Safety First, and Trust Will Follow….

Most of us have probably heard of safety first–by being cautious, we will then be safe, and keep ourselves out of harm’s way. Have you ever thought of how creating safety for your team will in turn build trust, folks will feel protected, and as a result–the team will flourish?

Safety in the workplace can have many forms. While there is the concept of staying out of harm in the physical sense, there is also a sense of safety that a leader can evoke through the experiences they create, beliefs they carry, and actions they take. Simon Sinek, trained ethnographer, author, consultant, and speaker makes a compelling case that a workplace environment thrives when staff do not fear their leaders. When staff fear their leaders, Sinek argues that individuals end up trying to protect one’s self from others, do not trust those around them, and ultimately weakens the organization.

Sinek states that when a leader provides safety for their team, they take the risk to put their staff first, sacrifice themselves for the good of their organization, and choose to be the type of leader that others will want to follow. In turn, the team will feel supported, combine their talents and strengths, and seize opportunities.

Check out his TED Talk below entitled “Why good leaders make you feel safe.” Pay particular attention to the video starting at 4:51 where he explains how leaders sets the tone for an organization.

Here are 2 ways you can continue to talk and reflect about safety and trust in the workplace:

  • Share the Sinek video with your team. Ask them how you are instilling safety and trust within the workplace, and what you can do to improve. This also demonstrates a level of vulnerability on your part.
  • What came to mind when Sinek states that leadership is a choice, not a rank? Reflect on how you continue to “choose” to be a leader.
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