Diversity and Inclusion
Kaleidoscope from Hive Learning is a guided inclusion program, designed to help leaders and managers build a more inclusive culture starting today. Delivered in a unique weekly cycle that helps users Understand, Practice, and Reflect, the program gives managers a practical toolkit to make the small everyday changes critical for driving inclusive growth.
Here’s an exclusive preview of some of the content in the program.
Trust is the essential starting point for true inclusion in your team.
By trust we mean more than just the essential faith in a person’s abilities, or a familiarity that comes from knowing someone for many years. We really mean a vulnerability trust sometimes called psychological safety where people feel comfortable to take interpersonal risks, like speaking up against a popular idea or giving feedback they know will be tough to hear. It’s both a climate and a shared belief which lays the foundation for every member of your team to bring their whole selves to work.
Get to grips with the importance of psychological safety, how it feels when done correctly and our four top tips to build it within your team, starting now.
Psychological safety has real, measurable benefits beyond simply building a sense of inclusiveness.
Harvard organizational behavioral scientist Amy Edmondson coined the term psychological safety in 1999, and her research found that the level of safety in a team predicted its effectiveness.
More recently a major internal study of team effectiveness at Google supported Edmondson’s findings. In 2012 Google set out to decode what makes the best teams tick, and their hypothesis was that the best teams were a result of putting the right people together. But data from studying 180 teams over several years indicated otherwise. In fact, the “who” doesn’t matter — the best teams are those with a certain set of norms and behaviours, by far the most important of which is psychological safety. Google now considers psychological safety the single most important factor in building a successful team.
Here are some real-world anecdotes:
“If I make a mistake on our team, it isn’t held against me.”
“I can ask questions without being afraid of being judged or sounding stupid.”
“I don’t feel like I always have to have all the answers in meetings.. it’s OK to admit I don’t know.”
“It’s never easy, but I give feedback to my boss and my peers when I spot something important they could improve.”
“I feel comfortable speaking up with a different opinion in meetings, even playing devil’s advocate sometimes.”
“When I make a mistake, I’m not berated or blamed for it. I know my boss will always give me the benefit of the doubt and work through how to fix it together.”
💡 Be vulnerable, be human (it starts with you!)
💡 Actively build a safe environment
💡 Reframe failure
💡 Destigmatise feedback
Try one of the two practices in the next week to build on your team’s level of safety.
Option 1: ask your team to open up to each other about their childhoods
Difficulty level: 😀 Easy (5-10 mins)
Spark a conversation about our childhoods at the beginning of your next team meeting. Don’t worry, this isn’t about asking anyone to reveal their soul. These three questions are unobtrusive but show that everyone is human. Crucially, they offer up some vulnerability.
To debrief, ask each team members to share what they learned about one another that they didn’t already know.
Option 2: use a personality profile tool as a team, and discuss the results
Difficulty level: 😐 Medium (20-30 mins)
It’s the conversations your team has about what they have learned from a personality profile that is significant. Host a dedicated session or carve out at least 15 minutes to cover in your next team meeting. Some questions to ask:
🌡️ Bonus practice: measure it!
If you want to get real data on how safe your team is, measure it using Amy Edmondson’s own assessment. Build a quick survey with the questions below, and ask people to rate the extent to which they agree with the following statements, on a four-point scale (i.e. strongly agree, slightly agree, slightly disagree, strongly disagree).
We recommend making this survey anonymous to allow for candid responses.
Psychological safety assessment
State of DEI 2020-2021
How has 2020 changed the way we work? Hive Learning reports on the State of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in 2021.
Fiona Young (she/her) >
Having previously led Learning and Development for 3,000 people at Europe’s leading venture builder, Blenheim Chalcot, Fiona knows a thing or two about how to build high performance culture. As Content Director at Hive Learning, Fiona pioneered the organisation's leading guided content programmes which are designed to turn learning into action. Most recently, Fiona led the inception, development and delivery of Inclusion Works by Hive Learning - the world’s first diversity and inclusion programme focused on turning unconscious bias into conscious action - created from over 1,000 leading sources.
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