Body Language Cues for Inclusion

Sharon entered the conference room, took her place at the head of the table, put down her coffee cup, opened her laptop, greeted her new management team with remarks about the importance of collaboration, and asked individuals to introduce themselves. She had worked previously with some of the managers there, and she nodded, smiled, and made eye contact with each before calling the meeting to order. But then, as other team members began to speak, she seemed to lose interest in what was going on; she frequently looked away to check her computer screen, walked over to the coffee table for a refill, and, when her cell phone buzzed, excused herself to answer—at length. Then she announced a break, during which she asked me, in all seriousness, for a critique of her leadership style.

I wish I'd had this chapter to give her instead!

Critical elements of a company's competitiveness are the potential of its people, the quality of the information those people possess, and their willingness to share knowledge with others in the organization. The leadership challenge is to link these components as tightly as possible to facilitate increased collaboration and knowledge sharing in teams, in departments, and right across the company.

This chapter will explain how we are hardwired to connect with colleagues, how mirroring creates empathy, what the body language of inclusion means, how damaging the exclusion of individuals can be, the importance ...

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