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How to Be an Inclusive Leader Through a Crisis


Leaders are under extraordinary pressure right now. They are expected to make decisions quickly with incomplete and rapidly evolving information. And unfortunately, being in crisis mode can cause even the most intentional and well-meaning leaders to fall into patterns of bias and exclusion. Research shows that when we’re stressed, we often default to heuristics and gut instincts, rather than making deliberate and goal-oriented decisions.


And yet, leaders must prioritize inclusion right now, more than ever. Organizations are much more likely to be innovative in the face of this crisis if they seek input from a diverse group of employees who approach problems from a variety of perspectives. And at the same time, employees from historically underrepresented groups may feel less safe about speaking up.


“Now is a time for leaders to think about what type of leader they need to be for all of their workers, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized,” says workplace culture and human capital strategist, Daisy Auger-Dominguez. “As we [hopefully] move from rapid response to short- to long-term recovery, community, connection, and allyship — including deep awareness about how implicit bias shows up in decision making — will become even more important critical leadership competencies.”


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