Recent events have shown exclusionary, toxic cultures go right to the very top.

Women have become braver in speaking out, raising their voices with emotional intensity, demanding change.  But Scott Morrison still doesn’t seem to get it, it is as if he couldn’t relate to it effectively.  His messaging in the light of these events has shown him as awkward and out of touch – not strategic, nor tactical.

In his speech for International Women’s Day in 2019, Morrison showed himself to be a proponent of the ‘zero-sum game’ fallacy.

He said, ’we want to see women rise … we don’t want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse.

It is one of the linchpins of toxic cultures.  Women’s equality does not come at the expense of men.

It does not need to be FEARED.

We ALL gain.

Despite far too many opportunities to learn about gender equality and see things differently, Morrison remains out of touch.

It is vital that we have an Australian leader who understands that top leadership is responsible for women’s safety at work. We do all LOSE when some of us are unsafe at work, and where toxicity flourishes.

It is not just women who ought to be gripped by the emotional intensity of this moment – it should be evoked in all of us when leaders won’t act to make workplaces safe, don’t acknowledge the problems they are responsible for, or respond rapidly to fix them.


Develop these five skills to create psychological safety


A recent McKinsey survey confirms the importance of psychological safety, yet also shows that only ‘a handful’ of leaders demonstrate the key skills needed to create a climate of safety. Enough said already!

As the McKinsey authors say, as long as there are some leaders who demonstrate these skills, others can also role model and reinforce what’s expected.

A positive team climate is the key driver of psychological safety.

Safety isn’t about being soft.  It’s also about challenge.

The diagram below displays the connection between support and challenge and its impact on team climate.

The idea of balancing challenge with support is one that I first came across as a critical underpinning of Centre for Creative Leadership development programs.

It’s a core frame for my coaching, and I particularly like its inclusion as a key way for leaders to learn the value of flexibly interacting with their teams to bring out their best.

The five skills:

  • Open-dialogue skills
  • Developing high quality social relationships
  • Mindful listening
  • Situational humility
  • Sponsorship

Top level leadership skills are also covered, and, as you would expect, they make a difference.

Table from McKinsey report that shows the impact of support and consultation by leaders on overall team climate. The more leaders support and consult with their team, the more they can challenge them, and the more positive the team climate is.
Book a call with me today to find out more about how my executive coaching can help equip you with new perspectives and take you into new territory to increase psychological safety and make your workplace safer for everyone.


Toxic cultures can change with the right kind of leadership


Are you feeling motivated by these recent events to put a stop to exclusionary, toxic cultures?

Your organisation might not be toxic, maybe it’s just sluggish. Things might be good overall yet there remain pockets of resistance.  Maybe there’s a leader or two who need a bit of a prod.  Maybe you’re inspired by the idea of leading the way.

We can ALL do big and small things to make change happen.

We CAN step up the rate of progress, stop toxicity, and create inclusive workplaces where everyone thrives.  We don’t have to settle for less – and we mustn’t.

I’m delighted to be teaming up again in 2021 with NAWO to provide the Inclusion Influencers program.  It’s designed to make it easier for you to be more influential and create more impact.

  • There are 5 highly interactive webinars to help you to increase your influence.
  • The webinars, along with a workbook, guide you to increase your conviction, creativity and courage to be even more influential. You will grow your influencing capability, lead conversations with greater ease, and that will help sustain both progress as well as your motivation.
  • You will engage with your existing workplace using new techniques for positively influencing change and actively applying your learning.

Find more information on the program here.


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