A strong sense of belonging can lead to better collaboration, retention and business performance. When we feel we belong, we are more motivated and engaged. It significantly reduces stress levels and improves physical health, emotional well-being and performance.
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When we feel a strong sense of belonging, we feel free to be ourselves and safe to offer different points of view and dissenting opinions. We also believe that our contributions matter and like we are “insiders,” a trusted integral part of a team, network or community.
Given the increasing diversity of our teams, we cannot take a sense of belonging for granted. That is why we, as leaders, colleagues and team members, need to be purposeful and deliberate in cultivating a sense of belonging for all, across all differences, to harness its benefits for us as individuals, for highest-performing teams and for our organizations.
Everyone has opportunities every day to shape the belonging experience for ourselves and others. This requires applying inclusive behaviors and norms, to make it clear to each person that their differences matter and that they are an “insider” of the group and not an “outsider.”
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