Why are we afraid to make others feel heard and understood, to have the important conversations, to express opinions? How does that affect trust?  Why are people afraid to address the elephant in the room?

The feeling of trust and cooperation where does it come from?  Whether at home or in the work place there needs to be a circle of safety. Being able to trust that others have your back.  In the military they believe others would do the same for them in situations; they don’t stop to ask why they are doing something for a comrade, they just do it. We sacrifice so others may gain  In business people get bonuses so the business gains. That is very different

When we know the company has our back even when we take chances and fail we tend to work harder to do better.  There is a strong sense of trust and cooperation because we feel safe. Great leaders set the tone. They show their people that they are valued  and will be protected.  When numbers go down in terms of revenue they don’t  immediately do layoffs, they find ways to keep people and look at new ways to regrow.

Leadership is a choice it is not authority or rank  Leaders go first and sacrifice so people may gain and the people return that because they feel safe and don’t fear their leaders. they take accountability for their role. They show empathy, their human side.

Leaders know there are times they have to tackle difficult conversations. Don’t assume they aren’t as fearful to have them as anyone else, but, they know some things have to be said to help the employees continue to feel safe and to grow. the conversations may include discipline or how to tackle social issues. They also provide opportunities for growth and change. When companies are going through hard times, to maintain the feeling of safety the leadership communicates the issues and asks for input. This is unlike the tech layoffs when thousands received an email saying their job was eliminated.  How much trust  is now felt by the people who remain? They are waiting for their turn as opposed to wanting to find ways to help the company.  They are sending out emails, and seriously looking; not a happy culture or environment.

Difficult conversations can be a springboard to not only safety but improved engagement. They can be opportunities to build closer relationships and come up with better ideas. Topics in the news from politics, to race, to gender issues and so much more can cause concern and lead to disinformation, which has a negative impact. It is important to overcome the fear of the topic and openly discuss what affect it might have on the workplace. Ask questions. Give answers to the best of your ability and if you don’t know, say so, then make sure to get the information. Most importantly listen without judgement.  Learn from them to better understand their concerns and fears. Recognize that not everyone sees this in the same way, and understand where other people are coming from. Eliminate gossip.

Don’t be afraid to be open, transparent. People prefer honesty to avoidance or secrets. Show your employees how much you believe in them and that this is a safe place for them to grow and develop their skills