I am reading an inspiring book, "Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead" from Houston's own Brené Brown. Her chapter on changing the work place from a shame-based one to an open one is profoundly moving.
She writes that many employers shame employees as a management tool. Her plea: When we see bullying, criticism in front of colleagues, public reprimands and the like, we must act to stop it. Remember the scene from the movie "Glengary Glen Ross," where the salesmen are berated, and one is told to put down a coffee cup because "coffee is for closers" and he wasn't one. Watch it again, http://bit.ly/R23T5b. She writes: "Shame can only rise so far in any system before people disengage to protect themselves. When we're disengaged, we don't show up, we don't contribute, and we stop caring . . . disengagement allows people to rationalize all kinds of unethical behavior . . . ."
What to do? There is a better way than shame as a managment tool and she gives it a name: normalizing discomfort, with managers telling employees, "We believe growth and learning are uncomfortable . . . you're going to feel that way. We want you to know that it's normal and it's an expectation here. Your're not alone and we ask that you stay open and lean into it."
And Brown tells you how to know if this message is getting through. Listen for certain words, she advises: Here's what I need; I need help; I don't know; I disagree; can we talk about it? Brown has written a great book because it helps change the way we look at the world. How we think is everything.