific approach to drive lasting change. 

I have learned a lot through our years of experience delivering high impact, game changing inclusive leadership programmes. Whilst the landscape keeps on changing as society slowly shifts, there are a number of considerations that will always be important. Here are some tips to ensure your inclusive leadership training is tailored to resonate with your organisation and achieves meaningful impact.

1. Move Beyond One-Off Training

Traditional one-off training sessions are often insufficient in instigating lasting change. Inclusive leadership is a mindset and a culture that needs time to take root. Instead of a single event, implement a phased approach with multiple checkpoints. Regular feedback sessions during the rollout can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the content and whether it resonates with participants.

2. Establish Psychological Safety

Inclusive leadership training can evoke strong emotions, both positive and negative. Establishing psychological safety is foundational for impactful educational results. Plan session attendees carefully, consider group dynamics, and employ expert techniques to foster an environment conducive to growth and learning. Creating a safe space for participants encourages open dialogue, making it easier to address challenging topics and perspectives. Psychological safety is the number one driver of team success. It is so important that we have a separate programme, that compliments our Inclusive Leadership programme at Diversily to help our clients with this fundamental topic.

3. Prioritise Experiential Learning

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are filled with terms and concepts that might be unfamiliar to participants. To prevent overwhelming your audience with conceptual materials, focus on creating experiential opportunities for growth. Engage participants emotionally, meet them where they are, and encourage personal reflections, authentic conversations, and vulnerability. By sharing real experiences, you create a platform for genuine understanding and motivate participants to embrace change.

4. Role Model Inclusive Behaviours

Facilitators play a pivotal role in setting the tone for inclusive leadership. Model inclusive behaviours by being curious and non-judgemental about participants’ perspectives and experiences. Ensure all voices are given an opportunity to be heard. This not only encourages a respectful learning environment but also demonstrates the values you want participants to embody in their leadership roles and day to day behaviour. 

5. Tailor Content to Your Organisation

One size does not fit all when it comes to inclusive leadership training. Every organisation has its unique culture, challenges, and strengths. Off-the-shelf training may not resonate as much as customised content that speaks directly to your organisation’s context. Ensure that the training includes quotes and examples specific to your company. This not only enhances relatability but also acknowledges the diverse experiences and perspectives within your organisation.

Understanding that individuals are at different points on their journey towards inclusive leadership is crucial. Tailoring the content allows you to address the specific needs of your workforce, making the training more engaging and relevant. By incorporating real-life examples and success stories from within your organisation, participants can better connect with the material and envision the positive impact of inclusive leadership within their specific work environment.

This customisation not only demonstrates a commitment to the unique character of your organisation but also increases the likelihood that participants will internalise and apply the concepts learned during the training in their day-to-day roles. In essence, tailoring content to your organisation ensures that the training speaks directly to the hearts and minds of your workforce, making it a powerful catalyst for change.


6. Make Learners Accountable

What happens after the training, is what matters most. The goal of training is to inspire participants to become catalysts of change. This means empowering them by providing inspiration and practical tips that enable them to take action and implement changes in their daily roles. Accountability fosters a sense of responsibility and ensures that the principles learned during training are actively applied in the workplace. To really make a difference build specific inclusive leadership goals into individual objectives. Create accountability groups and mechanisms for checking in, to share learnings and experiences, that persist long after the training programme is over. In conclusion, rolling out inclusive leadership training is a multifaceted endeavour that requires strategic planning and a commitment to long-term change. By moving beyond one-off sessions, establishing psychological safety, prioritising experiential learning, facilitating inclusive behaviours, tailoring content to your organisation, and making learners accountable, organisations can pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable workplace. The goal is to create a sustainable and inclusive culture, and investing in the right places will lead to long-term positive change.

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