Our previous two articles in this series were about setting the tone. Providing the backdrop. We explained why inclusive leadership behaviours are integral to great leadership right now and in the future, and we brought these behaviours to life. In this article we are moving on and addressing two key questions:
Assessing inclusive leadership behaviours
Here at Kiddy, we have developed assessment solutions which aim to understand how inclusive leaders are in their leadership style and provide them with honest, constructive feedback to enable them to develop in this area.
Due to inclusive leadership being a nuanced, interpersonal set of behaviours, there are two key principles that define our approach:
- As the crux of inclusive leadership is how leaders generate feelings of belonging, inclusion and psychological safety in others it is important to gather the perspectives of these ‘others’ in this assessment. Relying solely on interview or other self-report methods is not sufficient; partly because it doesn’t include that outside perspective and partly because, frankly, individuals aren’t very good at judging how they make others feel.
- Inclusive leadership has internal, self-management aspects and external, interpersonal aspects it is important to include an assessment that balances and taps into both.
Ensuring assessments are undertaken in an inclusive way
Not only is it important to assess your leaders with the aim of helping them to be more inclusive, but it’s also HR’s responsibility to ensure that the processes used for selection, promotion and potential identification (i.e. assessment processes) are inclusive. By that we mean they are robust, objective, reduce bias and help to level the playing field.
Key questions all HR practitioners should be asking are:
- Are we sure that our selection and promotion practices aren’t perpetuating inequalities?
- What changes do we need to make to ensure our selection and promotion practices promote diversity, inclusion and equality?
Kiddy’s Director of Research & Impact has previously written about the evidence regarding how cognitive biases in recruitment, selection, and promotion can lead to subconscious discrimination. But in addition to this, there’s another very fundamental flaw that often gets overlooked in practice when it comes to making key personnel decisions: Often, these decisions are made on the basis of evidence from the past – CVs, references, even competency-based interviews which ask participants to recall examples from their previous experience. If you acknowledge that inequality still exists, you recognise that the past is likely to have provided fewer opportunities for individuals in minority groups to show what they’re really capable of. At once, it becomes clear how selecting on this basis puts you at risk of perpetuating inequalities.