We usually don’t bother to be too much selective when it comes to making conversations most of the time. And in a society where we often love to count facts emotionally rather than focusing on accountability, keeping apart realizing the consequences of the background effects. Such improper verbal use of the language and especially in a place of work, such attitudes are more toxic than one can imagine.
You might not realize it, but a simple question such as, “How could you say that?” or “What were you thinking?” Can shut down one’s creative train in its tracks. Such phrases activate peoples’ fear networks. Blood rushes to their brains, designed for protection, and cortisol (a fear hormone) spreads, activating their ability to protect themselves from harm. Suddenly, and without realizing it, colleagues switch off their innovation lights.
Whatever the mood of exchange, a dialogue can help get the work done- objectives are set, feedbacks given, problems resolved, support offered, and ultimately, trust and relationships are maintained. Putting that focus back on engaging conversations is the key. Any self-conscious person can understand the value of it in every situation.
Thanks to advances in neuroscience, we know that every conversation has a physiological impact. As we converse, neurochemicals are released in our brains almost instantly making us feel either good or bad. Feel-good conversations keep the blood flowing, the energy pumping, and light up our ability to see the world in new ways.
So, you’ll want to ensure that your team is has the flexibility to gain access to new patterns of thinking. To grow and develop, you’ll require a culture of trust and positivity. To get you there, you’ll need to create quality conversations in any environment to make sure creativity for innovation.
Step 1: Instigate Conversations
When we talk straight and open conversations (without repercussions and fear of punishment), these norms create a mind shift that activates the mental fireworks for innovation. Employees need to trust that their ideas will be heard—and that they will get support, attention and proper selection once the ideas are put on the table.
Your action plan: Find ways for staffers to talk more and with more people. Maybe it’s a regular lunch or a multi-purpose space where staffers can get coffee or meet. Bumping into one another to chat can help build engagement and understanding that underpins efficient communication and understanding.
Step 2: Creating Bonds
A team without trust isn't really a team: it's just a group of individuals, working together, often making disappointing progress. when trust is in place, each individual in the team becomes stronger, because he or she is part of an effective, cohesive group. When people trust one another, the group can achieve truly meaningful goals. So, before starting to work on developing trust among the team members, you may consider some of the connotations about your team.
• What do people in our company need to know but don't?
• Things I should communicate on a regular basis but don’t?
• What would someone at your company never say, ask or do? Would those unwritten codes or norms inhibit candid conversations or even change?
• What can I do as a leader to create trust?
Step 3: No Place for Politics!
Unwritten codes that signal, “you can’t say this,” or “you can’t do that” tell people not to change the status quo. Conversations cover the lowest common denominator and people stop innovating.
Your action plan: Reboot your office culture. Only daily practice can reaffirm concepts like “every idea counts” or healthy challenges to ideas. Make time to take input from outside your usual circle and remove the word “can’t” from your own vocabulary as an example to your team. When people know the canvas is blank and politics are not in play, they’ll be more open to take risks and to test out novel thinking.
Step 4: Promote Recognition
Too often employees have great ideas and no one listens. Ideas are expressed, but no one validates them or acknowledges them. There is an instinctive fear that voices will not be heard, and ideas will be pushed under the rug or their importance minimized.
First off, you can stop your own hour-long monologues during meetings and give staffers a chance to join a dialogue. You can then start forming small teams to challenge staffers to generate and implement new ideas, possibly for new projects or even ways to improve workflow or efficiency. Lastly, you should identify the staffers with whom you interact the least. Simple hallway hellos in the morning can make them feel comfortable speaking up and increase your circle of influence.