Inclusive Leadership and Organizational Culture Term Paper

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National Urban Fellows (2017) defines inclusion as “being at the table at all levels of the organization, being a valued contributor and being fully responsible for your contribution to the ultimate result.” An inclusive leader, therefore, is one who brings all members of a team to the table so that their input can be effectively communicated and received. It recognizes that a diverse team has valuable perspectives that, when contributed in a meaningful way, helps to form a more unified front that leads to a cohesive organizational culture. With a team whose new members are from Germany, Greece, Iran and Singapore there are considerable differences to be expected. As the GLOBE data indicates, the German and Greek members are more likely to be assertive than the Iranian and Singaporean members, while the member from Singapore is most likely to be the most future oriented. Gender equality is not likely to be especially high as an ideal among any of the four new members but other issues like a sense of individualism vs. collectivism is more likely to be strongly felt by the Asian member than by the Western members. Understanding how ethnicity and communication style are likely to be presented, it is crucial for inclusive leaders to know what to expect and how to prepare so that the team can work to promote a positive organizational culture that will enrich one and all.

Inclusive Leadership

The traits of inclusive leadership include the ability to self-monitor individual behavior and to promote this monitoring, and having a cultural intelligence that is akin to social and emotional intelligence (Ayman & Korabik, 2010).

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Inclusive leaders will display a willingness to hear others but also the skills necessary for communicating effectively with a diverse group—such as knowing what types of people are more likely to avoid conflict and what types of people are more likely to be assertive.

Knowing these cultural aspects can help to reduce the risk of confusion and personal offense when certain members display methods of communicating that are different from those generally displayed by others. Inclusive leaders have to be socially, culturally and emotionally aware of how interactions affect others based on cultural backgrounds and expectations. Additionally, by knowing how various cultures communicate in the workplace, inclusive leaders can help to create the right type of environment of respect and appreciation among members (Maier-Lorentz & Leininger, 2008).

Key Leadership Skills

Key leadership skills needed to create an inclusive organizational culture include the ability to build networking bridges—i.e., to align members of the team who are most compatible so that they can work productively with one another; the ability to demonstrate respect to all people of all backgrounds so that a culture of appreciation and openness is generated by the example of the leader; the ability to build and strengthen relationships among workers who are less compatible so that they may be able to work together well in the future—a task that requires extensive planning and preparation and the implementation of team building exercises where different members are paired with people whose views and methods of communication contrast so that they can work on learning the ways to communicate more effectively; and the ability to promote awareness within the team.….....

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Ayman, R., & Korabik, K. (2010). Leadership: Why gender and culture matter. American Psychologist. American Psychologist, 65(3), 157-170.

Maier-Lorentz, M. & Leininger, M. (2008). Transcultural nursing: Its importance in nursing practice. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 15(1), 37.

National Urban Fellows. (2017). Inclusive leadership. Retrieved from

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