Inclusive Leader

How You Can Become an Inclusive Leader Workbook and eBook

Thank you for embarking on this journey. It is my hope that this workbook will contribute to having us all have more productive, growthful and compassionate interactions with each other.

— Dr. Robin


Given all that’s been happening recently, I’ve been asked repeatedly by practicing managers how they can become more Inclusive Leaders? How can they deal with Implicit / Unconscious Bias in their organizations? How can they respond to community and team member expectations regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

In response, I have synthesized research and practice from years as an executive educator into this Inclusive Leader Course. The associated workbook … How You Can Become an Inclusive Leader … shares seven sets of competencies organized using the acronym I.N.C.L.U.D.E.


I Include | Use the inclusive Six Secret Soft S.K.I.L.L.S.
N Nerve | Understand that it takes Nerve and Courage to do this
C Cultural Competence
L Listen
U Unconscious Bias Mitigation
D Diversity | Learning from Diverse Perspectives
E Empower
Materials for this title available in an online Zoom Course format

Online Zoom Course

The focus is on you becoming an inclusive leader — developing and using the skills you need to so that inclusion is the lived experience for people on your teams in your organization.

What do I mean by Inclusive Leadership? Inclusive Leadership is creating and sustaining an environment where all kinds of team members …

  • Get the job done …
  • Learn from and leverage differences, and …
  • Are engaged in their work — with each other — and the organization.

The competencies you need to be an effective leader and an inclusive leader are essentially the same. What differentiates Inclusive Leadership is an explicit acknowledgment that diverse experiences matter, attention to how they matter, and willingness to enact equitable treatment within your organization so that everyone contributes their best. In this course, you’ll become intentionally inclusive in your leadership.

The Inclusive Leader Course is a series of ten Zoom online content sessions, two content sessions per day, sandwiched with interactive group conversations about how to apply and use the content in your organization. Check in, two-content sessions, breaks, and T-E-A conversations are done in a 5-hour block. All sessions are interactive with Mentimeter polls, open Q&A, and/or chat.

Ideally, participants would also do a couple of hours of pre-work and a couple of hours of homework related to the sessions’ content and application.

The group conversations after the content sessions are called T-E-A sessions. T-E-A stands for TalkEngage—Align. These post-session conversations are where participants discuss the content of the day, strategize about how it relates to them / their organization, and make commitments to apply the content. The group members hold each other accountable by selecting someone who sends their commitments to me after the T-E-A session. That person then reports back to the entire class about what progress participant-team members made at the beginning of the next session.

To maximize interactivity, the course is limited to 24 participants. To keep sessions psychologically safe, no recording is allowed.

The course can be taught as an intensive five days in a row (not recommended); over a one-month time period with one week in between session days (preferred), or over two months with two weeks between session days.

For more information about my online Zoom course for becoming an Inclusive Leader, please check out the “ONLINE ZOOM COURSE” tab below where you can find a sample course design plus a more detailed description of the I.N.C.L.U.D.E. competencies.

Inclusive Leader materials are available in the following formats.

You can find more information about each in the tabs below.

Materials for this title available in workbook or handbook format


Materials for this title available in webinar format

Online Zoom Course


Materials for this title available in workbook formatThe Inclusive Leader workbook covers the material used in Dr. Robin’s 10-session course. The tone and style of her workbook is deliberately practical and informal, in keeping with her style. See the Table of Contents below for topics covered.


How to Become an Inclusive Leader Workbook | Table of Contents
Pit Story | Path | Definitions | From Me to We: I.N.C.L.U.D.E. | Reflection
Six Soft Skills | Kudos | Learning | SMARTER Goals | Inclusion in Action
Definition | Intent | Key Points | Courage | R.O.B.I.N. Conversations
Definitions | Culture | Categories | Cultural Competence Questionnaire (CCQ) | Motivation | Knowledge | Cultural Communication Styles | Strategies | Takeaways | CCQ Interpretation
Definition | Intent | Key Points | Intro to Skill | Questions = Power Play | Why People Talk | Research: Psychological Safety | Key Takeaways | Listen to Self Small Tweak – Big Impact
Goals | Definition |Research | IAT | Micro-Aggressions | Typical Blind Spots | Program Design | Mitigating {Unconscious} Bias | Unhooking | Recovery
Definition | Benefits | Dimensions | Social Identity | Target Strategies | Covering | Addressing | D&I Pitfalls | Best Practices re: D&I Management | White Fragility | Key Concepts
Definition | Authority Questionnaire | Ethical Decision-Making Questions | Competence Questionnaire | Achievement v. Perfectionism | Trust | Multi-Dimensional Trust Questionnaire | Communication-Based Trust | Character-Based Trust | Competence-Based Trust



Materials for this title available in online Zoom course formatContact Dr. Robin HERE for tailoring parameters, pricing and scheduling for an online Zoom course.

Sample Course Design
Pre-Work Intro T-E-A T-E-A T-E-A T-E-A
Inclusion in Action eLearning 1. Inclusion in Action Q&A – Conflict 101 – Intent / Impact 3. Kudos / Feedback 5. Diversity Strategies / Covering 7. Cultural Competence 9. Empower – Engage
2. IL Model – Soft Skills: Solutions, Listening, Learning / Cycle of Inference 4. Listening Circle (Micro-Aggressions Video) 6. Unconscious Bias Mitigation 8. Cultural Competence (continued) 10. Trust / Stability / Compassion / Hope
T-E-A Session Discuss and Commit to Trying One of the Nine Techniques or Soft Skills Discuss and Commit to Kudos Practice / Done List / MA Response Share SI Info with Group / UB Mitigation Commitment Share Intercultural Interaction Strategies – CCQ commitment Closing / Accountability Partner
Homework Robin Johnson Videos: Psych Safety, Dweck, Maber White Fragility / Race in America / Ouch! Silence Cultural Competence Questionnaire Authority Q; Competence Questionnaire;
Multi-Dimensional Trust Questionnaire
Detailed Description of the I.N.C.L.U.D.E. Competencies
I Inclusion is about modeling behaviors such as giving effective feedback, creating and sustaining psychological safety, double-loop learning, and S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals. It is also being willing and able to interrupt dissing behaviors that make the work environment toxic.
N Nerve is about bracing oneself mentally to face a demanding situation; summoning the courage and making sure you’re in the right frame of mind to deal with the issues at hand.
C Cultural Competence is your attitude – behavior, thoughts and feelings – towards cultural similarities and differences. And I define Culture broadly to include all the dimensions of diversity currently relevant in our workplaces today. Developing Cultural Competence is a process. It starts with Motivation for intercultural interaction, followed by Knowledge about other cultures, then effective Strategies for intercultural engagement and Behavioral Adaptation during intercultural interactions. We start the process of becoming more culturally competent by having you assess your cultural competence using a well-established, research-based tool.
L Listening – called Transformational Listening in my system, builds trust and creates psychological safety. I teach a number of tweaks to listening that increase your efficacy.
U Unconscious Bias Mitigation requires that you know what yours are, that you know your triggers, and you know how to mitigate rather than act from them. We all have biases. Intentional, inclusive leaders learn how to recognize them so they do not hijack interpersonal relationships or have bias in organizational systems / processes that cause unintended consequences.
D Diversity and Inclusion go together. I do not go into basic diversity training issues. I do provide insights about diversity-based social identity protection strategies – including White Fragility.
E Empowerment is an overlapping construct that includes Authority (delegate it); Competence (develop it); and Trust (give it). The Leadership Trait Questionnaire and Multi-Dimensional Trust Questionnaire provide insight and suggestions for being more empowering and encouraging more engagement from your team members.