Leading Diverse Teams, What Good Leaders Get Right

There are many leadership styles. Do they all work well and get the best out of the diverse teams?

We look at what good diverse team leaders get right and how they overcome the many challenges leaders face. Attitudes to inclusive leadership and diverse teams will define how you are perceived and successful as a leader you are.

Engaging and energising

The ability to engage and energise are skills required by any leader to inspire others to achieve, give their best and ultimately benefit the business.  Leaders should be role models that others want to emulate and work hard for.  A good leader will recognise individuals for their skills and talents, improve and expect and be prepared to listen and actively seek opinion. They will develop their team by imparting knowledge, delegating and not ruling with a rod of iron.  Leading a diverse team demands that individuals be treated as such and given equal opportunity to contribute to the team to feel valued and listened to. Their ideas count. 

Inclusion

To manage a diverse team, leaders must show authentic inclusion. Team members must feel they have a stake in the future and can leverage their perspectives and approaches so that learning and growth drive the business forward. There needs to be authentic value in both words and deeds, showing appreciation and respect for the contributions of all team members, irrespective of their diverse identities, talents and background. To do so, leaders must be aware of their biases and stereotypes that could influence their thinking and do all they can to neutralise and remove them. In fact, to successfully lead a team of diverse individuals, a good leader will seek to actively learn from the diversity within the team and ensure that team members are open-minded and will learn and be open to the opinions and backgrounds of others. 

High-engagement culture

A good leader will listen as much as they speak. This must be without bias if a leader is to create a team of individuals who are free to express their ideas without fear. Leaders must promote team relations that support a democratic, fair and supportive environment that deals with challenges and avoids authoritarian, defensive or favoured ways. They should challenge those that show disrespectful behaviour towards others and hold individuals accountable for any inappropriate behaviour to ensure everyone feels safe, included and valued.

Inclusive leaders will be transparent and expect transparency, thus engineering a shift away from exclusionary or stagnant cultures that damage businesses seeking to move ahead in a diverse and forward-thinking way. An open and accepting culture leverages team member differences to positive effect to inspire and encourage collaboration without borders or boundaries. In this way, team members feel motivated to do the best for themselves and the business.

Whether it is overcoming gender, race, background or sexual diversity: organisations that demonstrate inclusivity at every level will see better results. Those whose barriers and closed ceilings prevent them from exploring the wealth of talent and opinion that diverse backgrounds can bring will suffer for it. 

This article explains why diversity, equity and inclusion must not be put aside if leaders and businesses are to avoid being at a disadvantage.

There are many leadership styles. Do they all work well and get the best out of the diverse teams?

We look at what good diverse team leaders get right and how they overcome the many challenges leaders face. Attitudes to inclusive leadership and diverse teams will define how you are perceived and successful as a leader you are.

Engaging and energising

The ability to engage and energise are skills required by any leader to inspire others to achieve, give their best and ultimately benefit the business.  Leaders should be role models that others want to emulate and work hard for.  A good leader will recognise individuals for their skills and talents, improve and expect and be prepared to listen and actively seek opinion. They will develop their team by imparting knowledge, delegating and not ruling with a rod of iron.  Leading a diverse team demands that individuals be treated as such and given equal opportunity to contribute to the team to feel valued and listened to. Their ideas count. 

Inclusion

To manage a diverse team, leaders must show authentic inclusion. Team members must feel they have a stake in the future and can leverage their perspectives and approaches so that learning and growth drive the business forward. There needs to be authentic value in both words and deeds, showing appreciation and respect for the contributions of all team members, irrespective of their diverse identities, talents and background. To do so, leaders must be aware of their biases and stereotypes that could influence their thinking and do all they can to neutralise and remove them. In fact, to successfully lead a team of diverse individuals, a good leader will seek to actively learn from the diversity within the team and ensure that team members are open-minded and will learn and be open to the opinions and backgrounds of others. 

High-engagement culture

A good leader will listen as much as they speak. This must be without bias if a leader is to create a team of individuals who are free to express their ideas without fear. Leaders must promote team relations that support a democratic, fair and supportive environment that deals with challenges and avoids authoritarian, defensive or favoured ways. They should challenge those that show disrespectful behaviour towards others and hold individuals accountable for any inappropriate behaviour to ensure everyone feels safe, included and valued.

Inclusive leaders will be transparent and expect transparency, thus engineering a shift away from exclusionary or stagnant cultures that damage businesses seeking to move ahead in a diverse and forward-thinking way. An open and accepting culture leverages team member differences to positive effect to inspire and encourage collaboration without borders or boundaries. In this way, team members feel motivated to do the best for themselves and the business.

Whether it is overcoming gender, race, background or sexual diversity: organisations that demonstrate inclusivity at every level will see better results. Those whose barriers and closed ceilings prevent them from exploring the wealth of talent and opinion that diverse backgrounds can bring will suffer for it. 

This article explains why diversity, equity and inclusion must not be put aside if leaders and businesses are to avoid being at a disadvantage.

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