Diversity, equity and inclusion are, rightly, much on leaders’ minds and in the press these days. It is concerning to me, though, that many people are treating DEI as though it is its own discipline. I believe that diversity, equity and inclusion are hallmarks of well-managed organizations, and that skillful management will always result in a diverse organization.
One example is found in my most-often quoted saying, “bad news is good news if you do something about it.” Problems arise within every organization — that can be bad news. But bad news is good news because it gives you a chance to address problems before they spiral out of control.
Develop an Organizational Listening Culture
The best way to find out what’s really happening within your organization is to reach out to people in every role and at every level, and to listen respectfully to their insights and observations.
An organization where there is a perceived (or actual) penalty for reporting bad news will shut off the supply of information that is critical to its effective leadership. An organization where staff do not feel free to speak honestly and openly about what they observe, is neither inclusive nor equitable. Leaders must foster a culture of inclusive listening.
- Do your staff feel free to speak openly about bad news?
- How can you enhance your “listening culture”?