Team

Creating an Emotionally Safe Workplace: We All Play a Role

March 4, 2021
Creating an Emotionally Safe Workplace: We All Play a Role

Being emotionally safe, whether working in person or remote, isn’t something that gets brought up as often as it should. Yet, it’s a feeling most of us deeply appreciate. Safe places encourage you to bring your whole self to work, knowing you can share your ideas without fear of negativity or backlash. Such environments can have a major impact on employee satisfaction and the culture that’s being built.

It can also work the other way. Lately, we’ve seen our share of stories on workplace harassment. But what sometimes gets lost in the headlines are the subtle scenarios that come up more routinely. A few examples:

  • Having your ideas and contributions routinely dismissed or ignored

  • Having a difference in opinion turn into a heated argument

  • Feeling personally judged

How can we move past these occurrences? Realize it or not, we all have a role in building an emotionally safe work environment. Here are some tips on how we can improve our day-to-day interactions with one another:

Make others feel heard and understood

  • Start by doing a better job listening. This means letting others share their ideas without interruption.
  • Repeat back what you hear to let people know their words are sinking in.
  • Finally, avoid making it about you. Get into the habit of being a selfless listener.

Don’t assume intent

  • In the absence of information, avoid coming to your own conclusions.
  • Seek clarity; take the time to follow up with people rather than judging them from afar.

Know your role

  • Understand your own intentions.
  • Ask: “What am I looking to accomplish with this statement or action?”

Manage your emotions and do the same for others

  • Recognize when you’re triggered and bring the conversation to a close.
  • Reflect on where the feeling is coming from.
  • Note when others are triggered and give them the space to pick up the conversation another time.

The first step in making these changes is by reflecting on past interactions. Do any of the above sound familiar? If so, what went well and what could have gone better? A little self-reflection goes a long way in training your brain to handle situations more productively. You may even surprise yourself at how well you handle future interactions. If that happens, you can be sure you’re doing your part in creating a safe working environment.

Do you have any tips to add? We’d love to hear them. The more we’re thinking about this the better.

Alivia Howell
Alivia Howell
Delivery Practice Lead

Stay in the loop with our latest content!

Select the topics you’re interested to receive our new relevant content in your inbox. Don’t worry, we won’t spam you.

Chicago Roboto 2020: A Virtual Success
Android

Chicago Roboto 2020: A Virtual Success

January 19, 2021

Looking back on last year’s Chicago Roboto, it was a great opportunity to learn while spending time hanging out with teammates. So, when it was announced that this year’s event was going to be virtual, it was hard not to be disappointed. Then again, with so many great speakers lined up, there was still plenty to look forward to.

Read more
Michigan Software Labs named West Michigan’s 2019 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®
Press Release

Michigan Software Labs named West Michigan’s 2019 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®

April 8, 2019

Michigan Software Labs, a software development company, has been named as one of West Michigan’s 2019 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®. The award recognizes companies that display a commitment to excellence in their human resource practices practices with an impressive commitment to their employees.

Read more
Alivia Howell named Delivery Practice Lead at MichiganLabs
Team

Alivia Howell named Delivery Practice Lead at MichiganLabs

February 11, 2021

Alivia has been named the Delivery Practice Lead and will join the leadership team at Michigan Software Labs.

Read more
View more articles