7 phrases leaders should use more often to show vulnerability and build trust with their team

AmEx leadership lessons
As a leader, recognize that your tone can shift the energy in the room.

  • The tone and attitude of leaders can influence the psychological safety in their workplace.
  • Speaking honestly and openly can help you build a high-performing, engaged, and inclusive team.
  • Use phrases like ‘I appreciate you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ more often to build trust within your team.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As a leader, your energy has a profound impact on your team. The way you show up in meetings and 1:1s, and even the tone in your emails can influence psychological safety in your workplace – for better or for worse. That’s why I often remind myself that words matter when it comes to building a high-performing, engaged, and inclusive team.

In an effort to be more intentional about the tone I’m setting every day, I’ve discovered these seven phrases help convey gratitude, vulnerability, and trust.

Read more: DEI professionals can make upwards of $200,000 a year. Experts reveal what it takes to land the job.

1. I appreciate you because …

Gratitude is a powerful tool; consider that more than 40% of Americans said they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often. Importantly, though, is that gratitude works best when it’s specific. Don’t just thank people for their contributions. Tell them one thing you especially appreciated about how they ran that meeting, collaborated on that project, or shared that update. Doing so makes people feel seen, and who doesn’t love that?

2. What do you see that I don’t see?

My company now has a quarterly team meeting where people in our organization tell me about data I’m missing, perspectives I should be paying more attention to, or early warning signs of an issue we should spend more time on. These are some of my favorite meetings of the year, because I learn something new every time, and it’s a subtle reminder that leaders don’t have all the answers, but that we need, and value, our teams’ perspectives.

3. Welcome to the team

Being new is hard. Imposter syndrome is at an all-time high, and so proactively welcoming new employees is critical. I try to make it a point to see, notice, and welcome new people in our organization and learn a little bit about what makes them tick. Inclusion and belonging start on day one, so taking a few minutes to make an active effort helps people feel confident they made the right choice joining your team.

4. I’ve got you

My company starts our leadership meetings with a few structured prompts, and one of the questions is, “Who will you ask for help when you need it?” The person you choose then responds with “I’ve got you.” It’s just three words, but it normalizes both relying on the support of others and being ready to give it. That’s why this simple phrase helps build a culture of trust.

5. Tell me more

We all know that active listening is a critical skill in leadership. But if you’re like me, a fast talker and quick reactor, then it’s probably not always your first instinct. When I feel myself speeding up, I try to ask people to tell me more about their idea, challenge, or observation. Not only do they feel heard, but I can actually give better advice as a result.

6. I’m sorry

Vulnerability is arguably one of the most important traits of a great leader. The easiest way to practice it is to admit when you’ve made a mistake. For example, I recently derailed a meeting because I wasn’t as prepared as I could’ve been, and it resulted in my getting frustrated. Later that day, I apologized to the team and we moved forward. Remember that you’re a human being; it’s not only OK to admit when you’re wrong, but it also goes a long way with your team in building trust.

7. I’m signing off

Now that workplaces are reopening after the pandemic, many companies are trying to figure out how to effectively address burnout. One of the most meaningful actions we can take as leaders is to set the tone at the top that it’s not only OK to take a break but that it’s encouraged. Leave loudly by telling your team you’re signing off or using a Slack emoji to show that you’re offline. These seemingly small signals go a long way in promoting healthy work-life integration.

The most important thing we can do as leaders is recognize that our tone can shift the energy in the room (or Zoom). That doesn’t mean you need to be a cheerleader every day – you’re only human, after all – but it should serve as a reminder that your words carry weight. So when possible, choose them intentionally.

Read the original article on Business Insider

4 things you need to know about the future of hybrid and remote work

Spotify employees, spotify office
Spotify’s new work-from-anywhere program will promote flexibility and diversity, executives told Insider.

  • As more Americans get vaccinated, companies are starting to reconsider their reopening plans.
  • Employers like Spotify and TIAA are investing in hybrid work models.
  • This guide explains what you need to know about the future of hybrid work.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The post-pandemic workplace is going to look a lot different. Mostly, there will be fewer people in the office.

As more Americans get vaccinated, companies are starting to think about what their reopening plans might look like. Some employers, like Spotify and TIAA have decided to invest in hybrid work models, giving employees the flexibility to work from the office, their homes, or another location.

Insider compiled a guide with the four most important things to know about the future of hybrid work.

1. Remote work is leading to burnout.

Burnout and fatigue are familiar themes of pandemic life. Meetings are booming, workdays are lengthening. And at the same time, per recent LinkedIn survey data, 74% of employees are taking “shelter” in their current job as a way of mitigating risk during tumultuous times.

While what it means to work from home isn’t going to be the same in post-pandemic life, these remote and hybrid – where you come into the office some of the time – work styles are likely to. But conflict is rising around the best way to do it without sacrificing quality, company success, or personal wellbeing.

Read more:

Remote work can unlock productivity or push burnout. Here’s how smart companies are planning for our ‘hybrid’ and WFH future.

Use this 6-step checklist to conquer workplace burnout, protect your mental health, and re-energize your team

A day off work and ‘Zoom-free Fridays’ aren’t going to cut it. Here’s how to really tackle burnout.

Consulting confessions: 6 current and former staffers at Deloitte, PwC, and other top firms detail pandemic burnout

2. Prioritizing camaraderie and communication can improve remote-work culture.

Open lines of communication are key to improving the culture when you’re working from home. Leaders ned to ensure that all employees feel informed. It’s also important to give employees the opportunity to connect in more casual settings, like a virtual happy hour, to help them feel included.

Read more:

A Facebook exec shares 4 strategies any leader can use to improve communication and camaraderie when working remotely

Etsy’s chief operations, strategy, and people officer shares how the company maintains its culture while working remotely

3. The rise of remote work also means the rise of the virtual headquarters.

The pandemic means some employers have reduced the amount of real estate they own or rent. Some are getting rid of offices entirely.

But this presents a new challenge for employers, who now need to recapture the visibility, casual conversations, and collaboration that came so easily in person. Their best bet, technologists working to solve the problem said, is to create a virtual HQ – a suite of office tools that allow employees to work collaboratively from home.

Read more:

The ‘virtual headquarters’ are coming

4. Employers are debating the type of work that makes the most sense for their workforce.

Hybrid work doesn’t work for everyone. Wall Street, for example, wants employees back in the office.

But employees will be looking for more flexibility post pandemic. Here’s how companies are providing flexibility to their employees.

Read more:

TIAA’s HR chief shares the thinking behind its new hybrid work model that sorts employees into 4 categories of flexibility

H&R Block’s CEO and HR chief explain how the company decided against fully remote work – and why they expect staff in the office 3 days a week

Spotify’s new remote-work plan ‘isn’t in response to the pandemic’ – it’s a bet on diversity

Read the original article on Business Insider

A former Google engineer said she endured a year of harassment. She’s now vowing to ‘never love a job again.’

Google logo office Mountain View
Google’s logo seen at its Mountain View campus.

  • Ex-Google engineer Emi Nietfeld said she endured harassment and retaliation while working there.
  • In an op-ed for The New York Times, she said Google’s response led her to vow to “never love a job again.”
  • Multiple current and former Googlers have accused the company of discrimination.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Workers have long coveted jobs in the tech industry because companies promise things like good pay, prestige, luxurious perks, and innovative cultures.

But Emi Nietfeld, a Google engineer from 2015 to 2019, wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times on Wednesday that she left her tech job because Google’s supposed reputation as a great place to work masked the reality that – just like other companies – it ultimately looks out for itself.

Nietfeld said in the op-ed that one her male managers sexually harassed for more than a year, calling her “beautiful,” “gorgeous,” and “my queen” – and that Google’s reputation made it that much harder to speak up.

“Saying anything about his behavior meant challenging the story we told ourselves about Google being so special,” Nietfeld wrote, adding: “Google was the Garden of Eden; I lived in fear of being cast out.”

Google did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

When she eventually filed a formal HR complaint, Nietfeld wrote: “Google went from being a great workplace to being any other company.”

Google ignored Nietfeld’s concerns about having to sit next to her harasser during and after its three-month-long investigation, even after concluding that he violated the company’s harassment policy, she said, while suggesting that Nietfeld seek counseling, work remotely, or take a leave of absence.

It’s not the first time Google has come under fire over similar cultural and equity issues.

Multiple former Google employees said that the company told them to take mental health leave when they experienced sexism and racism. Oher employees and shareholders have filed lawsuits accusing Google of gender pay bias, retaliation against whistleblowers, and mishandling major sexual harassment incidents involving top executives.

Nietfeld said Google didn’t appear to do much in the way of reprimanding her harasser, and after suffering through weeks of bad sleep and emotional distress at work, she took three months of paid leave. But Nietfeld said she returned only to face retaliation from another manager, get passed over for promotion, have her pay cut, and have Google make a “meager counteroffer” when two competing job offers came up.

“After I quit, I promised myself to never love a job again. Not in the way I loved Google. Not with the devotion businesses wish to inspire when they provide for employees’ most basic needs like food and health care and belonging. No publicly traded company is a family. I fell for the fantasy that it could be,” Nietfeld wrote.

Read the original article on Business Insider