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Seven Ways to be a More Inclusive Colleague

It must be rooted in action for it to truly take hold

When everyone feels safe and welcome at work, companies thrive. Belonging is a deep human need. It's the core of productive teamwork and collaborative relationships. I believe that most employees genuinely want to contribute to such a culture, yet despite these good intentions, too many people still end up feeling undervalued, misunderstood, or excluded. That's because for too many organizations, diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is just an abstract idea. For inclusion to truly take hold, it must be rooted in action.

But whose job is it to act? Many employees erroneously expect someone else to do "the work"—either their leaders, or a resident DE&I strategist or even the very people who have long felt excluded from the workplace culture. While individual leaders can set a good example and make sure others understand the importance of DE&I, all workers must ultimately work together to transform a workplace into one that is truly inclusive.

The day-to-day work of inclusion is incremental, but it adds up quickly. It is made up of many caring acts and exchanges that, over time, help employees and organizations reach their full potential.

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