Inclusion happens when all perspectives are heard and considered. This doesn’t mean people will always agree with each other, and they may even engage in a lively debate.
The basis for inclusion is in the connection that forms between two or more people. The more open and safe the connection, the more inclusion you will experience.
When, for example, people have an internal dialogue with themselves, they’re unlikely to foster a strong connection. This internal dialogue is more likely to result in people validating their perspectives rather than exploring others. When this happens, inclusion will be limited.
When talking with others, pay attention to the dialogue going on in your head. When you notice the dialogue, let go of it and focus on the person in front of you. I use a little trick to focus on what someone is saying by voice mirroring (say their words in your mind as they are talking). And, don’t be afraid of a little silence.
You’ve got this.