3 ways to support inclusion
Peer inclusion helps a person feel seen, heard, and included. It happens when one feels included in their environment, with a safe space to share ideas, consider options, and overcome obstacles. Studies show, when someone feels included, they feel more motivated and want to come to work every day. Here are three ways to support an inclusive culture.
Be helpful: Lending a helping hand can come in many different forms, including providing information, making introductions, giving endorsements, and offering advice. Also, when you support someone, you have a positive impact on their emotions, which often has a reciprocal effect. Therefore, when you’re in need of support, it is likely that help will come your way.
Show emotional support: Emotional peer support is demonstrated by showing personal interest. Over time, this develops emotional bonds. Examples include socializing, joking, providing space for venting, and showing authentic interest in each other’s life (such as children, pets, and hobbies). With increased virtual interactions, check-ins and coffee chats can even happen over Zoom, or other meeting platforms.
Be physically present: Opportunities to connect include employee events, sitting with team members at lunch, going on walks together during break times, and sharing personal stories. When someone is speaking, be sure to make eye contact, put your phone away, and remove your headphones. These actions can make the difference between connecting or not.
The benefit of interpersonal inclusion is not just psychological, it is proven to boost performance and improve team effectiveness. To create an inclusive culture, build an environment where peers feel safe and supported.
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- 3 small ways to be a more inclusive colleague, HarvardBusinessReview.org
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