Perspectives: Building the Foundation of Inclusion Through Coaching

Inclusion
Barton and Megan Cutter
Barton and Megan Cutter are leadership coaches, disability inclusion experts, and national speakers. They combine their experience of living with a disability, uncompromising wit, and professional background in leadership development to support corporations and businesses. Owners of Cutter's Edge Consulting, they work with human resources, hiring managers, and leadership teams to leverage the talent of all abilities within their organizations through inclusive program design and coaching. Authors of Ink in the Wheels: Stories to Make Love Roll in 2012, they inspire transformation. Their blog, resources, and inspiration can be found at http://cuttersedgeconsulting.com and discover daily inspiration on Twitter at @inkinthewheels.
Barton and Megan Cutter

@inkinthewheels

National speakers, coaches, and writers to inspire change! Specialities: inclusive leadership, empowerment & disability. http://t.co/abSm2sOBFw
The path to #impact #freedom and #leadership differs for every person. Are you clear on YOUR path? https://t.co/mktpC4V84v - 5 days ago
Barton and Megan Cutter
Barton and Megan Cutter

Creating inclusion is key

Creating inclusion  for people with disabilities within the corporate environment is more than just providing necessary accommodations; it is fostering a culture in which each employee is valued for his or her talent and their unique skill set. Inclusive leadership is also about building understanding and how individuals and team members operate and enabling them to function at their highest level.

Much of this, as one might imagine, is built, fostered and ultimately perpetuated by the perspective that each team member brings to their individual work and their collaboration with colleagues. And, coaching can go a long way toward enhancing positive, healthy perspectives that enable inclusion for people of all abilities to blossom and thrive in the workplace.

When making a concerted effort to enhance the inclusion of professionals with disabilities in the workplace, there are several key areas in which coaching can be particularly beneficial.

Utilizing the Human Resource Team

The first, and the primary area which sets the stage for all others to follow, is among the human resource team and hiring managers. While training can provide the baseline nuts and bolts of technical information to be considered when interviewing and hiring a professional with a disability, on-going coaching can delve into the specifics of helping those in the position of hiring understand the variances and perspectives that underlie inclusion. Coaching specifically for hiring managers can also provide some self-examination to uncover and shift any possible biases, either within individual personal or company culture.

By understanding if, where, and how these biases exist, it becomes possible in the real time experience of an interview, to recognize what the hiring manager’s are bringing to the encounter, open themselves to other possible perspectives, and discern new sources of talent among interviewees, which will in the long run, serve their company to a greater advantage.

Creating Positive Team Dynamics

The second area in which coaching may be of use is once a hire is made, to provide coaching in a team environment to ensure that colleagues at all levels are open and willing to collaborate with a new team member.

Ensuring that different approaches to work productivity and team flow, because of a perceived disability or otherwise, are valued and well integrated can be extremely helpful in smoothing the transition period and enabling all team members to move more swiftly into an efficient team dynamic.

Boosting Personal Confidence

The third and final area in which coaching may serve as a catalyst for greater inclusion is with new hires that may have a perceived disability. In fostering the space to uncover and recognize individualized potential, coaching can arm these new team members with a deeper understanding of what they bring to the company and how best to communicate that within a team situation. Proving individual coaching can also be extremely beneficial in clarifying responsibilities and experimenting with various approaches to facilitate a more productive outcome.

Coaching in these three areas can deepen both the individual’s and team member’s experience of their work, and it can also provide the foundation for a sustainable, positive culture, within any organization.

We would love to hear from you with comments or questions, www.cuttersedgeconsulting.com.

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