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
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.