Creating a safe space

You see your boss do something that appears unethical, but you are not sure.

You are confused because your boss is a good person, one that you can’t imagine doing something wrong.

How comfortable are you to discuss your concern with her?


Now imagine that when you were interviewing for your current job two years ago, you asked your boss if she would welcome you bringing to her attention any behavior of hers that bothered you, and she answered yes. The two of you have not had a similar conversation since.

Are you now more comfortable?


Pretend now that your boss regularly tells you and your colleagues that she expects anyone who has concerns about her behavior or decisions to bring it up to her directly. She says that she will listen to the feedback, no matter how uncomfortable, and that there will never be any retaliation.

How do you feel now?


A culture of compliance is best served when managers make their employees feel safe about speaking up. If you are a manager, don’t expect your employees to speak up without any encouragement from you. Make your commitment to compliance clear and visible.

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