Talking honestly at work

Workplaces have a culture. There are unspoken rules about how you interact with colleagues, how you show up in meetings, how far you might go in sharing new ideas, and how much you speak out about things that concern you.

There are rules. And often those rules go unexamined, or if they are examined, create a sense of tension or frustration about how constricted you feel by them.

When organisations don’t reflect upon their unspoken rules, people naturally tend to maintain them. Protecting themselves in order not to overstep the mark in terms of cultural etiquette, because essentially, they want to keep their jobs.

But when team members are constricted by unspoken rules so much of their ability, creativity, energy, and power is lost.

We get much more from each other when we are able to speak freely about what is upsetting us and what new ideas we have. We get more from each other when we can follow our hearts and speak authentically and openly with colleagues without fear of retribution.

Creating a culture where speaking openly and honestly can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible.

It starts with a few people being brave enough to take the leap. Sometimes it starts at the top, with CEOs sharing how they feel, honeslty, authentically. Sometimes it starts with other members of the team, feeling brave enough to speak honestly in meetings, or with colleagues about how they feel.

Speaking honestly and authentically takes courage, and it also takes practice. You almost have to learn how to do it. We’ve been encouraged for most of our lives to be reserved and to hold back from being honest, especially in British culture. We have to build the muscle of being open and authentic, we have to tap into what we really believe, and we have to tap into our own self-belief and self-compassion in order to remind ourselves not to worry about losing our jobs or being rejected if we are honest.

The world needs, desperately in these challenging times, more honesty, more emotion, more human-ness. And it can start with us in our places of work.

With love as always, Hannah

Ask for our brochure to see how we can help you bring more emotional awareness into your organisation.

Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

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