Advocating With Connection: 3 Behaviours for Inclusive Leaders
To create a thriving organisation that attracts and retains the best talent, inclusive leaders are committed to creating a culture focused on the varied experiences and viewpoints of their people. The first step leaders can take to grow inclusivity is to build strong relationships with individual team members and peers.
When leaders build deliberate connections with all their team members, they’re empowered to see potential in everyone and understand how each person can contribute to their team and organisational goals. As they create genuine relationships with their people, they’re able to draw from personal experience when considering opportunities for individual or career growth and professional advancement – and become effective advocates for their people’s success.
Advocate with Connection
When inclusive leaders make connections with their team members, they can advocate for each individual based on a knowledge of their potential and career vision. Advocating with connection looks like:
Having direct conversations with others as you explore new opportunities
This kind of communication is important because it gives you valuable information and context about an individual from their perspective. As a result, a leader won’t disregard team members who don’t have direct experience, nor will they assume that someone having specific skills for an opportunity means they want to pursue it.
Creating an open team culture
Showing your team you value each member and their contributions creates a culture of openness and confidence that encourages connection, making it easier for you to advocate for people and for people to advocate for themselves.
Investing time to support others as they take on new opportunities
Connecting with your people matters – even after you’ve advocated for them. Giving a team member an opportunity and then being hands-off isn’t a recipe for success. Continue to support this capable team member as they learn the ropes and watch your investment pay off for the entire organisation.
In addition, devote your time and energy to helping people develop their abilities – whether or not they’re taking on a new role. This is an investment connection that benefits everyone down the road.
Become an Informed Advocate
By building intentional connections with each team member, leaders create relationships that make them an excellent advocate for their people – and for their possibilities. Knowing team members personally empowers leaders to raise every individual’s visibility in a specific, meaningful way that facilitates growth and opportunity for everyone.