What detoxifies a negative work environment?

In the office, vulnerability is the opposite of weakness.

SIMON SINEK: When we talk about a trusting team or trusting partners I think very often we forget that trust is not an instruction. Trust is a feeling. You cannot tell someone to trust you. No leader can just tell their company trust me. It doesn't work that way. Trust is a feeling. It's a biological feeling that comes from the environment we're in. When we feel safe in our own environment, when we feel that our leaders care about us as human beings and want to see us grow and build our confidence in our skills, when we feel safe in our own companies, trust emerges. It's what happens. When we do not feel save in our own companies, when we feel that our leaders would soon as sacrifice us to save numbers rather than sacrifice numbers to save us the human response to those conditions is cynicism, paranoia, mistrust and self-interest. And so if we want to build trusting teams we have to create environments. Leaders have to set an environment in which the people feel safe amongst themselves and from us.

There's much discussion about this concept of vulnerability at work. We have to be vulnerable we're told. That doesn't mean walking around crying. What vulnerability means is saying things like I don't know what I'm doing. It means like you put me in a job and I don't know how to do that job. It means raising your hand and saying I made a mistake. These put us in a vulnerable position, especially in a work world in which layoffs are used so casually that I feel like I'm on a short list. And so we would rather not express any sense of weakness whether it's fear or doubt or mistakes that we've made or lack of skills. We just keep it to ourselves and too many of us spend our days lying, hiding and faking. The irony is our attempt to present ourselves as strong every day means the company itself will get weak. Because if no one is admitting mistakes, those mistakes will compound. If people are doing jobs that they don't know how to do and they're lying, hiding and faking that means the output will be weak. The irony is is when people hide their fallibility, their humanity it actually makes the company weak. But when we create environments in which people feel safe enough to say to their boss I need help or I don't know what I'm doing or I made a mistake. The amazing thing is that actually makes the organization stronger.

So the question is how do we if we do not work in an environment that offers us that safe circle that we can express ourselves thusly then the question is what are we supposed to do? Well it's kind of like any human relationship. You don't start on the first date telling them all of your fears and anxieties and insecurities. That would be madness, right. You get to know somebody first. And then as you get to know them you take a little risk and you share something small. And you see if they listen and they make you feel understood and they make you feel heard. Or if they make you feel stupid or small. And if it feels safe you take another little risk and another little risk and they take a risk. If you're the only one doing it it doesn't work either. And this little sort of dance commences and at some point, I'm not sure exactly when, you find yourself completely comfortable being completely raw and completely yourself with this other human being who feels exactly the same way as you do. And that's exactly the same thing that we can do at work which is we find those few people and we take little risks and you say things like I'm not sure, are you? And they go no, not really. And you just express weakness to each other. It's wonderful. And you'll help each other and that's the point. It's about relationships. It's not about me finding strength. It's about us expressing our fallibility and our humanity together and together we will help each other. And together we will do whatever needs to be done because we are better together.

  • Trust is necessary for a healthy and efficient work environment.
  • This trust emerges when not only do we feel safe within our company, but that our leaders genuinely care about us.
  • Establishing these relationships requires vulnerability and honesty from both leaders and their employees.


‘Designer baby’ book trilogy explores the moral dilemmas humans may soon create

How would the ability to genetically customize children change society? Sci-fi author Eugene Clark explores the future on our horizon in Volume I of the "Genetic Pressure" series.

Surprising Science
  • A new sci-fi book series called "Genetic Pressure" explores the scientific and moral implications of a world with a burgeoning designer baby industry.
  • It's currently illegal to implant genetically edited human embryos in most nations, but designer babies may someday become widespread.
  • While gene-editing technology could help humans eliminate genetic diseases, some in the scientific community fear it may also usher in a new era of eugenics.
Keep reading Show less

Astrophysicists find unique "hot Jupiter" planet without clouds

A unique exoplanet without clouds or haze was found by astrophysicists from Harvard and Smithsonian.

Credit: M. Weiss/Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
Surprising Science
  • Astronomers from Harvard and Smithsonian find a very rare "hot Jupiter" exoplanet without clouds or haze.
  • Such planets were formed differently from others and offer unique research opportunities.
  • Only one other such exoplanet was found previously.
Keep reading Show less

Lair of giant predator worms from 20 million years ago found

Scientists discover burrows of giant predator worms that lived on the seafloor 20 million years ago.

Credit: Rickard Zerpe / Flickr
Surprising Science
  • Scientists in Taiwan find the lair of giant predator worms that inhabited the seafloor 20 million years ago.
  • The worm is possibly related to the modern bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois).
  • The creatures can reach several meters in length and famously ambush their pray.
Keep reading Show less

The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle may finally be solved

Meteorologists propose a stunning new explanation for the mysterious events in the Bermuda Triangle.

Surprising Science

One of life's great mysteries, the Bermuda Triangle might have finally found an explanation. This strange region, that lies in the North Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, has been the presumed cause of dozens and dozens of mind-boggling disappearances of ships and planes.

Keep reading Show less

FOSTA-SESTA: Have controversial sex trafficking acts done more harm than good?

The idea behind the law was simple: make it more difficult for online sex traffickers to find victims.

Credit: troyanphoto on Adobe Stock
Politics & Current Affairs
  • SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act) and FOSTA (Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) started as two separate bills that were both created with a singular goal: curb online sex trafficking. They were signed into law by former President Trump in 2018.
  • The implementation of this law in America has left an international impact, as websites attempt to protect themselves from liability by closing down the sections of their sites that sex workers use to arrange safe meetings with clientele.
  • While supporters of this bill have framed FOSTA-SESTA as a vital tool that could prevent sex trafficking and allow sex trafficking survivors to sue those websites for facilitating their victimization, many other people are strictly against the bill and hope it will be reversed.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast