Real connections within teams can create a culture shift for an entire company. In this episode, LaTonya Wilkins gives you practical ways to lead below the “surface-ness” of traditional corporate culture, and how to build R.E.A.L. relationships with your team. Psychologically safe relationships with people who are different from you are the cornerstone for creating truly innovative, productive, diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures of belonging.
Inspired by organizational culture research, social psychology, and neuroscience frameworks, this episode is a compass for the purpose-driven and forward-thinking leader. It merges true stories from the lived experiences of Wilkins with actionable insights backed by dynamic interdisciplinary research. This episode is for you if you’re ready to disrupt the way we think about traditional leadership standards and the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that have failed to make lasting change.
Leading Below the Surface
7:36 – The role ‘below the surface leaders’ (like her Grandmother) played in LaTonya’s life. Combined with the adversity she’s faced in the workplace, these inspired her to help leaders do better.
8:33 – The positive power of building relationships
12:01 – How treating someone as a full human being can feel revolutionary – and why it’s vital to build psychologically safe relationships at work
14:42 – The need for a leadership archetype about how we treat people
16:35 – How “below the surface” leaders invest in REAL relationships where you are relatable, equitable, aware, and loyal
20:46 – What “leading below the surface” means. How many leaders get caught up in the “surface” reality of our normal human biases – and how these will prevent you from leading and building psychologically safe relationships
21:43 – The “terrible three” biases that limit our leadership and effectiveness – and how to start moving through them
29:54 – How leaders begin by reflecting on how they have both been a recipient and perpetrators of these human biases so we can build awareness and make different choices
32:05 – When leaders strive to be Relatable, the key is “decentering.” Building psychologically safe relationships starts with curiosity about other people. Awareness of their realities. Seeking understanding.
35:06 – Relatable is showing up curious about the other human being. Learn who they are, and their reality, and process all of that.
36:06 – Why being relatable in this sense takes time and leaders should plan on patience.
39:26 – How leaders can practice being equitable and empowering other people through power-sharing (hint: be the trampoline)
47:37 – Why psychologically safe relationships with people takes empathy. How to build your empathy by connecting to a person’s story.
51:02 – Get started by focusing on your thinking first.
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