When working together as a team there are many situations in which things would need to be said. Whenever it doesn’t happen, there is someone who felt that sharing wasn’t the thing to do.
From a leader’s perspective, any such moment is a missed opportunity. Their biggest problem is to figure out when this is happening.
And it’s not easy. Our normal assumption, when we see a quiet and gentle toddler is to assume that it’s an easy and happy child. How can we even come to the idea, that the child is sensing the mother’s stress and doing everything it can to please her?
When something looks pleasant, people appreciate it and want it to be harmonious. They don’t question it. They don’t consider how tolerance can also be helplessness or frustration.
For a while, this may work out well. But the longer it lasts, the higher the probability that things are not being said, to avoid disturbing the so-called “harmony”. It then can go on until it becomes fear and a habit that can’t be interrupted. This means discomfort installed itself.
When a team feels free to talk and share what they feel needs to be said, they are willing to step into a lack of comfort. They are willing to take the risk that whatever they share may create trouble. What they know though, is that the messenger will remain safe. It’s what enables them to step into something uncomfortable and do what feels right for the team.
It also means that the team chooses when there is discomfort instead of making it a constant.
Leaders make themselves aware that this doesn’t happen by chance.