Diversity and inclusion are “really part of core competencies that managers, and individuals inspiring to be managers and executives, should have,” says management and career consultant Deborah Biddle. “It directly affects your ability to innovate and create. It directly affects your ability to inspire trust and productivity, and ultimately, revenue for your organization. If you can’t be the kind of person that is open to new ideas, who’s able to work collaboratively with a different group of people, your organization won’t perform as well as those with leaders who are more inclusive.”

Biddle, founder of High Performance Development Solutions, will lead a workshop for current and aspiring managers interested in learning a more inclusive leadership style on Wednesday, January 10 from 9:30 to 11:30 am at the American Family DreamBank, 1 North Pinckney Street, in downtown Madison.

“I’m anticipating that there will be some individual contributor professionals as well as managers at various levels that will be coming,” Biddle says. “Looking to try understand kind of where they are in terms of their ability to be inclusive and then looking to improve and kind of gain some skills in that area. And then there will be some people looking too to see if some of the training might be good for their organization.”

In addition to leading workshops and seminars, Biddle conducts training and coaching for managers and companies on creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, which is critical for the bottom line.

It’s not just about hiring a diverse set of people, Biddle says, but creating an environment where diverse people can thrive together.

“When people aren’t transparent about who they are, what their goals and objectives are, in an organization that’s a huge barrier,” she says. “When people are not intentionally trying to establish rapport with everyone in the workplace regardless of what their ethnicity, or social status, or educational background, or gender, or sexuality is, that’s a problem.”

It’s also about building relationships with a diverse group of coworkers.

“When we think about the people who we trust, if we’re always going to the same people for advice, or for recommendations, for people to be a part of the team or if we’re going to the same folks when we’re looking at who we’re gonna promote, and who we’re gonna give high profile assignments then you’ll always gonna get people who look like you and who think like you. So the biggest challenge then is to step outside of our comfort zone,” she says.

The event is currently full, but Biddle says some more seats might open up this week. She’s also a regular at other events around town, having spoken at the YWCA Racial Justice Summit, the Urban League’s Economic Development and Diversity Summit, and many more.