The most impactful thing you can do, right now, to kickstart positive change, is to focus on language: how we talk and how we communicate with each other. As leaders, we must understand different verbal constructs and communication skills, quickly. Insist on inclusive, optimistic, and results-oriented language in how your team communicates and in the way you ask questions. 

 

You can ask a team member, “why didn’t this project hit the target?” That’s challenging, but it’s also negative language. Or you could ask, “what areas of focus can I help you learn or navigate, so we will meet this goal?” Different vocabulary; however, the outcome is the same. Words and motivation are very different; once you start to transform your language and the intent behind it, you will naturally learn to implement DEI language. You will be in practice and in harmony with that moment. It’s not about lowering the standards, it’s about creating more motivation to achieve them.