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

By Ian Dodds – The Inclusion Builder

Interactive Effectiveness is key to being a successful Inclusive Leader

Recently, I was part of a research project on Inclusive Leadership. We did interviews in 11 participating companies and an online survey in each of them. I was interested to discover that the 3 companies which had built the most successful inclusive cultures were the only ones I had worked with. Yet the others were all household names and were likely to have used diversity and inclusive (D&I) consultants. This made me examine what it is that I am doing that makes the difference.

A key thing I do is to ensure that all the managers right down to the front line are trained to become inclusive leaders by:

    • Developing interactive effectiveness skills, e.g. seeking information; checking understanding; acknowledging feelings and positive contributions; summarising; etc;

    • Empowering people;

    • Being skilled in giving effective feedback and in-the-moment coaching.

This is a process that I have used for many years to develop inclusive leaders throughout an organisation and always with success in terms of delivering: high performance; high levels of employee engagement; success with implementing complex change; great service to customers, clients or service users.

However, I think the key differentiator is that I ensure all managers right down to the front line are trained in interactive effectiveness. Prof Sandy Pentland (MIT) stated in the Havard Business Review, Apr 2012, that “interactive effectiveness is more important to a Great Team than the skills and intelligence of the team members and all of the other factors combined that go to make a Great Team”. I use an interactive effectiveness tool to do this training based on research by Morgan and Rackham which identified 16 interactive behaviours that are utilised in effective interactions. Half of these are telling behaviours and the rest seeking behaviours. I train internal Inclusion Champions to use the tool to coach managers at all levels to be interactively effective.

If you want more information on this approach, which is so successful in developing Inclusive Leaders at all management levels, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Dr Ian Dodds FRSA, 



29 Nov 2016

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