Creating a foundation of inclusion is key

Creating a foundation of inclusion for people with disabilities within the corporate environment is more than just providing adjusted accommodation.  Organisations must foster a culture in which each employee is valued for their unique skillset. Inclusive leadership is also about building an understanding of diversity. It is about helping individuals and team members to function at their highest potential.

A foundation of inclusion is ultimately perpetuated by valuing the perspective each team member brings to their individual work.  Its the value they bring when collaborating with colleagues. Coaching can go a long way toward enhancing positive, healthy perspectives. 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 primary area which sets the stage for all others to follow is with the human resource team and hiring managers. 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 a foundation of inclusion. Coaching specifically for hiring managers can also provide some self-examination to uncover and shift any possible biases. Biases either within an individual or company culture.

By understanding where biases exist, it becomes possible in the real-time experience of an interview, to recognize what the hiring managers are bringing to the encounter.  Coaching can open them up to other possible perspectives. It can help organisations discern new sources of talent among interviewees.  This will, in the long run, serve their company to greater advantage.

Creating positive team dynamics for a foundation of inclusion

The second area in which coaching may be of use is once a hire is made. Providing 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. This can be extremely helpful in smoothing the transition period.  It enables 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. Fostering the space to uncover and recognize individualized potential is essential. Coaching can arm new team members with a deeper understanding of what they bring to the company. Also how best to communicate that within a team situation. Proving individual coaching can also be extremely beneficial in clarifying responsibilities. It can help the organisation to experiment 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.  It can also provide the foundation for a sustainable, positive culture, within any organization.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

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 and discover daily inspiration on Twitter at @inkinthewheels.