Team Anywhere Toolkit #1: Fostering A Psychologically Safe, Healthy & Human Work Environment

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In this special episode of Team Anywhere, Mitch and Ginny recap lessons they have learned from previous guests, and share insights and tools that can be immediately put to use. Dubbed as the “Team Anywhere Toolkit,” this guide provides leaders with actionable items that can truly impact their organization as they team anywhere.

As Mitch and Ginny introduce their first-ever toolkit, they reflect on the lessons shared by David Mead (Episode #78) and Jennifer Moss (Episode #79) on being honest, humble and human, and on building social and emotional health that energizes teams through meaningful events and inclusive conversations. 

Being Honest, Humble and Human

Is it really necessary to learn how to be honest, humble and human? Despite being a funny thought, we need to outwardly demonstrate behaviors that support honesty and human connection. As they become more physically disconnected, leaders are having a hard time connecting with their teams personally and professionaly. Employees want leaders to reach out and acknowledge their problems, support their strengths, and listen to their ideas. 

A tangible tool that leaders might adopt is to make a list of each team member’s strengths and most recent work efforts. Then, the leader should have a fifteen minute call with each team member, acknowledging their recent outcomes and then asking for their help. For example, “Lori, you are an excellent presenter. I’m giving a speech next week at a technology group in Denver. What three innovations do you think I should highlight?” Such check-ins create a human connection and remind employees that they are a valuable asset. Such meetings  can be scheduled on a rotating basis and continue to energize and motivate throughout the year. 

What is Social Emotional Health?

Making the discussion of health part of the social community is essential to growth, inclusion, and a sense of belonging. Leaders should role model asking for help and build environments where processes and programs support a balanced life. 

Defining social and emotional wellness for a company does not only help the team members, but also the leaders who take on enormous responsibilities that others don’t see. 

Ginny and Mitch discuss a scenario where a leader hesitates to tell a team member about not being able to meet because he needs to have dinner with his visiting son. The leader is too embarrassed to share this personal need. The team member then gets the message that putting family above work is not something that should ever be done in this organization. The stress and alienation of such behavior wears an organization down. Creating a space for open sharing and balanced solutions can only happen through psychologically safe dialogue.  

Creating Meaningful Events

Everyone can create events, but it takes time and planning to create mindful events that energize people. A leader must develop an entire philosophy and approach towards creating events with powerful messages and interactions. Given that the workforce audience might be hybrid, face-to-face, or virtual, events require a strategic focus and an emotional punch that make a difference. This takes thought and perhaps a new corporate job description involving innovative tools, passionate facilitation, and flare. Folks must jump-in and feel connected to the organizational brand.This prevents workers from walking out the door.  

Because this need is becoming part of the future of work,  Mitch and Carolene MĂ©li–from Episode #32–created Bringing Back the Buzz, a training manual on how to create meaningful events. Entering meetings unprepared, not utilizing engaging tools, droning on with boring messages, and perpetuating disjointed visions are sure ways to suck the energy out of a company and productivity. 

Foster the Environment Where Your Employees Thrive

The environment that we are in influences the productivity of an organization. If a leader wants a team that thrives, build the environment where growth is possible. Fostering a psychologically safe, healthy and human work environment means creating meaningful spaces, re-engineering stressful processes and attitudes, establishing work and life balance, and showcasing honest and humble behaviors. 

Who is Mitch Simon and Ginny Bianco-Mathis?

Mitch Simon and Ginny Bianco-Mathis are co-hosts of the Team Anywhere Podcast, a podcast focused on helping leaders build teams and culture from anywhere in the world. Their full bios, vision, and background can be found on Team-Anywhere.com. Download the toolkit that accompanies this episode at https://strategicperformance.net/team-anywhere/

To learn more about the Team Anywhere Toolkit, download this episode now.

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Online Courses for Leaders Leading a Team From Anywhere:

Check out these online courses for remote leaders from the Team Anywhere Team.

How to Be an Effective Remote Manager | How to Build Virtual Accountability

Team Anywhere Toolkit Quotes


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