Inclusive Leadership Skills

Inclusive Leadership is a set of skills for embracing diversity in all living beings as gifts that enrich the world.  Inclusive Leadership skills disarm instinctive fight/flight reactions against differences. With defenses down and guards lowered, everyone can relax and open up to learning with and from each other. When it is safe to explore, share and celebrate diversity people become more connected, compassionate and courageously committed to tending and befriending each other and all living beings. Inclusive Leadership skills change the world from the inside out – starting within each person and rippling outward to our families, friends, schools, work-places, neighbourhoods, communities and wild places.

Making the choice to learn and practice Inclusive Leadership skills is similar to choosing to get a driver’s license, play a sport, join an orchestra, or learn a new language. On the one hand, the skills involved in becoming a socially and environmentally responsible Inclusive Leader are complex and challenging. It takes time and practice to become accomplished. On the other hand, Inclusive Leadership skills are possible, positive, and life enriching skills that can be learned, practiced and developed to the point that they become second nature.

There are probably hundreds and hundreds of skills involved in being an Inclusive Leader. These are the four core Inclusive Leadership skill sets that we focus on learning, practicing, sharing, facilitating and mentoring through the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative.

Inclusive Leadership Skills for Connecting with Differences:

  • Relaxing
  • Daring to be different
  • Connecting with circles
  • Leaving out losing
  • Being an inclusive role model
  • Following the leaders behind us
  • Refocusing and re-framing
  • Choosing challenges
  • Inventing new possibilities.

Compassionate Communication skills:

  • Attending to, listening to and expressing values and needs as well as facts and feelings,
  • Tuning in with empathy and compassion
  • Understanding in any language
  • Receiving questions and requests as invitations
  • Asking questions and making requests in ways that invite people to open up and communicate

The A, B, C’s of Anti-Discrimination First Aid:

  • A is for Assess the situation
  • A is also for Assert Access rights
  • B is for take a BREAK
  • C is for Communicate concerns with care
  • D is for Debrief and Defuse
  • E is for Ethical witnessing
  • F is for Form a circle of support.

Inclusive Leadership skills for Building Bridges within and between groups:

  • Networking in ways that invite and support diverse people to show up
  • Gathering diverse people together safely, respectfully, equally and enjoyably
  • Building relationships
  • Building community
  • Building skills
  • Building awareness
  • Action planning
  • Follow up

Click here for our Inclusive Leadership Skills booklet with descriptions of each skill. To learn even more about these skills we invite you to: