What is NOT a good thing is when our defense shields have to be constantly deployed in our workplaces. In order to do our best work, we should be able to spend all our energy focused on the intentional pursuit of our goals. Being constantly in defensive mode drains our energy, our time, our creativity, and our productivity. It's sort of like a slow bleed.
Leaders can create and empower workplaces free of the Defense Shield Syndrome by:
- Being persistently transparent in our actions and discussions.
- Practicing and encouraging vulnerable behaviors, by which we signal it's okay to make mistakes and to talk about them openly and to learn from them.
- Noticing and praising the effort of others consistently.
- Censuring hateful and disrespectful behavior, at any level of the organization.
- Promoting an environment of caring.
- Celebrating the good stuff, often and in many ways.
- Encouraging creativity and innovation (i.e., risk taking), in all quarters.
- Modeling honesty and trustworthiness, all the time.
It really boils down to creating an atmosphere of trust - trust that runs vertically, horizontally, obliquely, and multi-directionally throughout the organization.
We can start NOW...