Quality #10: A powerful leader values diversity and inclusion


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This article continues to uncover the 21 qualities showcased in my new book, Healing Leadership: How to Lead, Love, and Thrive in Business and Life.


During the interviews with 41 industry leaders, we uncovered these qualities so that you can increase your confidence, remove self-doubt, and develop a growth mindset to advance as a leader and support your team to deliver on the organization's objectives.


In previous articles (available from our blog), we discussed the first nine leadership qualities healing and empowering leaders must possess to not only survive but thrive in these tough times:

  1. Communicate powerfully, including listening.

  2. Show empathy and high emotional intelligence.

  3. Value and empower their team.

  4. Set the vision.

  5. Are flexible.

  6. Are Transparent.

  7. Manage and lead through change.

  8. Build trust and solve problems

  9. Lead with authenticity

In this article, we discuss leadership quality #10: diversity and inclusion.


Diversity & Inclusion In The Workplace


Human beings need belonging. As leaders, when we are looking at our workplace, it behooves us--it's in our best interest--to create the type of environment that welcomes diversity and fosters a sense of belonging.


Only engaging a workforce and people like us, think like us, and act like us adds very little value when operating in a marketplace where your audience is also of many different backgrounds and perspectives.

Ideally, within your organization, you want to create a microcosm of the marketplace. It's also fair that everyone involved has the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas and contribute to the best of their abilities.

From a business perspective, it is smart business to value diversity, equity, and inclusion. From a human perspective, it is humane to value people despite anything that may seem to be different from you for their thoughts, ideas, views, and gifts.


Like you, I believe that I have unique gifts, and when I am engaged in performing my job as a leadership coach, transformational speaker, career, strategist, and author, I bring those gifts forward.

My perspective, which is very different from yours, which is very different from the next person, makes what I share with you unique.

If people can relate to me from my background and perspective, and I'm able to impact their lives to improve how they work, lead, or live, then I've done my job.


What has been your experience with diversity and inclusion?


Have you been open to new ideas?


Have you been open to listening to others with perspectives and attributes different from yours?


When we talk about diversity equity inclusion, we're looking at creating that sense of belonging in the workplace so that everybody is welcomed to share their gifts to the best of their abilities.

As a healing leader, how you approach diversity, equity, and inclusion (EDI) is one of the areas that I want to make sure you don't have a blind spot.


This topic is one of many we discuss in Healing Leadership because we must look at each other as humans first and foremost and allow ourselves the space to explore and get curious about the other humans we influence.

Understanding Your Shadow


There's something in the coaching world called shadow work. Many psychologists, professional coaches, and studies address this aspect of human potential. Along these lines, there's a plethora of research exploring the internal family system (IFS)--our inner world, our psyche. Succinctly, shadow work and IFS delve into understanding the parts of our personality that are not attractive to us, the ones we dislike and usually shun.


How is working with our "shadow" relevant to the discussion of EDI? Some of us tend to say that I don't like you because you think or behave in this way.

When we feel that someone triggers us, shadow work posits that the trigger is a red flag that we haven't accepted in ourselves the behavior from someone else that provoked us.


For example, if someone is argumentative and always has the opposite point of view, sometimes not because she disagrees, but because she wants to challenge you to see the other perspective (that would be me), you might find that annoying.


The shadow work would suggest inquiring about the relationship that you have with that part of yourself that hasn't accepted that you too have an "argumentative" side--and thus your rejection of the argumentative person.

How does this apply to business when you are at work and annoyed with a team member, your manager, a client, or a prospect? If you get annoyed by something they are doing, the minute you notice getting annoyed, get curious.


Notice what annoys you about the person's behavior and write it down on a piece of paper--perhaps after you are out of the situation. Then ask yourself, what is it about me that rejects it? Because if you are triggered by it, shadow work indicates that you have not acknowledged that behavior in yourself.

There are many parts of us that we may not embrace. As a result, we shut them down. When we do that, we are not embodying the full expression of who we are as humans. We are excluding those parts of us that aren't attractive attributes.


We tend to embrace the parts that make us feel good about ourselves and evade and disclaim others. In the meantime, from a stance of non-acceptance, we become judgmental and blame and point the finger at others showing those aspects of themselves authentically and inherently create a wedge and sense of separation.


I invite you to reflect on these concepts, assess whether your role as a leader can benefit from embracing your shadows, and in doing so, you'll become more empathetic of your team's shadows and approach them constructively, with vulnerability and authenticity.

Bringing It All Together


I believe that we're struggling with diversity, equity, and inclusion as a topic, as a part of our lives and work, because we may be under the illusion that we are separate and inherently different. We're using our ideas, skin color, religion, and physical capabilities, to create a divide when in fact, we are all imperfect humans.


We are all uniquely talented and possess an array of qualities and imperfections--if you want to call them that. When we realize that others also have unique abilities and shortcomings, we stop pointing the finger and instead get curious, realizing that this is what it means to be human.


Easier said than done? Today, being a leader who values diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential to lead powerfully and build productive and creative teams that deliver results.


If you need support, you can reach us at www.callwithginny.com to set up a complimentary strategy session and explore how our programs can help you and your leaders gain these skills and get out of survival mode and into thriving mode. Your success and that of your team and organization depend on it.


In the meantime, be fearless! (act despite the fear)


Coach Ginny 💕


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DR. GINNY A. BARO, PhD, MBA, MS, CPC, is an award-winning international transformational speaker, leadership coach, career strategist, and #1 bestselling author of Healing Leadership and Fearless Women at Work. Named one of the Top 100 Global Thought Leaders, she helps organizations and ERGs build inclusive and impactful leadership dream teams. She has successfully facilitated leadership training, masterminds, and coaching programs for individuals and Fortune 500 companies with more than 140,000 employees and delivered keynotes impacting global audiences. To learn more, visit ExecutiveBound.


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