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Inclusion Workshop

Carolyne French

By Carolyne French, Head of Program Learning,
18 January 2024

Thinka’s ‘Foster Inclusion’ Workshop

Building an inclusive team that embraces diverse thinking, diverse perspectives and diverse people is at the heart of high performance. Why? Because leaders who encourage each of their team members to show up authentically, and experience a sense of belonging, create psychological safety. And when team members have psychological safety, they’re more likely to give organisations their best.

What leaders will explore

  • What is diversity and inclusion?
  • Strengths over deficits
  • Challenging assumptions, stigma and bias
  • Behaviours that signal inclusion
  • A model for inclusion

What leaders will apply

  • An understanding of diversity and inclusion
  • An ability to recognise people’s strengths
  • Strategies for challenging bias
  • More inclusive leadership behaviours
  • A working inclusion model with their team
Workshop Purpose

This workshop supports leaders to develop an inclusive culture – so they can disrupt unconscious bias and successfully empower diverse teams. It helps Australian leaders in all industries understand the benefits of diversity and develop a fairer, more equitable leadership style. Whether your leaders are just starting out or are more experienced, this inclusion training helps them foster psychological safety and a more inclusive environment.

Working with organisations across Australia, we know that leaders face unique challenges. Here’s a few of them:

  1. Rise of ‘human skills’: Leaders who understand the value of diverse teams and developing human skills in teams will become increasingly valuable. Inclusive leaders develop cultural competency, and have a better understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusion, and social differences such as ethnicity, gender diversity, age, and ability.
  2. Purpose-led business: Younger generations of employees are seeking organisations that are progressive in areas like diversity and inclusion. With purpose and a strong commitment to employee wellbeing, organisations have a significant competitive advantage and a more compelling EVP for attraction, retention and engagement. 
  3. Increased use of global talent: Hybrid working has opened up more opportunities for teams to work across the globe and harness diversity of thought. Organisations are no longer restricted to local talent pools and can explore their options via digital networks. Bringing in global talent means diversity and inclusion initiatives become even more important. 
  4. Gender bias and discrimination: Gender bias and discrimination continue to be major challenges for women in leadership positions. Women might face bias in hiring and promotion decisions, and might be perceived as less assertive or capable of decision making, for example. In many industries, women and marginalised groups continue to be underrepresented in senior leadership positions. 
  5. Lack of support: Underrepresented groups, and especially people from marginalised ethnic groups, might experience a lack of support and not have their concerns (such as microaggressions) taken seriously. This bystander approach can leave team members feeling isolated, and can make it difficult for them to access opportunities.

Overall, these challenges present a strong case for how important inclusive leadership and allyship is in developing a healthy workplace culture.

Workshop Benefits

With the help of the ‘Foster Inclusion’ workshop, leaders will explore inclusive behaviours to enhance their leadership capability:

  1. Advocacy: Advocacy is important to establish fairness and equity in the work environment. When underrepresented groups are given opportunities, are included and feel a sense of belonging, organisations benefit and every individual benefits. With skills in advocacy, leaders can stamp out exclusive behaviours, bystander attitudes, and bring unconscious bias to light. 
  2. Collaboration: Leaders who can appreciate different needs and perspectives among stakeholders are better able to foster a collaborative work environment. Leaders who set up inclusive environments and psychological safety make space for others to speak up. They also actively include all people in conversations and decision-making. 
  3. Empathy: Finding ways to relate to other people’s experiences and the emotions they are feeling, gives leaders a better insight into team members. When this happens, there is a better opportunity for connection and inclusion, and this in turn means they’re more likely to support each other to achieve outcomes. 
  4. Relationship management: Leaders who seek to understand other people and appreciate their differences, are better able to maintain healthy relationships. Leaders who apply an inclusion lens to interactions by responding in respectful ways to what people need, build longer-lasting connections. This also has a positive effect on team member mental health and psychological safety. 
  5. Decision making: Leaders make well-considered decisions with confidence when they’re prepared and see all points of view and uproot unconscious bias. Leaders can build this capability by challenging old views, researching and educating oneself, and by setting a well-considered action plan in place.

By developing competencies in these skills, leaders can become more inclusive leaders and impact diversity and inclusion outcomes in positive ways.

Workshop FAQs

What is the ‘Foster Inclusion’ workshop?

This workshop can form part of your leaders’ professional development, as it’s specifically designed to support those in leadership positions to create inclusive teams. It aims to provide participants with the skills, tools, resources and confidence necessary to develop inclusive leadership behaviours. Our specialist facilitators have worked with many leaders across Australia and draw from these experiences to offer meaningful advice, practical strategies, and case studies to learn from.

Why should my organisation offer a workshop on inclusion?

Understanding how to apply inclusion with behaviours and strategies, as well as skills to call out bias, gives leaders a practical framework to reference. It can also help leaders to challenge themselves and each other to uproot unconscious bias, and make decision-making fairer and more equitable. The networking opportunities are crucial to helping leaders help each other and build an inclusive workplace.

Who can attend this inclusion workshop?

This workshop is designed for leaders – especially team leaders. Leaders establish strategies for developing an inclusive team culture, and learn more about how to challenge unconscious bias and bystander behaviours.

Is this inclusion workshop only available in person?

This workshop can be delivered in person or virtually – depending on the organisation’s set-up. Sometimes, workshops are complemented by coaching sessions with a Thinka coach. Coaching plays an important role in challenging old biases and behaviours and supporting leadership development. Organisations might also opt for a blended program that makes use of eLearning modules and other forms of media.

This is the second time I have taken this workshop and I have gotten something new each time. Love that this session included details about hybrid working.

Foster Inclusion participant, Meliora Marketing

Workshop Outline

Delivery Options

In Person Workshop

Virtual Workshop

See Demo

Key Outcomes

1. Leaders who understand what diversity and inclusion means.

2. Leaders who can identify team member strengths.

3. Leaders who demonstrate inclusive leadership behaviours.

4. Leaders who can challenge their own biases and the biases of others.

5. Leaders who can use a working inclusion model with their team.

Target Audience

Leaders

Learning Approach

Experiential and application based learning

pair me with:

Lift Motivation

Motivating from the inside; the key to long-term career success.

Motivate Employees Better

Apply Coaching

Good coaches are human and know what it means to be human.

Coaching Skills Training

Our in-person workshops maximise opportunities for robust conversation, experiential activities and intensive group work. This is no ‘death by PowerPoint’ experience – our facilitators are skilled in presenting and leading immersive experiences that get the most out of people. Supported by multimedia, attractive takeaway pages and practical strategies for using back on the job – our in-person workshops build a formidable bridge between exploration and application. We have a 10 person minimum for an in person workshop.

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Our virtual workshops breathe fresh life into the online experience with their almost ‘radio show’ feel. Our expert facilitators use a combination of multimedia, questioning techniques and break out activities to target micro-skills – with a focus on application. Supported by an online platform hosting custom-built workshop materials, participants can be assured of a lively, dynamic session that has a distinct bias to action. We have a 6 person minimum for a virtual workshop.
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This audience includes ‘middle management’ leaders who support team members in capability building. The skills are geared toward increasing leadership effectiveness and driving performance in team members in modern work contexts. These skills are flexible and built to grow with individuals as they evolve in their leadership journeys.
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Thinka believes that every learner needs to walk away being able to do something differently once they’ve engaged in a learning solution. The real power is in every individual applying their learning. Our behaviour-based methods, supported by the latest research, are key to making the steps for change relevant and realistic.

Thinka supports with methods like storytelling, experiential activities or rich questioning, but ultimately, we know the integration between solution and real world is the most crucial part of the learning experience. That is why we look for ways to ‘build a bridge’ between the solution we provide and what happens back out on the job.

Whether it’s an application template, a set of strategies, some tips or a ‘how to’ model – we work hard to provide every learner with not just information but the tools they need to make a real difference.

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