The modern workplace is more diverse than ever, with employees coming from a wide range of backgrounds. And everyone has something unique to bring to the table. Being inclusive is a way to connect with your co-workers and create a more unified workplace. On top of that, a study found, “Individuals with higher well-being and engagement have higher inclusion.” Here are some ways to be a more inclusive co-worker.
Ditch Your Assumptions
One of the biggest hindrances to inclusion is having biases. Assuming that you know how a particular person thinks, what type of ideas they have and what they can and can’t do can really hurt your workplace. So you should make a conscious effort to ditch your assumptions and not “put your co-workers in a box.”
Recognize That Everyone Can Make Valuable Contributions
Everyone from the top to the bottom of an organization has something unique to offer. However, this fact may not always be recognized in a non-inclusive workplace, which is something that can be quite toxic over time. But you can get out of this small mindset by simply acknowledging that everyone has something valuable to contribute. By doing so, you instantly make yourself more open to hearing your co-workers out and valuing their opinion.
Get Input from Someone You Wouldn’t Normally Ask
Let’s say you have a question you need answering or are looking for perspective on a challenge you’re facing. You may be tempted to turn certain co-workers — mainly the ones you know the best and are most comfortable around. While that can be beneficial in some instances, you may be selling yourself short if you don’t look for input outside of your immediate circle. A great way to be more inclusive is to seek guidance from someone you wouldn’t normally ask and be receptive to what they have to say.
Have Conversations That Go Beyond Workplace Matters
“As you consider ways to bring your whole self to the office, it is good to find a connection with others outside of work,” says Frans Johansson, CEO of the Medici Group. “This connection will often improve the ease of the working relationship and enhance overall communication.” By doing this, you can build stronger rapport and get to know your co-workers on a deeper level. Just be sure to keep your conversations professional.
Being a more inclusive co-worker takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. But by adjusting your behavior and following these tips, you should make quick progress.
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