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Ian Dodds Consulting’s (IDC) Monthly Best Practice: March 2016

By Ian Dodds – The Inclusion Builder

The key to high performance: developing inclusive managers

In these posts I’ve written a lot about developing inclusive leaders. However, it is also important to develop managers who manage inclusively. A major piece of research which I have recently been involved with has conclusively demonstrated that the specific benefits of inclusion are:

  • enhanced performance and productivity;

  • enhanced employee loyalty;

  • the enhanced advancement of under-represented groups;

  • enhanced innovation and creativity;

  • better services to clients, customers and service users;

  • better teamwork

  • increased motivation to ‘go the extra mile’;

  • higher talent retention;

  • a more diverse talent pool;

  • an enhanced capability in successfully delivering complex change.

The starting point for developing inclusive managers is that they need to have been offered a compelling vision of future organisational success through inclusion. Regular readers of these posts will be familiar with the Beckhard Change Equation:

Vision + Dissatisfaction + the plan of action > the cost of change to people

I have been forunate enough to have Prof. Richard Beckhard as my coach during the early part of my career. Dick told me that the way to make the lefthand side of the equation compelling was to address the cost of change to people in the plan of action, or strategy to deliver the vision. This is done, he told me, by training managers to: listen to people; empower them; help them identify and develop their talents. These are exactly the skills that managers need to manage inclusively.

To improve their listening skills our Interactive Behaviours Template provides the training tool. This enables the managers to become skilled, when having conversations, in: seeking information; seeking suggestions, developing suggestions; checking their understanding; acknowledging feelings and positive contributions; summarising; etc.

Regarding empowerment, I have found helping managers to understand how to use the Empowerment Equation, Edward Lawler, 1995, is very powerful. This involves them making sure that each employee: is clear about what their responsibilities are, including their contribution to delivering the organisation’s vision; has the information they need to carry out their responsibilities; receives regular positive and negative feedback on their execution of their responsibilities; receives the coaching and training they need to succeed with them.

Regarding helping their team members to identify their talents and develop them, I have used an ‘In the moment Coaching Approach’. This involves managers facilitating a conversation that helps an employee think through what they have been doing, what they have enjoyed doing, and what they they have found themselves being good at. It then focuses around skills, strengths, opportunity areas, values, interests, and preferences. Subsequently, the manager has periodic developmental conversations to enable them to develop the talents that they have identified.

Finally, we train internal change agents in how to train and coach managers to deliver high performance by: listening to people; empowering them; helping them identify and develop their talents. Please contact me if you would like to know more about developing inclusive managers to drive high performance.

Dr Ian Dodds, 29 Feb 201

iandodds@iandoddsconsulting.com, www.iandoddsconsulting.com, www.thepowerofinclusion.com


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