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Learn how to Speak in an Inclusive Way

It wouldn't surprise us if you have never heard about inclusive speech. Don't worry we don't blame you if you don't know what it is but it is a topic worth learning more about. Inclusive speech is a practice necessary to facilitate an inclusive and fair workplace. In this article you will learn how to make your speech inclusive and how to motivate your employees to follow your example.

A person giving a speech in front of an audience

Key Parts of Inclusive Speech

Inclusive speech is about people and your respect and fairness towards them. It can be as simple as using gender-neutral pronouns like they/them or adopting a people-first approach. An example of the people-first approach is using "a person with a handicap" instead of "a handicapped person". By the putting the person first you are able to make sure that the person is not only included in the conversation but also that they feel like a valued person or member of the team.

Other examples of inclusive speech

  • Avoid stereotypes like "To jew" or "To gyp"
  • Have respect for other cultures and religion. Don't use "Merry Christmas" but use "Happy Holidays" instead.
  • Avoid words that are no longer acceptable in our society like various ethnic and religious slurs.

The importance during public speaking

When speaking to a big audience, inclusive speech is so important. You aren't sure who is in your audience and what special needs they may have. Ranging from religion and culture to people with disabilities, you need to be as inclusive as you can possibly be. Don't be afraid to use words like "a person with a handicap" or "a person with a disability", show the way and your audience will be happy to hear you. It show bravery and kindness, something we all strive for.

Motivating your employees

Each different generation requires a different approach. Younger generations may already well be aware about inclusive speech and may not need to be taught it. Older generations come from a different time where a lot more was acceptable and may not be aware that they are offending others.

Like any culture change it requires patience. Expecting your employees to change their behaviour takes a lot of energy. What you need to know is that there is nothing wrong with pointing out mistakes as long as you do it in a respectful manner. By providing a clear example of how to speak in an inclusive way you can motivate employees to do the same.

Inclusive speech is a valuable asset for your company and many people, groups, cultures and religions will be thankful for the positive vibes you are spreading.

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