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Feb 10

How to Bring Your Whole Self to Work: Respect & Trust

Having experienced his engaging and powerful management style, I recently asked Donald (Dee) Wilson, Vice President at Measured Progress and iBeam Services, to speak with me about Open Hearted Works.

I opened our discussion by sharing the purpose of this blog—that it endeavors to create insight and community around being Open Hearted in the workplace, so that people are comfortable bringing “whole self” to work.  Dee understood immediately and talked about his goals of having his team enjoy coming to work.  He believes that being comfortable at work is important since he wants his team to excel.  In addition, it’s important to provide “an envelope” so that everyone is heading in the same direction coupled with autonomy so people will connect with the goals and figure out their part in a creative manner.

Dee’s suggestions for creating an Open Hearted, productive workplace:

  • Communication, communication, communication.  Good communication takes more time and work, but is worth it.
  • Manage by walking around and meeting with teams as opposed to just with your direct reports.  Sometimes, employees are nervous with “the boss” around, but with time and exposure, they can learn that no threat exists, just support.
  • Work together on common causes outside the company.  Bring together people from diverse groups to plan and execute projects.  Dee’s favorite cause is the Penguin Plunge.  Last Sunday, to “warm up” for the Super Bowl, along wtth colleagues and friends, Dee plunged into the brisk Atlantic Ocean to raise money for the Special Olympics.
  • Have regular meetings with staff in groups and one-to-one, and encourage staff to do so with their teams.
  • Share corporate strategies and goals with all employees, even as those strategies and goals are being developed.  Ask for input and feedback.

In closing, Dee shared his two main tenets for open communication and powerful leadership.

  1. Be honest.
  2. Build trust.

He said, “I try to share confidential information with my direct reports as early on as is practical; to bring them into the loop on pending discussions, get their feedback, and show that I trust them to properly manage information.  Trust is similar to respect, in that “earned respect” is the best kind.  As in life, trust is a two-way street, and someone has to take the first step in displaying trust and showing respect.”

Thank you Dee Wilson. I am sure that the people who work with you thank you as well.

About the author

Lisa Hamaker

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