There isn’t a job anywhere that’s worth losing a limb or a life for. But before anyone shouts, “Safety is priority #1”…when isn’t safety a priority?
Three situations when playing it safe hurts people, partnerships and performance:
1) …when a person works hard to save their reputation – rather than being honest about the data in front of them.
It’s unsafe to your “ego” to look at something with a new perspective and tell the truth about what you see. Be unsafe anyway, and show your true character.
2) …when you keep your mouth shut, because offering a new perspective or idea means we could be (gasp!) wrong. It’s tempting to play it safe and be irresponsible by not providing our best thinking. (As Rachel, the featured leader in Degrees of Strength, says, “The greatest issue in leadership is so few people take responsibility.”)
Instead of letting your team play it safe, ask questions that assist them in offering their true perspective – and no matter what they say, thank them.
3) When someone insists on moaning and lamenting how no one takes accountability, that person is under the illusion of safety: “If I complain about others I shed responsibility, so I can’t be blamed.”
Why point at who put the hole in the boat…when it’s plugging the hole that needs to be accomplished? Encourage your team to take the less “safe” route by stepping forward and modeling accountability. This may seem unsafe (because you may be alone). Do it anyway – people will follow.
This week, ask your team: “When it comes to the mindset and behaviors needed for us to be successful, which approaches would be playing it safe – or unsafe?” Share answers in the comments box below.
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– kiwisarah98 (via Amazon.com)
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