Safety as agent for transformation

Although I sometimes know that I need to change my behaviour, actually doing it proves to be quite difficult. Especially when there is no crisis that triggers and sustains the desired transformation process. I tend to delay until a crisis leaves no other option. And that is a pity as the cost of a crisis is usually extremely high, not only for myself but also for my environment.

How it nice would it be if I could transform myself (or my organisation) without having to go through a such a crisis. It took me a while but I have finally discovered a much more attractive and less costly alternative: creating a safe environment.

When I feel save to be vulnerable, that is OK not to know, to change my mind or to make mistakes, when my environment is withholds judgement, when there is time to feel and think, I also feel safe to let go of my defence mechanisms and to start experimenting with new behaviour that is more aligned with I feel is good or necessary.

I have discovered that this also works in organisations. If and when I succeed in creating a ‘safe environment’ I immediately feel that people start opening up and start moving towards what is desired and/or needed.

So next to trying to embrace every crisis, large or small, (see ‘Conflicts as source for change’  and ‘Tensions as fuel’), I now also try to improve my skills to create the conditions necessary for people to feel safe ;o)

Valuable concepts in this proces (in random order): Non-violent communication, Conflict resolution, Letting go, Distributed leadership, Power balance, Holding space, Deep listening, Non-judgement, Inside-out, Feeling and needs vocabulary, (delayed) initiation rites, Creating space, From individual to collective, Feeling coherence, Short term bias awareness, Inclusiveness, Diversity, etc…

Next steps is to build a accessible and coherent entry to these concepts so that can be applied in transformation processes.



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