How To Promote Inclusive Interpersonal Skills In The Workplace


How To Promote The Development Of Inclusive Interpersonal Skills In The Workplace

The technological advancements and social changes of the last few decades have caused the workplace to become more diverse than ever before. People from different cultures, religions, ages, and ethnicities must collaborate on a daily basis for a common goal: the success of their organization. For that to happen, communication among them must be seamless and free of discrimination. Read on as we discuss 6 communication techniques that ensure leaders and employees develop and practice inclusive interpersonal skills.

The Good And The Bad Of Diversity In The Workplace

Diversity in the workplace is not only a result of socioeconomic factors but also a necessity for businesses that want to achieve innovation and success. By exchanging their unique ideas and perspectives, teams that consist of individuals with varied backgrounds can reach creative solutions that tackle even the most complex problems. A necessary condition for this exchange is a work environment that promotes open and clear communication. Unfortunately, despite its many benefits, diversity can cause misunderstandings and unconscious biases due to stereotypes and communication barriers. These challenges can hinder effective collaboration and keep businesses from enjoying the benefits of a diverse workforce.

6 Communication Habits For A Diverse Work Environment

Let’s see which communication techniques leaders and employees must learn to use to ensure an inclusive workplace where everyone is treated with equal respect.

1. Speak With Clarity

The main reason behind communication breakdowns in the workplace is the extensive use of complicated language. For one, employees tend to use acronyms, abbreviations, and industry-specific jargon that may alienate colleagues who are not familiar with them. Additionally, some phrases and sayings may have a regional or historical meaning for some but could cause confusion to others. In a world where collaboration with a diverse audience is becoming commonplace, the best way to ensure effective communication is to speak as clearly as possible. Say what you want to say without utilizing complicated language so that everyone is understood and welcome in the conversation.

2. Practice Active Listening

An inclusive interpersonal skill of utmost importance is active listening. It’s not uncommon for employees to have preconceived notions about other people or be too busy with their own affairs to give the needed amount of attention to their colleagues. But, despite the time it takes to step back and change your mentality of jumping to conclusions and making assumptions, it’s the best way to ensure an inclusive work environment. Through conscious listening, you can cultivate empathy and step into someone else’s shoes. Understanding your coworkers’ unique experiences and perspectives will help you figure out how to make them feel included and validated.

3. Use Inclusive Language

Apart from speaking with clarity, it’s also crucial to speak in an inclusive manner. Language has the unique power to quickly transform a work environment into a welcoming or hostile place. Although it’s usually not due to malintent, employees may use language that is less than respectful to their diverse counterparts. That would include using gender-specific words, such as “businessmen” instead of “business people,” or making assumptions about someone’s gender, ethnicity, or other characteristics. To avoid misunderstandings, use neutral language and leave your speculations in the past. Instead, practice your inclusive communication skills and make every one of your colleagues feel welcome.

Now, let’s see what more you can do as a leader or manager to promote inclusive interpersonal skills.

4. Encourage Open Communication

If, as a leader, you have made the decision to diversify your team, you must support it with the right practices. Specifically, you must foster an open communication system that encourages everyone to share their thoughts and ideas without fear of judgment. By encouraging this constant exchange of perspectives, you will make it easier for your employees to stop viewing the differences among them as a hurdle but rather as the competitive advantage that will make them a more efficient team. As you foster trust and transparency, you will start enjoying the full benefits of diversity in the workplace, such as innovation and advanced problem solving.

5. Provide DEI Training

Although it’s advisable to promote inclusive interpersonal skills through encouragement and modeling, nothing works quite as well as DEI training programs. Diversity, equity, and inclusion courses can be administered online and in person and are crucial in developing an awareness of the challenges that diverse workforces face every day. Specifically, by learning more about concepts such as unconscious bias, microaggressions, etc., employees can identify the actions that unwittingly complicate their colleagues’ professional lives. After pinpointing these behaviors, they can equip themselves with the necessary tools to navigate inclusive interactions successfully.

6. Address Microaggressions Promptly

Despite the valuable help training programs can provide your workforce, microaggressions and unconscious biases might still arise. What you, as a leader, need to do to ensure that they don’t have a negative effect on employee morale and collaboration is to address them as soon as possible. Brush up on your conflict management skills and make sure that no issue is left unhandled for too long. Keep in regular contact with your employees and implement an open-door policy so that everyone knows they can report such incidents. This zero-tolerance policy will foster a sense of trust within your organization and make everyone feel supported.

Keeping An Eye Out For New Inclusive Interpersonal Skills

Inclusivity in the workplace is an evolving subject. Phrases acquire new meanings, while new words are added to our vocabulary almost daily. It’s essential that you keep an eye out for new practices in the realm of DEI so that your organization continues to be a safe haven for employees of all backgrounds. The tips we shared in this article are a great starting point to help you develop inclusive interpersonal skills, so make sure to take the time to explore them and integrate them into your daily practices.


Source link

Leave a comment