This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com - #Growing Your Business
Inclusion can impact the bottom line, and an astute leader will not take such an opportunity lightly.
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Having a team whose members trust and support each other reflects well on the team leader. Building that kind of culture takes awareness and commitment and a commitment to inclusion. Just as the opposite of love is not hate but apathy, the opposite effect of a supportive work environment that enculturates trust is not bullying but exclusion.
Inclusion can impact the bottom line, and an astute leader will not take such an opportunity lightly. Individuals are much more likely to adjust well to change within their workplace when they feel included. The University of British Columbia summarized research exploring the results of workplace bullying compared with workplace ostracism. It concluded that “feeling excluded is significantly more likely to lead to job dissatisfaction [emphasis added], quitting and health problems.”
We have long known that job satisfaction correlates with increased productivity. To affect the culture of support and trust necessary for your team’s job satisfaction, you must demonstrate an interest in your teammates and all they bring to the table. Leaders can include others by implementing several behavioral strategies to empower them.
These four strategies help foster an open and communicative environment to ensure your employees feel they are part of the team.
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1. Be receptive to fresh insight
Be open to others’ suggestions and be willing to trust their instincts as much as you do your own. Building trust is a two-person job: If you want your teammate to trust you, you need to be willing to reciprocate trust. Being aware of your level of openness with others initiates a proficiency in self-awareness, tolerance, adaptability, emotional resilience, self-reflection and assessment. When they feel trusted and included, they are more receptive to sharing ideas and bringing new insights to the workplace.
2. Embrace a new outlook
Everything begins with a change in outlook. Leaders should be ready and willing to change their attitude and conduct if doing so will forge a path toward success. To manage effectively, team leaders should embrace change when it proves vital to development and advancement. A fresh outlook is often brought upon by the open exchange of thoughts and ideas between team members. An organization’s evolution is limited only by the capacity of the people within an organization. By embracing a changed perspective when necessary, a leader pushes themselves out of their comfort zone and improves their leadership abilities and their team’s effectiveness.
Learn to communicate effectively to develop your interpersonal interactions. Speak to your team members and get to know them as human beings. Communication is a skill you can improve only by actively practicing it. Since communication is essential to human beings’ everyday lives, you always have the opportunity to work on your communication abilities. By mastering social and interpersonal skills, a leader creates a workplace community driven by collaboration.
4. Know what inspires your team
Understanding what stimulates and motivates your team members will assist with the way you communicate with them. When you know what drives the others around you, you can learn how to speak to them to spark that inspiration within them. What motivates each person likely won’t be the same for every individual, but when you use the right motivation, morale — and productivity — go up.
Open yourself up to others and reflect on yourself as a guide to become a leader who is an extraordinary specialist in mending, change, imagination and collaboration. When you apply these four strategies to your workplace and your role as a leader, you define the workplace as one that includes and supports your teammates, their ideas and their abilities. And consequently, you will adequately equip your workplace team to drive results that improve morale and increase revenue.