The Importance of Creating a Safe Environment

Crucial Conversations – my interpretation of creating a safe place where people can share and facilitate learning.

If we are really in a place to hear others thoughts and opinions, or to learn then we have to create a space that feels safe for people to share their experiences, thoughts and questions. If the space does not feel safe then people will not share.

Everyone has something to bring to the party and sometimes a critical piece on info is held by someone who needs the space to feel very safe before they can speak up.

Not having 1 or 2 people sharing may be someones goal, but I would suggest that instead of stopping certain people sharing we need to make the space feel safer for them to share (rather than shout or criticise). THAT is a challenge.

When people are sharing something we are not happy hearing then we can quickly start to tell ourselves villainous stories about them. How their motives are bad. But we don’t know that for sure. The only way to know is to ask and enter in dialogue with that person. Another huge challenge when our feelings are hurt.

We can also slip in to telling ourselves victim stories about ourselves. We feel sorry for ourselves because of the mean person.

The only way to resolve issues is to get in to dialogue. But first you have to decide if you want to resolve the issue. Just because it will result in a difficult conversation does not mean we should walk away.

Ways to tell if conversations just got crucial; either we, or the other person/people start to get defensive or combative (violent), or they shut up altogether (silent). When we see either of those situations we know the sharing space just got unsafe for someone and we need to work to change that.

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