TRANSFORMING MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS INTO CONFIDENT COMMUNICATORS AND LEADERS

Safe Spaces for communication
Published 05 December 2020
We need to draw our attention to ensuring safe spaces for our staff to communicate with us.

Humans First, yes. Listen, yes. Ask questions, great.

One thing we need to particularly draw our attention to at the moment to ensure safe spaces for our staff is to Test Assumptions.

Everyone is experiencing this so very differently. Watch out for the trap of assuming that you know what your people need, or how they prefer to work or communicate with you at the moment.

You don’t need to know everything about their lives, you do need to watch out for assuming you know everything! We need to develop our self-awareness of the assumptions we are making about our staff, and of the leaders above us.

 

And find ways to test our assumptions – rather than to lead by them.

For example:

  • “I’m guessing that this might be going on for you, is that right?”

or

  • “I’m not sure I understand your experience of this – can you share it with me?”

 

Here is a scenario. If we assume our most competent employee needs to work from home to meet his/her family needs, and proceed without asking directly, we might actually send the message that we don’t value our employee enough to have them in the office. We damage the trust between us in that moment, and take away some of their Autonomy, which adds to stress. This was not our intention. We had tried to help but in leading from our assumptions rather than our curiosity, we limited our team members capacity to grow. And our capacity to support their needs in that moment. 

You don’t need to know all the answers – you need to be curious first.
Don’t jump in to tell, create safe space to listen first.
Safe Spaces for communication
Published 05 December 2020
We need to draw our attention to ensuring safe spaces for our staff to communicate with us.

Humans First, yes. Listen, yes. Ask questions, great.

One thing we need to particularly draw our attention to at the moment to ensure safe spaces for our staff is to Test Assumptions.

Everyone is experiencing this so very differently. Watch out for the trap of assuming that you know what your people need, or how they prefer to work or communicate with you at the moment.

You don’t need to know everything about their lives, you do need to watch out for assuming you know everything! We need to develop our self-awareness of the assumptions we are making about our staff, and of the leaders above us.

 

And find ways to test our assumptions – rather than to lead by them.

For example:

  • “I’m guessing that this might be going on for you, is that right?”

or

  • “I’m not sure I understand your experience of this – can you share it with me?”

 

Here is a scenario. If we assume our most competent employee needs to work from home to meet his/her family needs, and proceed without asking directly, we might actually send the message that we don’t value our employee enough to have them in the office. We damage the trust between us in that moment, and take away some of their Autonomy, which adds to stress. This was not our intention. We had tried to help but in leading from our assumptions rather than our curiosity, we limited our team members capacity to grow. And our capacity to support their needs in that moment. 

You don’t need to know all the answers – you need to be curious first.
Don’t jump in to tell, create safe space to listen first.