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When it comes to leading wellness being inclusive is perhaps one of our most powerful tools. An online search captures the spirit of the word: To INCLUDE means “to comprise as part of a whole” or “to make part of a whole.” Inclusive leaders do both. They help people and entire systems, from teams to communities, understand and connect with the ways they are already well, resourceful and resilient by nature. At the same time, inclusive leaders continually seek to uplift sidelined and disadvantaged voices so that our collective circle of concern widens and new potentials for wellbeing unfold.

Inclusive Creates Healthier Workplaces

Leading an inclusive workplace means creating an environment where people feel welcomed, valued and enabled to make unique contributions at work, plus enjoy a culture of fairness, camaraderie and care. When you put inclusion at the top of your wellness leadership agenda, you humanize work and the workplace by tapping into (at least) three profound human motivations: the need to feel physically and psychologically safe, to express individuality, and to belong. Inclusive leaders recognize that each of these motivations can lead to high levels of work engagement and wellbeing. In fact, growing research shows that inclusive workplaces benefit from lower turnover, healthy models of work-life integration, and positive teamwork, as well as better organizational innovationagility and responsiveness to market needs and performance.

Being an Inclusive Leaders Means Taking Action

Hold up a collective mirror. As an organization or team, it’s easier to talk about including people than it is to put that talk into action. Bring together people who know your organization well and will answer these questions honestly: Who is unheard or undervalued in our organization or team? How much creativity, talent and wisdom are we losing by letting people fall through the cracks? Taking a candid look at how your team or organization is operating today is the first step to positive change.

Nip exclusionary behavior in the bud. Talking over people, telling tactless jokes, bullying, and allowing in-groups and out-groups are among the many behaviors that perpetuate discrimination and erode trust and mental health. Be clear with your team at work and your loved ones at home that you stand for inclusion as a path to advancing wellness and wellbeing.

Adopt inclusive thinking. When you find yourself wrestling with competing points of view, broaden your point of view. Take a few nourishing breaths to ask this question from a place of inner balance: What is valuable or true about each of these perspectives? Research shows that when we lead from a foundation of inner balance, we can hold paradoxical challenges more easily. We are more inclusive as a way of being.


This is an excerpt from the June Wellness Moonshot, which is curated and developed by Renee Moorefield for the Global Wellness Institute. Read the full article here: June Wellness Moonshot :: Include