By Sabah Alam Hydari
What if business leaders could use this moment to increase the trust and performance of the teams they depend on by eliminating the interactions that cause some workers—whether virtual or on-site—to feel disadvantaged, excluded, minimized, or deflated?
The idea for the forging team inclusiveness loop first came to me after the string of devastating terror attacks in London in 2017. Alongside my visceral reaction to the atrocities, I felt the familiar sense of otherness creeping back into my being. It brought forth echoes of my high-school days, when I was on the receiving end of physical and verbal racial abuse—the racist slur “Paki” was hurled at me regularly. While mourning the senseless loss of lives, I was simultaneously compelled to recognize that my identity as a Muslim—a community being categorized indiscriminately, in an emerging global narrative, as “villains”—had begun to overshadow all my other identities. I found myself responding defensively during conversations with colleagues, referencing Muslim-led antiterrorism protest marches, for example, and citing instances of high-profile Muslims publicly condemning the acts.