Illusion of Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion play a considerable role in modern business management and leadership as the workforce may be represented by people of different ages, gender, ethnicity, religion, race, and sexual orientation. According to some sources, it may be highly beneficial to embrace diversity as it may introduce a marketing advantage, reduce labor costs, and provide an opportunity to hire talented people (Lussier 397). However, it is vitally important to maintain an appropriate approach to managing diversity. A related topic stood out to me in the TED talk by Tanvi Gutman. Organizations frequently fail to manage a diverse workforce as they create the illusion of inclusion instead of embracing diversity. Consequently, people are not equally treated regardless of their background and need to mask their distinguishing features in order to adapt. The such illusion of inclusion may provide a fraction of the above-mention benefits initially, yet it might be impossible to achieve long-term benefits. Therefore, it may be particularly important to maintain a working environment that allows all employees equal opportunities regardless of their gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
Unconscious biases or implicit biases represent a combination of attitudes an individual holds towards other people or groups of people subconsciously. Therefore, people do not know their implicit biases, and it might be challenging to determine them. Such biases may have an adverse effect on the ability to maintain inclusion as a leader. It stood out to me that there are practical exercises that can be utilized in order to determine personal unconscious biases. These exercises involve visualizing different scenarios or identifying the most trusted people. The extent of diversity visualized during these exercises may serve as an indicator of implicit biases. Even though it may not always precisely determine certain biases, it may contribute to the acknowledgment of their existence. It may be highly beneficial to examine behavior in order to maintain self-awareness. Some sources state that self-awareness activities play a considerable role in understanding and embracing diversity (Lussier 404). Hence, it may be vitally important for a leader to examine behavior and improve self-awareness in order to establish a healthy working environment.
Practical Use of Principles
As globalization unites people with different backgrounds, diversity becomes an inseparable part of society and business. It is critical to utilize an adequate approach to managing inclusion in order to be an effective leader. Therefore, I will be able to apply a number of presented principles in my current job and future career. First, I can implement visualization methods and change the images to understand my personal biases better and overcome them. Such an approach may allow me to highlight the benefits of embracing diversity and managing it properly. Second, I can examine my behavior when I encounter the unexpected to improve my self-awareness. For instance, I may put myself in the position of others.
Another principle that I could utilize in my future role as a leader is introducing an active approach when managing diversity. Even though there are diverse strategies and methodologies, it is essential to analyze personal attitudes and adjust them. As I want to pursue a Director of Maintenance position, I should be able to not only stay self-aware but to make decisions and actions in accordance with such awareness. It is essential to build a working environment with equal opportunities in order to improve productivity and job satisfaction.
Lussier, Robert N. Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development. 6th ed., Sage Publications, 2021.