Marking interruptions when they happen and correctly attributing ideas are two powerful micro-inclusions to practice in meetings.
Challenge meeting norms
Challenge meeting norms for both a quick win that signals your company’s commitment to DEI, and makes lasting improvements to your inclusion and belonging efforts.
“Meetings are the place where we feel our differences, we feel or don’t feel our belonging, and the play where a lot of diversity, equity, and inclusion dynamics play out,” Aguilar said.
Leaders can challenge or change meeting norms with a few simple rules:
- Seek input from everyone in the room.
- Leaders speak last.
- Encourage employees to turn their cameras on, if they’re able to. But understand that everyone has different accessibility needs.
- Practice micro-inclusions, like marking interruptions and attributing ideas.
Micro-inclusions are the small subtle ways we signal that others are valued, respected, full-contributing work partners. They’re the antidote to micro-aggressions, and the proactive way we can communicate belonging for everyone, but especially for employees who experience doubts about belonging because they are the 1 or the few of their identity group.
Marking interruptions when they happen and correctly attributing ideas are two powerful micro-inclusions to practice in meetings. For example, if Sean gets excited about Anissa’s idea and jumps in to share his thoughts, leaders should stop the conversation and say something like:
“Thanks for your enthusiasm, Sean, but I’d like to loop back and hear what Anissa had to say about her idea.”
In this way, leaders will have
1. Identified the interruption, and
2. Ensured the idea is attributed to the correct person.
Before beginning the initiative, share the focus in a company-wide communication that comes from upper leadership.
“This quarter, we’re beginning an initiative to create more inclusive meeting norms. The initiative will begin on Monday and you’ll find the details of what we’re focusing on below.” said Aguilar.