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Do You Trust Your Leader?

There is no doubt that if our words reflect to our actions, we build more trust in life and in the workplace. Therefore, we constantly look for actions in our daily life interactions with people. In the depth of our core, we want to trust and we want to feel safe. In Brené Brown's words, the author of the book 'Dare to Lead', we want to put the armour shield to a side slowly and turn off the alertness mode. Because carrying the armour shield is so heavy. It is uncomfortable. It is not sustainable.

Employees relationship with their leaders rely on trust and safety bridges like in any other relationships. However it's more challenging one as mostly, it's squeezed into a limited time and agendas. It gets thinner and thinner day by day so that sometimes the employee or the leader find himself/herself walking on a tightrope. Adding the remote working into the equation, remote leaders are having more trust issues [1]

In the last decades that we have been talking about diversity, inclusion and belonging, however there is no or little progress in results. We all should ask to ourselves: WHY? Are we lack of commitments/goals/direction? Do we invest time for building trust? Are we able to walk the talk and reflect our talks with actions? Do we feel psychologically safe in an environment where we spend one third of our day? Can we dare to bring our authentic-self to work or do we betray to our core values?

In our survey with 65 participants on the social media channels, we asked the question if the participants diversity and inclusion commitment was visible within their organisations or externally. 57.6% of the participants stated that their commitment was visible. 28.8% of the participants said that their commitment was not visible and 13.6% of the participants said that they did not know. As a result, a big number of participants ( 43%) have no visibility or very little visibility on their diversity and inclusion commitments.

According to World’s Most Admired Companies research, successful companies are the ones that show real commitment to diversity and inclusion. [2]

In the Inclusion Index research by World’s Most Admired Companies about leadership commitment, the participants said they feel their leaders are simply paying lip service to diversity and inclusion but are not personally invested in advancing it.[3]

A leader's commitment to diversity and inclusion has a greater impact as it is contagious to all levels of the organisation. Here are some of the actions leaders can take to show their commitment to diversity and inclusion and stronger trust bridges internally within their organisations and externally in their personal lives.

Courage and Voice

To encourage your team as a leader, firstly, you must open up a conversation about your own story and your commitment. Why diversity and inclusion is important for you. What impact you want to make. Make sure you share your story occasionally, not only once.

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.” - Kenneth Blanchard, the author of book 'Situational Leadership'

Invite and Share

Invite your colleagues and teams to help you on this journey. In this way, you invite them to own the solution and drive it together with you. Share your learning in the process and motivate others to do so as well. Make sure to accept the fact that there will be mistakes and challenges. It's also part of your journey.

Educate Yourself

Do not wait for the right diversity and inclusion program to come to you. Educate yourself and invest your time on it. Start reflecting your learnings into your daily actions. Remember:

"The sooner you begin the journey, the further you go"

There are more to do. We specifically designed an online course to serve this purpose: Inclusive Intelligence: How to be a role model for diversity and inclusion in your organisation.

The course includes the topics: Self-awareness, Empathy, Engagement, Cultural wisdom, Accountability and Commitment.

It's self-paced, with 4 featured speakers and in 53 minutes long videos.

... and based on true and lived stories as well as practical steps you can start implementing them today.

Furkan Karayel, an inclusive leadership advisor; women in tech and female founders ambassador. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lecturer at Dun Laoghaire Institute Of Art Design + Technology. Founded after 10 years of software engineering experience. Diversity and Inclusion lead at Startup Week Dublin. Advisory board member at InspiringSTEM and Sprinters, global organisations to support diverse female entrepreneurs and young generation STEM. Honoured with "Diversity and Inclusion Role Model in Business" and "Trailblazer" Awards.

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