2.2.2021 Boda Insights: Helping leaders with diversity, equity, and inclusion

NH coaching

The new year is off to an intense start. In the US, COVID-19 cases are on the rise, the economy is struggling, and racial inequity remains a huge concern for many of us. One bright light in that dark story, according to a recent Brookings Institute analysis, is that the US is on track to have the most diverse Cabinet in our history. This happens as so many companies are struggling to think about and take action on strategies to improve the diversity, equity, and inclusion of their employees.

Most Fortune 500 companies offer education and training for leaders around DE&I, including classes, webinars, and workshops on unconscious bias, allyship, sponsorship, and the business and moral imperative around a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Unfortunately, most companies are seeing little improvement and are far from satisfied with the results.

To address this, we have partnered with a few of our clients to explore a new approach — executive coaching for senior leaders around DE&I. Coaching goes beyond the necessary cognitive awareness that training accomplishes and creates a safe, supportive, and appropriately challenging experience for leaders to articulate questions and obstacles they face around DE&I, challenge themselves to take personal accountability, experiment with new mindsets and behaviors, and adjust their leadership. In short, this coaching helps leaders learn, create new, sustained actions and habits around inclusion, and build more diverse organizations.

Research has shown that executive coaching can be a powerful approach to navigating this important change. Boda coaches do not teach or advise the leaders we work with. Instead, we build on the training these leaders already have had, leveraging the International Coaching Federation core competencies to create an experience where the leaders reflect, learn, set objectives, experiment, and navigate a path toward improvement.

It is still early days for this new approach to DE&I. We are co-creating the approach and learning with our clients as we go. We will happily share what we learn and would love it if you would as well.

All the best for this new year,

The Boda Team