What does an inclusive culture look like?

Quite simply:

“In an inclusive culture, no one has to enforce their boundaries, ever.”

It’s a neutral culture, free from biases, assumptions and judgments.

It’s a culture where, when someone asks a question, it isn’t because they want to pass judgment, it’s driven by curiosity, because they want to understand.

We don’t know their story

An inclusive culture is one where we don’t pretend to know someone’s story. That helps us to avoid those difficult situations, where we either have to assert our boundaries, or give up something that matters to us, in order to fit in.

For example, in an inclusive culture, you wouldn’t arrange a work drinks social event, as for those who don’t drink (for whatever reason) it puts them in the difficult position of having to break their boundaries, or having to decline. Neither is a great position to be in.

Inclusion raised hands

If you find your employees/colleagues are having to assert their boundaries, or they seem uncomfortable and you can’t quite figure out why, it’s probably because your culture isn’t as inclusive as you might hope.

Start Small

What’s one thing you could do to help improve your workplace culture?

How about the next time you meet someone, you ask them what they want to be called? Don’t assume because their name is Vinder that they want you to call them Vinny, ask instead.

That way Vinder doesn’t have to feel bad about correcting you every time you shorten his name.

In Conclusion

To sum up, an inclusive culture is one where you don’t have to assert your boundaries. Because after all, it shouldn’t be our job to tell people what’s not okay, if our relationships are based on respect and tolerance.

Christopher Roberts

Christopher Roberts

As a change leader, my goal is to improve people's lives through projects and transformation. I'm enthusiastic about AI, inclusion and diversity, and looking after our world. I'm an advocate for responsible innovation and critical thinking, and you can find my writing on that and everything tech over on Technology Bloggers.
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