How To Be An Inclusive Leader

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

In my squiggly career, I have seen many managers who strived to lead but failed miserably. Leading a group of people is a people skill that requires a plethora of soft skills no MBA program, textbooks or masterclass courses on earth will teach you. Because to be a good leader requires high level of Emotional Intelligence and they are aware of that and therefore, they strive to learn and improve!

Good leaders are a hard to find but inclusive leaders are like hidden gems in the abyss of the ocean!

It takes one to identify one.

Inclusive leaders go a step further in making people feel like their authentic selves, stand up for unfair treatment, champion inclusion and create a sense of belonging and purpose at workplaces.

Here are some qualities I have noticed in excellent leaders who shine at their jobs and get stuff done!

  1. They trust you completely with your job
  2. They communicate clearly about goals and expectations
  3. They lead with empathy and compassion
  4. They help you explore your potential and grow
  5. They make you feel psychologically safe and create safe spaces to share freely
  6. They can separate emotions from decision making because they don’t make it personal
  7. They let go and don’t hold grudges
  8. They are inclusive and aren’t afraid to stand up for their team in time of need
  9. They know how to resolve conflicts and propose win-win solutions
  10. They can handle pitfalls with grace and change the course of action needed to do damage control
  11. They care and have your best interest at heart because humans are not just mere resources
  12. They believe in 360 degree feedback and act on complaints and requests radically
  13. They are politically correct (in most cases) and are eager to work on correcting their unconscious biases
  14. They are eager to learn about struggles and backgrounds of diverse folks in their companies and open to DEI education
  15. They are themselves champions of DEI and invest in DEI fairness to ensure fair treatment for all

Have you been in workplaces where you felt safe to be your authentic self?

I’d love to hear about your stories or experiences and what or who made you feel that way over coffee(IRL or virtual) sometime! :)

Also write to me if you want to get involved in learning about creating inclusive workplaces for yourself and others. Email:



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Sowmya Guru

Sowmya Guru

Freelance Android Engineer. Founder at Buy Me A Coffee if you find my blog useful: