Safety Matters – Oct 2019 – Resized

Today I’d like to share a short 15-minute video from one of my favorite authors, Simon Sinek, on the power of psychological safety in organizations.

We often go into organizations to help build psychological safety, and here are a few of the common challenges we see:

  1. People who don’t trust the leadership team usually don’t feel comfortable openly sharing that information – which keeps the most senior managers in the dark about what people actually experience in their organizations.
  2. Other mid-level managers are so busy trying to get their work done that they spend very little time on the less tangible aspects of their jobs like culture building. In fact, often these managers don’t even take the time to regularly mentor and coach their direct reports.
  3. While many people enjoy team building retreats, these events often don’t address the deeper issues that lurk, unresolved and only discussed behind closed doors.

It’s not that leaders don’t care or don’t WANT to create a powerful, positive environment. Shaping a culture can be daunting – it’s not something tangible that you can see, and there aren’t a clear set of steps to move towards the goal of “safe culture”.

The video below talks about what can happen in cultures that feel safe – how people naturally behave differently, leading to much higher organizational performance:

What do you think would happen in your organization if people felt more safe and cared for? And no matter where you sit in your current organization – what if you had a lot more power to influence the culture than you think?

Here are some questions that can get you thinking about specific things you can do to become an agent of trust-building within your organization, no matter what actual position you hold:

  1. Think about when you feel the most safe, trusting, happy, and motivated in your organization – what is happening in those moments that doesn’t always happen? What level of influence do you have to create more of this?
  2. Notice the people around you. When do they seem the most engaged and motivated, and when do they seem disengaged, reactive or self-protective? Do you see where trust or lack of trust might play into their behavior?
  3. How do you interact with others when you need things from them? How do people respond to you? When you get more positive or more negative responses from others, could it relate to how much they trust you?
  4. Can you identify the three top behavior patterns in your organization that contribute to trust and the three top behavior patterns in your organization that erode trust?
  5. What are three specific things you can do, starting now, that will make a positive difference in the lives of the people you touch in your organization?
  6. Why would doing these three things be worth it to you?

If you’re interested in exploring strategies for building trust and safety within your organization, please reach out and schedule a free consultation with us. We’d love to hear from you!


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