Women’s Studies Question

Fostering an Inclusive ClimateCourse Project

In each section below, you will be prompted to put theory into practice by completing an activity and answering related questions. Completing all sections is a course requirement.

Part One: Examining an “Inclusive Climate”

Assess the inclusiveness of your work team and record your answers to the following questions in the space below:

1. Do team members consistently treat each other with respect and engage in authentic discussions?

2. Do you have strong norms around listening to each other to understand rather than to judge?

3. Make a note of the instances when you experience inclusion and when you don’t, and do the same for what you think other team members experience. What patterns do you see?

Four sets of leader behaviors that are essential for shaping inclusive climates:

1) Assessing or being perceptive of the inclusiveness of a workgroup’s climate
2) Articulating expectations about behaviors expected to promote inclusion
3) Role Modeling inclusive behaviors for others
4) Reinforcing desired inclusive behaviors

Cite evidence that these behaviors are in place.
If the behaviors are not in place, offer ideas for where improvements could be made.

Part Two: Examining the Dynamics of Inclusive Climates

Consider that status may be affecting not just the distribution of resources, like developmental opportunities and pay, but also people’s interpersonal experiences and behaviors within your team.
See what patterns you detect when you take note of the following:
1. Who (besides you as the team leader) tends to talk first in your team, and/or assumes the role of speaking for the group more often than others?

2. Are there team members who get interrupted or talked over? Who is getting talked over? Who is being interrupted?

3. Who gets the privilege of interrupting, or of not being interrupted?

4. Who gets one vote in meetings and who gets two? In other words, who has influence in wrapping up the group decision?
What did the exercise above reveal about status differences that team members may be experiencing?

Think about the way that you and your team members interact when discussing work issues and making decisions and record your answers to the following:

1) How comfortably can you and your team members express your ideas freely? When someone voices a different perspective, is the tendency to listen with curiosity and openness? Or is it to listen with prejudgment or remain silent about the disagreement?

2) What factors in your team, if any, cause people to hold back and choose to be silent?

Think about how your team usually makes decisions and record your responses below.

1) Do you currently have understood “rules of engagement” about the best way for team members to share information, resolve conflicts, and make final decisions about issues that impact the team?
a. If so, in what ways do you think they are (or are not) effective?

b. If not, who or what suffers as a result?

As you work with your team to enhance inclusion, you will want to pay close attention to cues about whether the inclusiveness of the climate is improving. Reflect on the types of information you can seek out, and from whom/what sources. Make notes about the following:

1. How would you know if the climate is changing?

2. Describe how you have done or could assess climate using these methods:

a. Formal: interviews and/or surveys

b. Informal: direct observations, team discussions, third-party observations

Part Three: Taking Steps towards Inclusion

Think about a time when you experienced or observed the impact that a lack of inclusion can have on business results.

1. Briefly describe the context. What happened? What actions were or were not taken, and what was the resulting effect?

2. Now, describe what could have been done differently six months prior to this event in order to change the outcome in a more positive way.

Identify the four most important personal and/or business-driven reasons for developing an inclusive climate in your team and record them below. When you input your responses, do so using phrasing you think would be effective for communicating the importance of inclusion to your team members.

Now, of the four you listed above, identity the top two:

Now, identify the number one motivation for developing an inclusive climate:

Although you can of course pursue multiple motives, identifying the one that is the highest priority for you will help you to focus all of your actions and communications with team members around this priority as move forward. In a team meeting, try communicating to your team members the #1 reason (from above) why developing an inclusive climate is critical for the team.
• Ask for feedback.
• What resonated with them? What was hard or easy for you to articulate?

• What was the most effective?

Think about your role model or role model when it comes to promoting inclusion for others.

1. What do you admire about this person(s)?

2. What do they do to promote inclusion for others?

Now, think about yourself as a leader. Below, you will see two columns: “things to start,” and “things to stop.”

In the first column, list specific behaviors that you think you should start engaging in to promote inclusion for your team members.

In the second column, consider what the famous Peter Drucker said about leadership – most leaders don’t need to learn what to do, they need to learn what to stop – and list those behaviors you think you should stop.

Things to start Things to stop

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