3 Ways to Create an Inclusive Workplace Culture

Our first value at DOUNTO is Love, and it is the underlying message of everything we do. This means being compassionate to the needs of others and spreading neighborly love wherever we go.

In leadership, love looks like inclusion, compassion and empathy, which help us create opportunities for diversity. Here are just a few techniques you can use to encourage diverse leadership throughout your organization, starting from a place of love:

  1. Be curious and assume positive intent. When we come from a place of curiosity, we approach ideas and others with childlike wonder and a Beginner’s Mind. This leads to assuming positive intent, which means believing that your colleagues, community members or friends are coming from a place of love as well. We love what Malcom Gladwell has to say about curiosity.
  2. Encourage and cultivate diverse conversation. We are living in an increasingly polarized world and often our conversations are strained by thinking in a binary way, e.g. “I’m right and you’re wrong.” We believe that Golden Leaders who show up from a place of compassion and empathy for others’ situations build trust better, allowing others to be more authentic, like Simon Sinek talks about in this TED Talk.
  3. Create opportunities for vulnerability and feedback. As a Golden Leader, one of the most important ways you can build a diverse and inclusive team is to start with vulnerability. Being vulnerable enough to ask for–and then listen to–feedback can help give everyone a voice and encourage creative problem-solving. See what Brené Brown has to say about vulnerability as a leader.

Creating spaces that encourage authenticity, inclusion and opportunity for feedback can not only help your teams work more effectively, but will ultimately lead those teams to achieve your mission faster.  As a leader, how do you encourage diversity, inclusion and compassion in your workplace? What can you do, even for just 5 minutes a day, to lead your team toward a more inclusive culture?

Susannah Stokes is the President and CEO of DOUNTO, Inc., a leadership development organization that provides 1:1 Leadership Coaching, Team Workshops, Corporate Diversity & Anti-Discrimination Training. She is a former Marine Corps Captain, a graduate of the US Naval Academy and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. She is dedicated to helping leaders Be the Change they wish to see in the world, by living and leading by The Golden Rule.