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TSS #004: Investigate=Threat

Jun 25, 2023

Read time 4 minutes

Today, I'm going to talk about creating a Safe Space vs. Investigating your healthcare team's problems.

If you can understand the difference between the two, you'll stop wasting your valuable time and energy on performance management, HR meetings, or Respectful Workplace investigations. Instead, you'll build a culture based on trust, support and a team you feel joyful about.

Unfortunately, most people are taking the far less enjoyable approach that requires a sacrifice of time, energy, and at times, sanity.

Investigating makes you punitive. Choosing to create a safe space makes you trustworthy.


I've watched hundreds (or maybe thousands) of managers, supervisors, and leaders attempt to create a safe space for themselves and their team culture in high-stress, high-pressure sectors.

The biggest challenges they face are:

  • Self-Doubt

  • Releasing Control

  • Imposter Syndrome

  • Dealing with Resistance

On a good day, they feel tired. On a bad day, they relapse into reactive, resistant, or reclusive leadership and beat, blame, or bully themselves and others to try to change.

Then, they get home and wonder if they're in the wrong job while they try to get the sleep they need to get back up and do it all over the next day. That sucks.

Here's a better way:

Discover your safe space standards

When people move into management and leadership, they generally lean on the skills, habits and competencies that progressed them into the leadership role n the first place.

The problem is that most people aren't trained in the skills, habits and competencies of leading people in high-stress sectors, so they lean on what got them to where they are: learning protocols and slogging through HR checklists, performance management strategies or draining communication meetings. And little to nothing changes.

It feels like a drag. And the opposite of what inspired people to get into clinical leadership in the first place (which is why it's getting harder to keep people in those roles).

A safe space is the opposite.

When you generate a safe space inside you, it doesn't matter what's going on around you. Time slows down. Your mind is clear, concise, and you do what naturally needs and wants to be done at the moment.

In emergency situations or high-stakes moments, individuals on clinical teams often access this "zone" naturally. Overthinking falls away, what needs to be done becomes clear, time slows down, and teams work together like a group of finely tuned instruments.

This is the way that we're meant to work in our day-to-day roles outside of emergent situations as well. The foundation for this is a safe space container made up of your answers to three questions. So ask yourself, "What do you need to feel safe?" "What do you need to be open and learn?" "What do you need to give and receive respect?"


Generate an internal safe space with presence, listening, and curiosity


Presence, listening and curiosity are the cutting-edge leadership skills needed to develop high-performance teams in high-stress settings.

Command and control linear leadership are dying.

The best way to develop transformational coaching, leadership, and facilitation skills that lead you away from old forms of transactional leadership is to witness others who embody them.


For example, there are a million "leadership experts" out there that will tell you the latest greatest strategy, tip, trick or hack on solving problems and leading teams.


But Simon Sinek's videos, Ted talks, and books stand out from the rest.



Because he has developed his presence, listening and curiosity (insert statements and research to back this up).


Nobody can compare with Simon because, in a world of command and control or external tips and tricks, Simon embodied a safe space that only he could generate and share in his unique expression and context.

And you can too. When you develop your practice of presence, listening, and curiosity, it generates a safe space within you that you can invite others to create for themselves through safe space coaching.


Practice safe space self-coaching and share it with others


Knowing your safe space standards and developing your presence, listening and curiosity practice is only half the game.

To build a high-performance healthcare culture, people must do their inner work.

And if you start to experience a shift in your inner world through the first two steps in this newsletter, you owe it to your team to get it into their heads and hands.

This is where coaching comes in. The problem is that most managers and leaders treat coaching like a strategy or checklist because they're focused on external results rather than focusing on practicing self-coaching.

So don't do that.

Instead, focus on studying coaching so you can use it primarily on yourself. Don't learn coaching to use it on others.

Once you understand how to self-coach and focus on your inner work, there is a natural expansion that starts to ripple out to others as a free offering that you share.

Then, when the timing is right, and you're unattached to the results, you become a safe space for people around you to start to engage with their inner work with you as a guide, support and companion on the journey.


A safe space scales us. We don't scale it


A safe space scales naturally like a forest or love.


When we focus on safe space standards, generate a safe space within, and practice safe space self-coaching, it subtracts the things attached to us that have nothing to do with who we are but are picked up along our journey, and the result is a natural expansion.

Our human spirit is nourished, and we grow. That creates a ripple effect that serves people because our presence becomes a co-creator with a higher natural agenda for people.


 Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

1. If you're still looking for traction with your team, I'd recommend starting with an affordable course:

→ The Safe Space Support System Transform your leadership and your team culture into a high-performance safe space support system regardless of the challenges you're facing in complex situations. This comprehensive course will teach you the system I use to work with hundreds of teams to reduce absenteeism, stress, distress, unaddressed trauma, and disrespectful conduct and communication. Join the Leadership Transformation Here

2. Book me to facilitate a done-with-you service that is performed in person or virtually with you and your team. Book a Facilitation Here 

Facilitate a Safe Space of Trust and Support with Your Healthcare Team!

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