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  • Zari Zavala-Ruiz

Creating Brave Spaces in the Workplace

True leaders know that there are times in the workplace when challenging conversations need to be held. When it comes to the top leadership qualities, the ability to create a brave space for open conversations is something that leaders need to focus on. When you carefully and intentionally listen to other people's perspectives, encourage vulnerability, face your fears, and question new ideas and thoughts you can start to create brave spaces within your organization.

Listen to Other People’s Perspectives

As a leader, you should listen to a wide range of perspectives on a daily basis.

In order to create a brave space, you need to listen to what other people have to say and acknowledge that their experience in life may be very different from yours.

While you don’t always have to agree with their perspective, giving them the opportunity to share and trying to understand their point of view is necessary for true leadership. Listen with the aim of understanding as opposed to just responding.

Encourage Vulnerability

Vulnerability in the workplace is one of the top leadership qualities any manager or leader needs to focus on. This is where creativity, learning, and innovation can take place. By opening yourself up, you’ll find that your employees will naturally become more vulnerable. Try to make more of a conscious effort to engage with your team on a deeper level. The best way to encourage vulnerability is to ask questions about anything you are unsure about and to share your story so that as a leader, you become more human to your team.

Face Your Fears

Leaders should be confident stepping out of their comfort zone. Taking risks allows you to discover something new in your workplace and make changes that are necessary for progress. When something makes you or your employees nervous, it’s a good sign that you need to face the fear and do it anyway. Try to work with your team to reframe their mindset around fear. Don’t let your fear hold you back, as you might otherwise miss out on great opportunities for your team and your workplace as a whole. Push team members to take on new challenges to show them what they are capable of in the future.

Question New Ideas and Thoughts

Critical thinking is another prized attribute of true leadership. This involves carefully thinking about someone’s beliefs, decisions or actions and asking more questions to gain more understanding. Try to be as open as possible to other people and accept that your thoughts may be limited based on past beliefs or experiences. Don’t take feedback or criticism as an attack on your personality, instead try to use it to expand your mind and enjoy a new outlook on life.

All of these leadership qualities can be developed over time and will make your workplace a more open place for meaningful discussions in the future.


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