There are four steps to follow to create a safe environment for discussions.
1. The first thing you need to do is ask yourself, “What can I do to make the environment safe for people to share ideas, disagree, and challenge when appropriate?”
2. Then let the group chat. You need to find out if you are doing anything that may stop the discussion (you will be surprised how many times you do things subconsciously that stop the group from participating); if there are perceptions of the team that are off, or if there is a feeling about your company culture that is stopping them.
3. Once you have come to the ground rules of what will make it safe. Repeat them to the group and tag on “so we are all agreeing that if the following things are in place then we will all speak up and have robust discussions as a group.”
4. Then you need to tag on the KEY CONSEQUENCE piece so people know you are serious about this and they set the consequences if they don’t follow the behavior they agreed to. You would say something like this, “So what do you want me to do if the robust discussions still don’t happen?”
Once you own the atmosphere needed and commit to make it safe, and then you can get the robust discussions going.
Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to Get Your Message to Cascade Down has a techniques, tips and examples to get the best outcome. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.