Hijacked at Work: When Psychological Safety is Missing!

  • the missing link in workplace safety programs…Or, am I barking up the wrong tree?

With a picture like this, who can help but feel loved and adorable with these two dogs looking after our safety?  But the bottom line is that our physical safety is deeply linked to a sense of psychological safety.  How we run our businesses, manage our staffs and implement change processes contributes greatly to increased risks in psychological safety.  Risks that can lead to absenteeism, illness, distractions and lack of focus that lead to physical injuries.

So why is it that companies put so much into physical safety without taking a look at psychological safety…how we behave with each other?

Why does Psychological Safety matter?

Here are some startling facts…one global business in the energy sector reported that 80% of its physical safety incidents are connected to psychological issues.

Another Canadian based energy company noted that 50% of its long-term disability claims are rooted in mental health issues.

A Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence found 40% of the workforce on some form of psychotropic medication for either anxiety or depression, both of which contribute to workplace aggression.

Feeling Safe or Unsafe?

What is psychological safety?  It is typically applied team settings and a sense of safety for interpersonal risk taking…to be creative, productive and innovative.

It’s the ability to show and be one’s self without fear of negative consequences…where team members feel accepted and respected.

Are we dialing in for Failure or Success?  How we sabotage those around us…

Okay…a no-brainer right?  Yet, how many times have you felt shut down, demeaned, belittled?

Dealt with by interruptions, sarcasm, put-downs, outbursts, yelling, ridicule, public humiliation, blaming and shaming?  The list goes on…actions not matching words, unclear or unknown expectations, breaking promises without mending the break, endless rules and regulations.

So why is this important?  Let me share a story…for many years, I served as a disability and accommodation consultant to a power and water company, facilitating their reasonable accommodation program.  One particular team of 12 employees repeatedly showed up at my mediation table with one injury after another.  Something’s not right and leadership knew something had to be done because the injuries were costing them plenty.  After delving into the situation through interviews and focus groups, it was uncovered that the supervisor of the team was the hallmark of a micromanager, bottle-necking information coming in or going out.  Lots of concerns being expressed with no relief…supervision was delivered with arrogance, demeaning tones, public put-downs, and dismissive attitudes to their concerns.

The employees felt stuck, tied up in emotional distress, violated in their personal and physical space in getting their needs met and unable to get out of harm’s way!  This in turn led to distraction, lack of focus, worry and anxiety as they turned to do their jobs.

Because of our flight, fight or freeze response, their bodies were reacting to what they were  psychologically experiencing before they even knew it.  The mind-body connection that is now so evident through neuroscientific discoveries over the last 20+ years shows how the body and emotional brain react before the cognitive brain can kick in.  This distraction in neurological functioning in the brain disrupts the more reasoned, human brain leading to unfocused physical behavior.

How do we get thrown off-balance?

93% of how we communicate comes from what we see and what we hear BEFORE we even make cognitive sense of it, triggering things like muscle tension, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and release of the stress hormone, cortisol…throwing us off balance.

We now know through scientific evidence that our intellect, how smart we are or what we know, makes up only a third of what we are about.  Instead, we function much more from what is our emotional intelligence, or lack thereof.  Our E.I. is made up by our self-awareness, our awareness of others, our self-management and our management of relationships with others.  This is where we get to beliefs, expectations, assumptions or attitudes, concerns or challenges and hopes – what I call the BEACH.  We also uncover our Fears, Values and Needs through emotional intelligence.

How do we create psychological safety?

So how do we create some protection from the emotional storm around us.  Again, we’ve invested great sums of money and time into physical safety and the workplace truly is a safer place to be than 20 years ago.  But why do we still have so much in the way of EEOC and DFEH claims?  Why do we have such high costs when it comes to absenteeism, illness, health insurance utilization and workers’ compensation rates.

Instead, building on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, let’s introduce a twist.  Self-actualization is usually what you see at the top of the pyramid but who really knows what that means.  Instead, if we recoin the top to “self-Development” that’s more understandable, right?  Ways to expand our emotional intelligence..

the need to strive toward an environment that encourages self-protection, attention and focus, self-knowledge, self-efficacy, self-esteem, self-empowerment, self-control, self-discipline, consistency, initiative, curiosity, achievement, humor, creativity and spirituality.

My challenge to you… what’s missing in your workplace safety program?  I bet it’s programs that address personal and leadership development that create an environment of psychological safety.  That’s what I call the missing link to psychological health and safety.

Hi, my name is Dr. Debra Dupree.  I help people master their relationships by connecting, listening and engaging to build powerful and persuasive presence, influence and impact.  For more information on what you can do to maximize your footprint effectively and efficiently, schedule your complimentary Discovery Session here!

 

 

with Dr. Debra Dupree

A Culture of Respect or Disrespect?

Are you one of those who feels there’s more disrespect today than ever before?  Join the ranks!

Speaker and Author Gregg Ward joined me on UNCOVERED to talk about his talk on today’s culture of respect, or lack thereof?  Together, we shared our observations…his from years of consulting and training with police forces and corporations nationwide and mine from years as a workplace mediator and trainer/coach.  Listen and learn as we discuss the impact of social media, multi-generational and cultural influences,  years of focus on the bottom line instead of the people who drive it, and the influence of leadership styles. Together, we share some tips on how to deal with disrespect in the workplace.

You can also listen to the audio program here by calling (712) 775-7029, enter Access Code 291504#.

UNCOVERED! Choosing BLISS to Manage Workplace Conflicts

We all deal with conflicts, right?  What would it be like if you knew how to handle them right the first time…every time?

Best-selling author, Moneeka Sawyer, shared her 5-step process for choosing BLISS when dealing with conflicts in the workplace.  We talked about how to “STOP” so you can “be in the moment” to tune into the experience of what you’re feeling…physically and emotionally! And, “BREATHE” so you can “think through the moment.” This helps you choose a course of action that “constructively” manages the moment instead “destructively” escalating the conflict.

What is that emotion that comes up?  Are you feeling FEAR, ANGER, GUILT or HAPPINESS?  These four core emotions are what drives all thinking and behavior.  When we feel any one of the first three, we experience a lack of “psychological safety.”  And, when we feel unsafe, our “drive to survive” kicks in and we react with an instinctual reaction of fight, flight or freeze!  This is where we tend to say things that are hurtful, harmful and damaging…things we can’t take back!

When we pay attention to what we physically feel, we can use those signs to STOP, be in the moment, and BREATHE our way to a calmer course of action.  What would it be like if you could CHOOSE a calmer, peaceful way to conflicts?

Join us to UNCOVER tips and insights on how to handle those difficult people and difficult situations at work…and at home!  And, live a life of BLISS!

 

3 tips on how to get out of your rut and get unstuck

The Wealthy Wednesday Show is designed for Creative Women Entrepreneurs who choose to triumph in their business to have more money, more freedom and more joy while making an impact on the world. This show is hosted by the top influencer, community builder, sought after transformationalist, and Abundance Breakthrough Coach Luci McMonagle. Join us weekly at 5 pm pacific with expert guests who will empower and inspire you with timeless, practical, and spiritual wisdom for your success.

In spite of Dr. Debra Dupree’s extensive training in the psychology of human behavior, the bottom line is that we are all human and we make choices, right, wrong or indifferent, about what we do, how we do it and with whom we do it. FEAR kept me in a relationship for six years that was not healthy for me. So many life traumas happened in a short period of time in her life that she was clinging on what she once perceived to be a solid foundation, not realizing how the relationship was actually chipping away at her self-confidence and success. Once she really examined what kept her in the relationship versus having a vision for herself she was able to get out of her rut and start tapping into her greatness in the world. Join us for an incredible journey that will give you tips on how to get you out of your rut.

Get her free gift on line at http://relationships-at-work.com/ and join her for her FREE monthly calls! Sign up today!  To view the full show, click here.

Emotional Intelligence for Professional Success: What I Learned From Dr. Debra Dupree of Relationships at Work

This past week, Dr. Debra Dupree from Relationships at Work was my guest on Critical Mass Radio Show. Dr. Dupree is taking strides when it comes to helping people recover from drama and trauma from their past and helps them re­direct to discover positive karma. She uses her personal experience to help shape and mold people into becoming a new person that’s ready for success and stronger performances. Here are three takeaways from my time with Dr. Debra Dupree on Critical Mass Radio Show:

1.Emotions are hard­-wired. Most, if not all, of us have experienced trauma in some form throughout our lives. While we usually think of trauma as post-­traumatic stress that can occur from major traumas or disasters, there are also less extreme traumas that can still cause a significant impact in a person’s life, such as the loss of a job, a failing marriage, the lost of a loved one, or even something like not succeeding in personal and professional goals. These events result in a misdirected firing of our neurons in the brain that actually can help contribute to how we feel and act in a given situation.

2. Present yourself in a positive way. The primary way to avoid a bad “bossing” reputation in your given leadership position is to take a look at how you are preventing yourself. This includes physical presentation, body language, as well as vocal tones. These small changes can allow you to reach new levels in your ability to lead and present in a powerful, persuasive, and influential way.

3. Emotional intelligence matters. Believe it or not, intellect, or IQ, is only about 30% of who we are. The majority of who we are is a result of our emotional intelligence, which is rooted in developing self-­awareness, knowing your triggers and your physiological and emotional responses to them. The four core emotions are fear, anger, shame and happiness. Three out of four of these core emotions have a negative basis. Because so much of our emotional experience is negative by nature, it is essential to learn how to monitor and self­-manage these feelings, and figure out what sources typically trigger negative emotional responses. It is also essential to develop an awareness of others and be aware of how your approach to interactions impacts the people you are working with. Two other primary elements of emotional intelligence include the ability to manage relationships and develop the people around you.

To learn more about Dr. Debra Dupree and her work with Relationships and Work, visit www.relationships-at-work.com.

Listen to our full interview with Dr. Dupree below:


http://podcast.criticalmassforbusiness.com/e/episode-962-critical-mass-radio-show-december-6-2016-dr-debra-dupree/

 

Path to Profit Podcast for Creative Entrepreneurs: Leadership vs. Management

How to Fix Your People Problems

David Shriner-Cahn chats with Dr. D about how to fix your people problems. Leveraging her background in psychology and business, Debra helps people master their emotional intelligence, repair damaged relationships, and fulfill their career and life goals. Today she discusses how to build psychological safety in order to have better self-awareness and less conflict in the workplace. She also shows us how to stop taking things so personally, and reveals why business leaders need to move with change instead of rebelling against it.


Topics include:

  • How to build resiliency and flexibility around change
  • Recognizing other people’s perspectives
  • How to repair long-term relationships
  • The importance of self-reevaluating

Over the last 30+ years, Dr. Debra Dupree has been fascinated with what makes people tick…at work and at home.  She became a therapist, mediator, professor and doctor of psychology…and now she’s a public speaker and author. Debra helps people recover from the drama and trauma in their pasts, and helps them discover positive karma. She uncovers those emotional pains that get in the way of true success.  She helps her clients map out a plan for a whole new way of “being” for stronger performances and increased earnings. She helps turnaround what makes good people become bad bosses and what makes great employees fail.

Learn more about Debra at LinkedIn.  As she likes to say…REACH…Recognize your Energy and Act with Courage and Hope!  When the emotional pain is too great, it’s not too late to take action. Contact Dr. Debra now!

The Risky Business of Bad Bossing

debra-on-espn-8-31-16-with-buddy-greene-the-risky-business-of-bad-bossing

ESPN 1700 Radio Talk Show Host and Mortgage Lender Buddy Greene invites Dr. Debra Dupree live to talk about the Risky Business of Bad Bossing.  Find out how bad bossing has its roots in early attachment, the cost and impact of bad bossing on YOU, and the risky business for letting it go on!

Feeling unsafe triggers us emotionally. A whole chain of reactions happens physiologically, generating hormones and neurotransmitters that throw off our sense of cognitive and emotional balance…our sense of safety and security. So how can we create a sense of psychological safety…for ourselves and others…and why does it even matter? Why do we need to be fully aware of the perils of bad bossing?   Listen in and learn!

Dr. Debra regularly speaks to organizations like yours on “how to manage up” when you have a “bad boss” as well as what can be done to turn that “bad boss” around, particularly when the bad boss is YOU!

 

Compel Don’t Sell and The Risky Business of Bad Bossing

Listen in to ESPN Host Buddy Greene, your financial lender, as he has a conversation with Speaker and Television Host Shirlene Reeves and Speaker and Author Dr. Debra Dupree as they talk about travel,  Shirlene’s “Compel Don’t Sell” program, and Debra’s “Avoid the Risky Business of Bad Bossing” training and coaching services for more information on maximizing your earning potential by maximizing your emotional potential.

A great day with Buddy Greene, Shirlene Reeves & Debra Dupree

A great day with Buddy Greene, Shirlene Reeves & Debra Dupree

 

 

 

espn-radio

ESPN with Buddy Greene 8-31-16

E.Q. vs. I.Q. Six ways to build psychological safety

Feeling unsafe is an uncomfortable feeling.  In fact, it’s a risky business to be in.  It’s a direct threat to a sense of survival, automatically triggering a fight, flight or freeze response. This response is biologically innate and a characteristic of all animals.  Bad bossing makes us feel unsafe.

Feeling unsafe triggers us emotionally. A whole chain of reactions happens physiologically, generating hormones and neurotransmitters that throw off our sense of cognitive and emotional balance…our sense of safety and security. So how can we create a sense of psychological safety…for ourselves and others…and why does it even matter? Why do we need to be fully aware of the perils of bad bossing?  The answer lies in harnessing our physical and emotional reactions by building skills in emotional intelligence…when our emotional intelligence (E.Q.) trumps our intelligence quotient (I.Q.) and we learn how to “manage up.”

On June 15, 2016, 25 representatives from San Diego Association of Law Libraries (SANDALL) gathered at California Western School of Law (CWSL) to learn just how to do this.

Here’s what they gained over a fun-filled two and a half hours…

1) The Power of Connections: To generate awareness around what they’re good at and not so good at when it comes to managing emotions, how they’re impacted by others emotions, and what kinds of emotions come up, participants engaged in groups of three to start talking about the impact of bad bossing.  The atmosphere of the lecture hall changed in just 9 minutes!

2) The Tip of the Iceberg: We only see the tip of the iceberg above the water line, right? But there’s so much more below the water line that we can’t see…just like the titanic. When it comes to people, I.Q. and E.Q. are much like the iceberg. The tip is our I.Q. (only 20% of who we are). What’s below the water line is where our E.Q. lives…that deeper part of ourselves represented by our beliefs, expectations, assumptions or attitudes, concerns and hopes as well as our fears, values and needs. We often don’t go there because we either don’t have the skills to successfully handle those kinds of conversations OR we are simply afraid to go there, fearful of what we might uncover. Bad bosses definitely don’t go there.  But through E.Q. we can build our awareness of self, learn how to manage what surfaces, become aware of how others are impacted, and then become skilled in how we manage our important relationships.  Including those where we have to “manage up” to feel safe.

3) The TRIUNE Brain Theory: SANDALL also got a taste of Neuroscience 101 – just enough to show how ALL humans are hardwired for emotional reaction BEFORE cognitive understanding or making sense of things. They also learned my prescription for deep breathing as a sure fire technique for self-management. We all breathe, right? But seldom do we breathe really deeply in a way that helps manage the emotional reaction, especially when we’re triggered.  This can be your best defense when dealing with a bad boss.

4) The Emotional Hijack: It feels like we’re hijacked from all logical, rationale responses when we’re triggered. The emotional volcano erupts and we become overwhelmed with emotion.  FEAR, ANGER, SHAME or JOY…too often, it’s not the latter! The intensity of this hijack is directly related, and sometimes not, to the significance of the trigger. Are we puzzled or are we terrified? Are we disappointed or are we in deep despair? Are we feeling disrespected or are we furious? And, are we feeling friendly or are we ecstatic? The SANDALL folks had a chance to be exposed to some 90 different emotions to uncover those most common in their lives.  A laundry list of what we feel around bad bosses was almost as long.

5) Two Minutes of Passion: This was fun…in just two short minutes, people had a chance to uncover their passions and express themselves. This was hard for some and a breeze for others. People couldn’t believe how difficult it was to either speak for two minutes uninterrupted and to listen for two minutes without interrupting. This was a good opportunity to learn more about how we speak and how we listen (or not!). They also learned how to read body language, particularly facial expressions, and to listen for tone, volume and inflection.  This is a part of empathy and they learned how to use it with a bad boss.

6) Action Plan: As we wrapped up our two hours of fun and learning, I challenged them to identify one key takeaway as well as to write down what they were going to STOP doing as a result of what they learned, what they were going to START doing based on what they learned, and what they were going to CONTINUE to do because it was working.  Ideas were generated on what first steps to take around their bad bosses.

At the end of the day, here’s what SANDALL participants had to say…

  • Dr. Dupree has a wonderful delivery, great presence and knows how to generate an open, enthusiastic environment. The information and delivery were fantastic.  J. Andrade, California Western School of Law.
  • This was a very informative and intriguing workshop. It was also a lot of fun!  K. Thomas, California Western School of Law.
  • Dr. Dupree was both knowledgeable and an engaging speaker.  Her class interactive exercises were fun and interesting.  C. Valero, California Western School of Law

If you’re looking for ways to break free from an emotional past, here are three ways to do it now!  Debra Dupree, PsyD, LMFT has over 30 years of experience in the psychology of people and performance.

1) Connect through her website, her newsletter, and her webinars. 

2) Contact her to schedule her 5:1:10 training and coaching program for managers and leaders

3) Get involved in her “3 for 1” coaching program.