INCLUSIVENESS: Fostering Collaboration, Consensus Building and Partnership

~ Thoughts from Marsha Petrie Sue ~


Any group that is striving for dramatic improvements in achieving goals must take on the leadership priority of inclusiveness. Without this focus, it is difficult to achieve goals.

As you know, this must be supported and modeled by each of us. And actually this is what adds interest and fun to any team or work group! We each must be committed to create and grow a culture of inclusion. This is easy especially when you consider the eclectic group you probably have right now!

Marsha’s internal thinking: “More people in our group? NO! All those new people are going to create havoc and what if I don’t like them?”

For me personally, stepping outside the norm means I have to stay open to different communication styles, points of view and unique approaches. Truly this is not just a moral obligation but also a focus to improve our outcomes and reach and even exceed goals! Challenging our interpersonal behavior and subjectivity can be a real challenge – unless we make the choice to be inclusive.

A diverse team equals better coordination and cooperation because we have a broader pool of interests and talents. It is often difficult to keep an open mind (and I may just be speaking for myself), especially as our organization expands. As we grow, there will be different behavioral styles, attitudes and objectives being expounded – and sometimes with a little too much vigor!

Adding people to any group can be a challenge because each person brings a unique style.

Typically, as human beings, we either accept these differences or we allow them to create conflict. The good news is that it is up to each of us and the choice we make.

My internal communication ground rules:

  • Put your judgment and past interactions aside
  • Listen carefully even if their perspective and approach is different than yours
  • Be genuine and honest
  • Acknowledge differences in communication approach
  • Invite questions and ask questions
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