fear

Do I have to say "love"?

Do I have to say "love"?

Using the word “love” about work is surprising and even shocking to most people.

When I use the “L” word when I speak or teach, it is what my colleague Darrell calls a mic drop moment.

“Love.” Boom! Then silence. Dead silence. Perhaps followed by nervous laughter.

But that’s also where the really important exploration begins.

"Let's be human-centered." "Yes!" "Huh?" "Uh oh." "Oh please." "Well duh!"

When you begin to advocate for a more human-centered workplace, you will probably hear a variety of reactions. Some people will be supportive while others will be confused, worried, or skeptical. A supportive reaction certainly feels better. But the other reactions are just as legitimate. And they are important, especially if we are going to practice what we preach and, you know, respect all the humans we work with. Let’s consider some possible reactions and how to respond in ways that are consistent with our human-centered values.

A Love Story About Work: Caring for Cindy During Cancer

“I found out I was diagnosed with cancer at my desk at work one day at 10 a.m. The doctor wanted to see me the very next day and told me to bring someone who wasn’t a family member. I got off the phone and looked around my cubicle. Then I went and told my boss who immediately brought in someone skilled and knowledgeable who sat with me to figure out what I needed to do in the moment. My boss made it clear that nothing at work was important in the grand scheme of things. She made it easy to turn my focus to my health.”

A Love Story About Work: Hayley's Leader Goes the Extra Mile

Hayley’s life had not been easy. Difficult pregnancies, a child with cancer, and her sister’s death had caused people in her life including work to gather around to support her in all kinds of ways. So when I asked her to tell me a story about a time when she felt loved at work, she had many examples.

But the story she told me in my research was, by comparison, silly and minor in her estimation. Still, it is the one she chose to share and speaks to the lasting positive impact a leader can have and the unexpected goodness that can come back to that leader in return.

What about accountability?

Whenever I talk with people about the need to eliminate fear and indifference and increase love and safety in the workplace someone inevitably brings up the question of accountability. And when they do, others nod their heads in agreement and concern. 

We are really, really worried about accountability.

Harmful Fear: Eliminate it in 2018!

Workplace fear is an all too common experience. Talk to almost anyone willing to be candid and they can tell you about a time, either past or present, of harmful fear at work. Those with fears in the past may still experience a kind of post traumatic stress disorder over it. 

Others are not experiencing POST traumatic stress disorder.For others, the workplace is traumatic NOW. Right now, currently, all-the-time traumatic. 

When I say The "L" Word

I’ve been traveling a lot these last two weeks: Visiting New York City and then speaking in Toronto, Los Angeles, and the Pacific Northwest. And everywhere I go I can’t help but talk about The “L” Word. I bring up The “L” Word during informal conversations meeting people on the plane, in pubs and restaurants, on the train, at conferences. I’ll talk about it anywhere.

Can't a little fear be a good thing?

“So all this talk about eliminating fear from the workplace is great, but wait a minute," you may ask, "Can’t a little fear be a good thing?” 

“After all, I seem to perform better when I’m on edge and working under pressure!”

“A healthy dose of fear wakes me up and makes me sharper.”

So what about that? Can threats and fear actually be useful? Should we really aim to eliminate ALL fears? 

Covering the Basics: What is Fear and Why is Fear Important?

We have a lot to talk about! If we are going to really dig in to a conversation about something as apparently bold and controversial as moving from fear to safety by decreasing indifference and increasing love at work, then we’ll need a shared understanding of some basic concepts. ... To get us started, these next few blog posts will explore what fear is, why it is important, when it is good and bad, and what to do about it when it’s bad.