How do we create a safe space in the workplace during these difficult times? While many of us would like the outside world to remain outside the workplace, we are all human beings. The reality is, what happens in our personal lives impacts our work lives and vice-versa. This means it will be hard to avoid difficult conversations if we are to build trust and teamwork. There are two strategies that we strongly believe will help make those conversations constructive and ones from which we can grow.
- The first is an open mind mindset. We can’t hear the other person with a close mind let alone listen to their point of view. We don’t have to agree but we are all better when we understand.
- The second strategy is to always seek to extend grace. People are different and have different experiences. When you extend grace you create an environment for others to do the same. They get to tell you about their experiences versus defending them. Grace is also not agreement but rather goodwill – the ability to not judge what others are saying but to seek understanding.
Having an open mind mindset and extending grace is critically important when broaching difficult conversations. You will be amazed at what you will be able to discuss, agree, and disagree on and how much you will grow through the ability to have those discussions.