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Creating Conditions for Honesty

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I was inspired the other day hearing Madeleine Albright say that in order to make the best decisions, the *responsible* thing to do is to make sure that all voices are heard.

That spoke to me about the importance of inclusion, psychological safety, and how as leaders we need to be strategic in creating the right environment for these things.

Do you purposefully create the conditions for honesty?

What about your team leaders? Do they know whether their actions are creating an environment of psychological safety or an environment of distrust and isolation?

Do they know HOW to create the conditions for honesty or WHY it’s so important? …do you?

Recent surveys have shown that 93% of people feel like they can not say what is on their mind on at least one team at work. This only goes away through strategically working on it with your leaders. It’s all based on what they say and do each day.

What are the top things leaders can do?

  • Discuss challenges and uncertainties, and admit what you don’t know
  • Showing vulnerability in ways like this encourage others to do so too
  • Reinforce or praise people when they also show vulnerability or courage in speaking up
  • Thank people for their feedback and react well to it and to bad news, especially if it stings
  • Hold listening sessions, in which people are encouraged to speak their minds

Why is this important?

Gallup found that increasing psychological safety results in a 12% increase in productivity. That is far lower than I’ve observed.

In Google’s project aristotle, they found psychological safety was the most important quality that determined a team’s success. There is much to learn about this topic…

You’ve got to develop the relationship and earn the chance to hear those thoughts. You earn it through your behavior, through being honest, genuine, curious, and always out for the good of the person/people who you want to hear the truth from.

If you’re thinking about how to get your team up to speed on these or other techniques I cover, email me for info on my courses.

Or if you would you like me to speak to your organization on topics like this, comment below and let me know, I’d love to hear from you. 

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