Vulnerability: an essential ingredient of a speak-up culture

I had the opportunity to present my company’s ethics and compliance program to another company yesterday.

Some of my remarks touched on the importance of creating a speak-up culture. One attendee asked me what I thought was the best way for managers to encourage employees to speak up.

My answer was to show vulnerability. When employees speak-up, they feel vulnerable. Nothing will encourage them more than seeing their own supervisor be vulnerable. If you are a supervisor, pay attention to your small moments of courage and find a way to share them with your team. If you do it consistently, your employees will learn to trust you and to demonstrate the same courage.

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