Inclusive Chairing Toolkit
This collection of resources has been made for the Humanities Division, as part of the 'What Works for Promoting EDI in Research Careers' project, funded by the University and the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund.
Its aim is to give key faculty officers the skills and confidence to inclusively chair meetings and seminars, and to bring together best practice to support working and learning environments in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected.
Slides available soon
- Self assessment: an introduction to the Ten Components of a Thinking Environment
Worksheets designed to support your inclusive chairing practice by helping you to:
- Improve the quality of your attention;
- Challenge your own assumptions about people, enabling you to treat them as equals;
- Recognise unexpressed feelings which might be inhibiting good thinking, and enable sufficient emotional release to restore thinking (document available soon)
- Support diverse group identities and diversity of thinking to improve the chance of the best collaborative thinking (document available soon)
The Equality and Diversity Unit has resources to help you think about your personal role in creating an inclusive culture, covering cultural awareness, workplace customs, working style preferences, meeting arrangements etc.
You can find a variety of online courses hosted by the University's People and Organisational Development unit (POD). Most of these can be taken at any time and at your own pace, and include Inclusive Leadership and Implicit Bias in the Workplace, and Cultural Awareness in the Workplace.
There is also a selection of e-learning resources which includes guidance on inclusive meetings and inclusive office practice focussing on the hybrid working environment and the challenges of mixed onsite and online attendence.
Pearn Kandola is a leading business-psychology consultancy which aims "to make the modern workplace fair for everyone by promoting Diversity and Inclusion and eradicating prejudice and unfairness". Their podcast on The Psychology of Remote Working is free to listen https://pearnkandola.com/podcast/season-3-episode-3-adapting-to-remote-working/ .
Pearn Kandola's resources page is reliable and wide-ranging: https://pearnkandola.com/resources/
POD has some excellent advice on designing and facilitating an awayday for your team, much of which is relevant to chairing discussions https://pod.admin.ox.ac.uk/diy-team-development-0. For example, the Frist Steps to Design section https://pod.admin.ox.ac.uk/first-steps-to-design will prompt you to think about what you want to achieve, and how (and whether) to prepare participants. There are some useful basic facilitation tips which provide insight into people's responses during meetings https://pod.admin.ox.ac.uk/facilitation-tips.
See also the 'Feelings' worksheet in Section 2 of this Toolkit, and this introduction to facilitation skills from the Community Toolbox https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/leadership/group-facilitation/facilitation-skills/main.
Facilitation skills are closely linked to the practice of managing groups and teams, and of teaching; for those wishing to go into this in more depth, a reliable guide is Heron, John (1999) The Complete Facilitators Handbook. London : Kogan Page.
The most important recent work on cognitive bias is Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow (2011, Farrar, Straus & Giroux). It has its own Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking,_Fast_and_Slow
This has given rise to many guides to common cognitive errors, some of which are avilable in poster form. For example: https://www.raconteur.net/infographics/cognitive-bias/ and
https://thethinkingshop.org/ (poster for sale, but free to download)
Kahneman's June 2011 article in the Harvard Business Review, Before you make that big decision, is an excellent introduction,
There is an interesting page here on the history of psychological research into the subject: Cognitive Distortions: Unhelpful Thinking Habits: https://www.psychologytools.com/articles/unhelpful-thinking-styles-cognitive-distortions-in-cbt/