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More than ever before people are asking is work, working? In response to this question I developed my MAGIC framework which considered the core drivers that help work to work. MAGIC is the acronym I use and these drivers are Meaning, Authenticity, Ground Rules “I” and Curiosity. This framework is useful from an individual perspective but also from an organizational perspective. Today we are going to consider the importance of embracing Authenticity from an organisational point of view.
If people are going to show up at your workplace as their Authentic selves, they must feel safe to speak up and have a voice. Whilst it is important to know our goals as a group it is equally important for people to know that their opinion and skillset is valued. Whilst you may have created a workspace where people’s voices are recognised, let’s not forget people may be coming to you from an organisation where this was not the case. In fact, most people have come from families, schools or other group dynamics where they have been rewarded for “fitting in “. This conditioning runs deep so we need to be proactive to rewrite this script and let people know that they can safely “have their say”.
The other advantage for a business by promoting people to share their voice is it encourages new ways of thinking; innovation and creativity. These are the ideas that might take your company from good to GREAT!
But how do you start this undertaking? How do you make sure everyone has a say? Because let’s face it we have all been in meetings where only certain voices are heard.
You could put on your monthly meeting agenda time to go around the room with everyone suggesting some change that could be made at work, might be a big change or perhaps a small one. This puts free speech on your agenda. Of course, it needs to be backed up with action. Yes, this will take time but it gives a very clear message that you are open to different ways of seeing things and it will help those people who usually feel it’s safer to stay silent to get more used to bringing their ideas to the table. Like any skill, it improves with practice.
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Another workplace that I know gives every person two minutes to provide a summary of the highs and lows of the week at the beginning of each meeting. So, each meeting begins with hearing every voice at the table.
My daughter sang “I have a Voice” with her school choir from the Broadway Kids Against Bullying (music by Frank Wildhorn and lyrics by Robin Lerner). Hearing the children sing these lyrics made me reflect on just how important our voice is.
I have a voice (I have a voice), simple and clear (simple and clear)
It speaks the truth (it speaks the truth), for all to hear (for all to hear)
It gives me hope (it gives me hope), it gives me faith (it gives me faith)
I have a voice (and I am safe)
When we have a voice we are safe. If you are interested in the safety of your team this is something you need to commit to. What would work for your team?