Oakleaf were delighted to partner with Nick Bloy at WELLBEING Republic Limited for the second time to focus and discuss how to lead and support others through uncertainty. It seemed a very appropriate time for a group of Senior HR leaders to come together and revisit the theme of compassion, recognising its importance in being able to effectively lead and support others.
The session covered three main areas - compassionate leadership, vulnerability and psychological safety. Whilst these are all valid themes in their own right, trust and safety seemed to always be at the centre of them. It is crucial that leaders are giving their teams a 'safe space' to be candid without fear of negative repercussions otherwise we risk losing diversity of thought – which is a worrying concept in today's world.
“Speaking up is only the first step. The true test is how leaders respond when people actually do speak up. Stage setting and inviting participation indeed build psychological safety." Amy C. Edmondson, The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth
Personally, the above quote combined with Nick's own phrase 'we are all the central character in our own movie' is my take away. We must always remember that it is less about the asking and more about the listening and responding. That is not meaning that we as leaders should 'armour up', in fact the opposite. If, first and foremost, we are caring for ourselves, I believe that we will find ourselves entering conversations, inviting challenging thoughts and ideas thus leading us into a more productive and joyful place to be.