Create Safety to Get Results

Ask this powerful question often: How can I help them feel safe?

Not getting the results you’re looking for?

How are people in your organization feeling?

Are they stressed? Worried? Fearful? 

If they are, those feelings are taking priority in their brains and preventing them from doing and feeling their best.

When we focus on helping people feel safe – psychologically and physically, we help people shift their thinking and actions to improvement, development, and creativity. They can focus on and become motivated to achieve results. 

Improving results often involves reducing the blame, shame, and punishment that have historically been used as motivators and increasing the amount of safety, empathy, and support.   

This can feel counter-intuitive and counter-productive, but it works.

Keep in mind that helping them feel safe means really understanding them, not making assumptions. So often, managers aren’t aware that the people they lead are feeling stressed about things like making mistakes, engaging with their co-workers, or even losing their job (this fear is often held by the people you’d least expect).   

Where do you start?  Consider asking “How can I help you feel safe?” in your next team meeting or one-on-one. Be patient. It may take a few times asking to get a response. Create safety by making it ok to say “I don’t know,” and at some point, you’ll start to get the answers you’re looking for.  

Image text and description:

Leadership tip: Ask this powerful question often “How can I help them feel safe? When we feel safe, we can focus on improvement, growth, and development rather than protecting ourselves.” with image of six people together smiling.


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