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How can everyone contribute to an inclusive environment?

Inclusivity is a term you hear often, but putting it into practice is a lot more difficult. While employers are obligated to ensure employees of all races, genders, and orientations feel comfortable in a given working environment, there are things peers can do to ensure the same. In this case, Entrepreneur recommends the following tips to make sure that all workers feel comfortable at the office. 

Don't make assumptions

Even the most forward-thinking people are prone to making assumptions. And even relatively harmless assumptions can have a negative impact on the workplace, especially if they serve to exclude certain people time and time again. Any time you feel yourself acting on a bias or assuming something about a person, stop yourself. If you need clarification on an issue, ask the person directly instead of just making up your mind on your own. Encourage others to do the same if you're privy to any biases they have or assumptions they've made 

Rotate meeting leaders

If it's in your control, try to rotate who runs meetings each week or month. Having the same person or people always in charge of meetings can lead to the same topics discussed over and over again. However, having different people run meetings, especially those from underrepresented groups, can change the perspective of your entire office. If you don't have a say in who heads up meetings, approach a supervisor and make the suggestion. 

Talk about life outside of work

People are passionate about different things, which may not be evident within the working environment. Talking to your co-workers about their lives away from the office is a great way to gain a greater understanding of them and what their life is like. Not only can this strengthen your workplace connection, it can also give a different perspective, which in turn makes you grow as a person. 

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