5 actions to be more inclusive
1. Get everyone involved
Are you hearing and rewarding all voices, or just the loudest ones? On video calls, ask everyone to raise their hand before speaking to minimise interrupting and prevent anyone dominating the conversation. Consider rotating the position of meeting chair so everyone gets a chance to engage and develop leadership skills. Also, use tools that allow team members to contribute ideas and concerns at any time (and anonymously, potentially), not just during meetings.
2. Get curious
Next time a colleague expresses a view, ask them about it. Not to challenge their thinking, but to understand it and see what you can learn. Asking "How did you reach that conclusion?" can reveal wonders about other possibilities - and your own assumptions.
3. Avoid familiarity bias
Need a task done? Instead of asking your go-to person, find out who else is equally qualified and give them the task. That way you learn more about your team - and they get more opportunities to develop and prove their skills.
4. Switch it up
Don't always plan the same team bonding activity. At best, doing the same thing over and over can lead to familiarity fatigue. At worst, you risk continually excluding those who, for whatever reason, can't participate fully in that activity.
5. Be a champion
True inclusive leaders commit to modelling inclusive behaviour. Hear an inappropriate joke? Say that you don't find it funny. Notice a barrier to access for yourself or others? Flag this to the appropriate team so they can put it right.