5 Tips for Inclusive Meetings

5 Tips for Inclusive Meetings

Did you know team diversity is an organizational superpower? It can enhance creativity and problem-solving, among other benefits. Here are five ways you can tap into the advantages of varied viewpoints by ensuring everyone feels empowered at meetings!

1. Increase Psychological Safety

  • What is psychological safety? To quote Edmondson, it is “the belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes, and that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.”
  • When employees feel psychologically safe, they’re more likely to feel comfortable speaking up and positively engage in meetings. And, as a bonus, a sense of psychological safety increases work satisfaction and decreases turnover!
  • Find ways to create psychological safety for your team, like being open to feedback, making decisions as a team, halting negativity, and removing blame from the workplace.

2. Incorporate Micro-Inclusions into Meeting Culture

  • Micro-inclusions are little actions we can apply to our behavior to make everyone feel included.
  • Some workplace micro-inclusions you can bring to meetings include pronouncing names correctly, offering refreshments that accommodate different dietary needs, giving credit to people’s good ideas, and looping back to speakers when interrupted.

3. Plan Ahead

  • Many people find it difficult to shine when put on the spot. Create an agenda a day or two before the meeting to ensure everyone has time to prepare what they want to say.
  • Showcase individuals and departments by giving them designated time to share prepared ideas, project updates, or presentations.
  • Create opportunities for those who don’t feel comfortable speaking in front of the group by encouraging pre-meeting notes, a comment box, or follow-up emails to communicate their ideas.

4. Manage Dominant Personalities

  • To foster inclusivity at your meetings, ensure participants engage equally and appropriately.
  • Monitor those with a dominating personality and find strategies to discourage interruptions and talking over others. 
  • Be proactive and have discrete discussions about appropriate meeting behavior with dominant staff. 
  • Prepare to interrupt and redirect conversations in the moment.

5. Enhance Virtual Accessibility

  • Navigating virtual meetings is not a simple button click for many professionals. Take note of individuals’ unique challenges and find ways to set them up for success.
  • For those who are new to video call platforms create ‘How-To’ instructions.
  • Implement accessibility tools for those living with a disability. For example, include closed-captions for staff that are hearing impaired.

Put these tips to use for inclusive meetings and experience the value of the diverse talent you’ve accumulated on your team!

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