“First Do No Harm - How to build leaders who give inclusive feedback,” a blog post from the Association for Talent Development (ATD), provides some tangible and essential behavior for leaders to consider on how to deliver feedback through an inclusive lens. The author talks about creating a culture of inclusion where individuals can bring their whole selves to work so that “ when issues do occur, they feel safe to speak up and are more comfortable hearing feedback.” They mention that to do so, leaders must have skills such as a growth mindset, compassion, and active listening.
However, I was surprised not to see the acknowledgment of trust as a foundational element to building an inclusive culture. Dr. Stephen R. Covey identifies two components of a trusting relationship - Credibility and behavior - Credibility is who we are, and behavior is what we do. The alignment and consistency of these two characteristics create the basis for a trusting relationship.
To build trust and set the stage for a culture of inclusion, leaders can
Align behaviors and language.
Be explicit with their desire to build trust and develop metrics that measure it over time.
Be vulnerable and share learnings from failures.
Act in ways that indicate reliability and competence.