Common Choice Points

Last updated: November 28, 2021
Estimated reading time: 3.5 min


Below are some of the most common choice points, or key decision-making opportunities, leaders face. As you add more to fit your context, think about the big buckets of work that you’re responsible for and identify the most common decisions that impact equity and inclusion outcomes in each area.

Relationship-Building

  • How do you incorporate the four elements of relationship-building (space for authenticity, building trust, navigating difference and power, and shared purpose) in your interactions with your staff member?
  • How do you talk about or address tensions related to identity, power, inequity, and difference?
  • When you make a mistake or misstep, how do you acknowledge it? How will you fix it?
    • Are there any disparities in how you respond with different team members?
  • How do you celebrate, spotlight, and acknowledge each team members’ work and contributions?
  • With whom do you most often show genuine curiosity or vulnerability?

Goal-Setting

  • Whether they’re at the organizational, team, or individual level, goals represent your priorities. How do your goals align with your values and commitment to racial equity?
  • Who do you involve in your goal-setting process?
  • How do your goals minimize disparities across lines of difference or build power for marginalized people?

Delegation

  • To whom do you delegate stretch assignments? Who is getting the opportunity to build or showcase skills beyond what is currently required of them?
    • Conversely, who usually ends up with maintenance tasks, like taking notes at meetings, working out logistics for conference calls, or cleaning up the office kitchen, whether or not it’s part of their job description?
  • Who do you proactively check in with, offer support to, or share feedback with after you’ve delegated a task or project?
  • How in the mix/out of the mix will you be after delegating a project?

Hiring

  • Have you focused on what it takes to do the role, the must-have competencies and talents (rather than who you had in mind)?
    • Are there qualifications that unintentionally exclude candidates that you can set aside (education requirements, teachable skills, personality traits, years of work experience)?
  • Who is impacted by this hire (or vacancy)? Who should you talk to about the role, process, and timeline before you begin?
  • How transparent are you about compensation? What factors inform salary and other compensation negotiations?
  • How do you engage connectors to help build a diverse candidate pool? How are connectors appreciated?
  • When you (or your hiring committee) are on the fence about a candidate, how do you decide how to move forward?
  • Do you test for racial equity and inclusion competency in your hiring process?
  • How do you mitigate bias in your hiring process?
  • How do you create an atmosphere of ease and belonging in the interview?
  • Do you periodically review your data to spot patterns around who makes it through each round and eventually gets hired?
  • How will the onboarding process be structured to create a sense of belonging and prioritize time for relationship building?

Check-ins

  • Who do you have regular check-ins with?
  • Whose check-ins tend to get canceled or rescheduled?
  • How prepared are you for your check-ins with staff? Do you bring your list of priority items to discuss?
  • Do you share feedback during check-ins?

Developing People

  • Who do you give feedback to? How regularly? What kind is it (corrective, developmental, or positive reinforcement)? How clear and honest is it?
  • Who are you—formally or informally—mentoring?
  • Who do you offer growth opportunities to? How often?
  • When you need to make a big decision or have a new idea, whose perspective do you seek?
  • How can you make career pathways and advancement transparent to your staff?

Performance Problems

  • Have you been clear about role expectations, including both the what and the how?
  • How explicit have you made your implicit expectations? For instance, if making a deadline means getting it to you three days early to review and approve, does your staff member understand that?
  • Have you reflected on the quality and quantity of your feedback:
  • Thinking about your entire team, are there any inconsistencies in who gets your time, feedback, guidance, or investment, where unintended bias could be at play?
  • Will coaching, feedback, or training improve the performance issue?
  • Is the problem showing up in an area that’s truly a requirement for the role, or is it more of a preference or tradition?
  • Have you sought others’ perspectives in assessing the quality of their work?

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