What is Inclusion Development?
Inclusion is a personal experience, a sense of belonging; the feeling that I can participate in my social, economic and political communities and have my contributions acknowledged. Do I feel I belong? Inclusion is also a structural, systemic experience, the way the operating mechanisms of our society, our economy and our political communities support or limit participation of each of its members. We all participate in our world bringing our inheritance from the conversation backgrounds that socialized us (our cultures, traditions, places of origin, institutions). How we are socialized gives us instructions on how to see the world; we tend to operate as if the world is really that way.
Inclusion development is:
- Assessing current state of inclusion development; becoming aware of and taking self-responsibility for the constructed meanings we use to judge others and how we navigate our worlds.
- Developing a conscious relationship with how we make sense of our world and our capacity for choice in how we form our judgements, how we make sense of an experience and how we can expand our categories to make meaning.
- Developing skillful behaviors (e.g. communication, perspective taking, centered listening, etc.) to consciously create inclusive interactions.
- For teams, creating agreements to support inclusive behaviors and values; creating group reflection and monitoring processes, group metrics to check progress and impact of inclusive practices.
- For organizations, assessing inclusion development, selecting focus for development (e.g. hiring systems, communications, organizational culture, leadership development, etc.), implementing developmental initiatives to increase inclusion performance and evaluating/monitoring results.
How can Inclusion Development support you?
- Want to better understand why colleagues at work act the way they do? Inclusion Development can give you a lens to perceive and understand behaviors. From there you can choose ways to respond.
- Frustrated when people don’t act the way you expect them to? Inclusion Development can support you to apply an empathy for experience algorithm to understand what is feeding your expectations and how to connect to people acting in unfamiliar ways.
- Develop your capacity to maintain a calm core when triggered by conflict arising from differences.
- Develop your capacity to maintain a stance to explore and share perspectives even when you don’t agree. Your capacity to stay in the conversation supports you to find points of agreement, shared purposes and ways to move forward.
- For teams, develop your capacity to leverage diverse perspectives on your team towards high performance, creativity and adaptive action.
- For organizations, develop your institutional lens to understand and monitor inclusion development. Identify and implement systematic ways to feed inclusive organizational culture and systems.