Inclusion (HBR Emotional Intelligence Series): A Book Review by Bob Morris

Inclusion: HBR Emotional Intelligence Series
Various Contributors
Harvard Business Review Press (November 2017)

In the most profitable workplace cultures, everyone feels they belong.

This is one of the volumes in the HBR Emotional Intelligence Series, offering cutting-edge thinking about how to become an inclusive colleague. That is, “how to be more empathetic, accepting, and socially aware, so you can help create a more inclusive work environment…starting with yourself.”

The nine “classic” articles were originally published in HBR and if all were purchased separately as reprints, the total cost would be at least $110. Amazon now sells a paperbound volume for only $8.80. That’s not a bargain; that’s a steaL.

Here is some specific information about each of the articles.

o “Why Inclusive Leaders Are Good for Organizations”: Juliet Bourke and Andrea Titus on six behaviors to model when practicing inclusive leadership

“The Value of Belonging at Work”: Evan W. Carr, Andrew Reece, Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, and Alexi Robichaux on WHY a sense of belonging is beneficial for people — and for the bottom line

o “Make Psychological Safety a Strategic Priority”: Maren Gube and Debra Sabatini Hennelly on HOW leaders can enhance integrity, innovation, and inclusion

o “The Importance of Being an Inclusive Colleague”: Juliet Bourke on HOW and WHY small gestures can make a big difference

o “Recognizing and Responding to Microaggressions”: Ella F.Washington on WHAT to do if you witness a microaggression — or commit one yourself

o “Tap into Empathy”: Irina Cozma on HOW to treat others as they wish to be treated

o “Inclusion Starts with Belonging”: DDS Dobson-Smith on HOW to unlearn your own biases, especially the ones you have against yourself

o “Stop Using These Words and Phrases”: Rshitha Arni Ravichankar on HOW the language we use  can make others feel hurt, disrespected, and isolated

o “The Power of Sharing Our Stories”: Selena Rezvani and Stacey A. Gordon on WHY it’s a rare chance to take on a new perspective

* * *

Only you can you apply the relevant knowledge and common sense wisdom that are provided in this book. However, you will need help from associates and probably some luck such as being in the right place at the right time.” You also need to know when an opportunity is “knocking on your door,” and be prepared to take full advantage of it. (Sometimes it whispers.) You can also benefit from having role models.  There is a great deal of value to learn from their successes and, especially from their [begin italics] failures [end italics]. However, to repeat, your success (however defined) ultimately depends on you.

* * *

Here are two other suggestions while reading Inclusion: First, highlight key passages Also,  perhaps in a lined notebook kept near-at- hand, record your comments, questions, action steps (preferably with deadlines), page references, and lessons you have learned as well as your responses to key points posed within the narrative. Also, record your responses to specific issues or questions addressed, especially at the conclusion of articles.

These two simple tactics — highlighting and documenting — will facilitate, indeed expedite frequent reviews of key material later.

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