Creating a safe place to work

10th February 2014

I am enjoying reading Simon Sinek’s new book, ‘Leaders Eat last – why some teams pull together and others don’t’.

His observations and insights resonate with my experience, both as a facilitator, and the leader of a business. In particular I am struck by what he says about the need to create safety in the workplace, that this enables people to be the best they can be.

Sinek says:

‘When the people have to manage dangers from inside the organization, the organization itself becomes less able to face the dangers from outside.’

One of the principles I hold true in my facilitation practice is about creating safety in meetings. This comes from many places: the preparation and communication before a meeting; the clarity of purpose, outcomes and agenda; the authenticity of leadership; the public recording…..

When I am preparing to facilitate, I uncover participants’ fears through 1:1’s, and it is enlightening to hear what people have experienced in their day to day business meetings, and how this leaves them holding back, not being themselves. If we look at meetings as the place where work gets done in many large organisations, as windows onto organisational culture, then creating safe meeting spaces would be a really effective step towards creating a safe workplace.