Create a Safe Workplace

“To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of the relationship, which depends on the quality of the conversations,

Everything happens through conversation!!!”

Judith E. Glaser

If I asked you who the best Boss, you have had was – could you name him or her?

If I asked you who the worst Boss, you ever had was – I know you could name him or her.


Judith E. Glaser whom I worked with for 3 years taught me the importance of “changing the conversation in the workplace” In my work I see too many broken people, who have been undermined, unsupported and not recognised for the work that they do. In world where we are so fixated on our technology – real conversations are not taking place.

We are asked to do more, be more and know more. We feel we are connected and yet we don’t speak to the people sitting around us.

Human beings thrive on being appreciated, valued and supported. When the work environment feels threatening, it brings out fears that will be experienced as rejection. While we may not see the impact, a negative work environment dampens down people’s “voices” and they don’t speak up easily. Environments, certain words and lack of transparency trigger old memories. By changing the environment to a safe and supportive one, we activate TRUST networks in the Brain.

People feel safe, act more confident and engage with one another in an innovative and collaborative way. They are more engaged and productivity is increased.

I recently read an article in HBR by Emma Seppälä, Ph.D., is Author of The Happiness Track, and Kim Cameron, Ph.D., Business Author of Positive Leadership and Practicing Positive Leadership.

I have gently edited this for the purpose of sharing the 5 tips from their article “Proof that a Positive Culture is more productive.”

  1. Foster social connections. A large number of empirical studies confirm that positive social connections at work produce highly desirable results. For example, people get sick less often, recover twice as fast from surgery, experience less depression, learn faster and remember longer, tolerate pain and discomfort better, display more mental acuity, and perform better on the job.
  1. Show empathy. As a boss, you have a huge impact on how your employees feel. Research found that, when employees recalled a boss that had been unkind or un-empathic, they showed increased activation in areas of the brain associated with avoidance and negative emotion while the opposite was true when they recalled an empathic boss.
  1. Go out of your way to help. Ever had a manager or mentor who took a lot of trouble to help you when he or she did not have to? Chances are you have remained loyal to that person to this day.  When leaders are not just fair but self-sacrificing, their employees are actually moved and inspired to become more loyal and committed themselves. As a consequence, they are more likely to go out of their way to be helpful and friendly to other employees, thus creating a self-reinforcing cycle. Daan Van Knippenberg of Rotterdam School of Management shows that employees of self-sacrificing leaders are more cooperative because they trust their leaders more. They are also more productive and see their leaders as more effective and charismatic.
  1. Encourage people to talk to you – especially about their problems.Not surprisingly, trusting that leader has your best interests at heart improves employee performance. Employees feel safe rather than fearful. Fostering a culture of safety i.e. in which leaders are inclusive, humble, and encourage their staff to speak up or ask for help, leads to better learning and performance outcomes. Rather than creating a culture of fear of negative consequences, feeling safe in the workplace helps encourage the spirit of experimentation so critical for innovation.
  1. When you know a leader is committed to operating from a set of values based on interpersonal kindness, he or she sets the tone for the entire organization. In Give and Take, Wharton professor Adam Grant demonstrates that leader kindness and generosity are strong predictors of team and organizational effectiveness.

A positive work climate also leads to a positive workplace culture which, again, boosts commitment, engagement, and performance. Happier employees make for not only a more congenial workplace but for improved customer service. As a consequence, a happy and caring culture at work not only improves employee well-being and productivity but also improved client health outcomes and satisfaction.

In sum, a positive workplace is more successful over time because it increases positive emotions and well-being. This, in turn, improves people’s relationships with each other and amplifies their abilities and their creativity. It buffers against negative experiences such as stress, thus improving employees’ ability to bounce back from challenges and difficulties while bolstering their health. And, it attracts employees, making them more loyal to the leader and to the organization as well as bringing out their best strengths. When organizations develop positive, virtuous cultures they achieve significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness — including financial performance, customer satisfaction, productivity, and employee engagement.


What’s In It For Me For 2019

Ever heard of the Radio Station WIFM? A term used by Personal Development and Sales Training guru’s back in the 90’s – I still hear people say it today.

What’s In It For Me? let’s turn that into What do I want for Me?

After having a wonderful holiday with my family for Christmas and New Year, I have spent this week working from home planning 2019 – let me say that there has been no shortage of suggestion flying through the emails on how to plan for success, how to make it different, along with an enormous amount of planners and diaries on offer – interestingly they are all paper planners and no electronic ones on offer – funny that. It seems that not everyone plans and schedules on their devices.

There really is no excuse – there is so much information out there to help you plan, just ask google..

This year I have chosen to use the Goal Digger Planner – I found it last year and it worked really well for me, I have everything in one place, my goals, my vision board and my bucket list for the year and an easy method to keep track of it all.

The book I chose to read for inspiration is Robin Sharma’s 5am Club I have been following Robin for years and love his work. The first book I read of his was, Leader Who has no title you don’t need a title to be a leader. The 5 am Club offers you the idea that the first hour of your day is magic – it sets up your day for huge productivity and focus. I haven’t quite got to 5am but have managed 5.30 this week. It is a good read, very motivating and I highly recommend it.

What ever you choose to do to start your year on the right trajectory – take the time to get clear about what you want, how you are going to make this year different to last year, how you want to show up, how you will connect with others and how you will contribute. If you find it hard to do on your own – get someone to help you. The hardest question my clients find hard to answer is “What do you want”

If professional and personal development is on your list for 2019 – we have our workshops beginning on 6 March in Canberra and 13 March In Sydney – more information will be following in the next few weeks.

I will leave you with a quote from – Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor

“Do not live as if you have ten thousand years left. Your fate hangs over you. While you are still living, while you still exist on this Earth, strive to become a genuinely great person”

Happy New Year – I wish you prosperity, good health and love

Self Esteem through Self Awareness

Some call it self-esteem, some call it confidence, some believe it comes from Self-Awareness or Self-Control. Self-esteem flows from your self-image, your overall opinion of yourself– how you feel about your abilities and limitations. When your self-esteem is healthy, people feel good when they are around you and you feel more confident around others around others.

Self-esteem plays a significant role in your motivation and success. When your survival needs of Health, Safety and Financial Stability are taken care of and family and friendships are strong, you develop a strong sense of worth – your confident, self reliant and very resourceful.

Low self-esteem may hold you back from succeeding at work because you don’t believe yourself to be capable of success. you may feel that you don’t have enough for your survival needs or that you are not loved enough which leads to a feeling of not being enough.

When you find your tribe, you stop comparing yourself;  you may aspire to be like others but you have your own unique thumbprint that cannot be changed to be like anyone else’s. The sooner we learn to be our unique selves, build on our own experiences and share our own stories the sooner we start to build our own self-esteem and confidence.

You probably have a good sense of who you are if you exhibit the following signs:       

  • Ability to say no
  • Positive outlook
  • Ability to see overall strengths and weaknesses and accept them
  • Negative experiences don’t impact overall perspective
  • Ability to express your needs
  • Confidence

To increase your awareness around self-esteem, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How much do I really like myself?
  2. How significant do I think my life is?
  3. How worthy do I believe I am of other people’s attention?
  4. How truly confident of my abilities am I?
  5. Are others as important to me as me?
Most of what you need is right there within you, waiting for you to tap into it. The kind of high self-esteem that attracts others to you is pure authenticity – being more of the person you already are, without the mental tricks that get in your way.
Emotional Self-Awareness is the ability to recognise and master your feelings, and inner thoughts that affect your behaviour. Learning how to recognise and control these behaviours is a big first step.

Emotional Self-Awareness is the ability to keep these impulses and emotions in check during stressful situations, like having difficult conversations or walking through that door to your next meeting or having the ability to control the conversation in your head – yes you know the one….