Comic style illustration. Growth and Comfort personified, sitting at a table across from each other. Growth leans over and says, "This is just not going to work out."

How to Stir the Pot

When we first connect with a new client, we’re most often dealing with “the champion” – the HR or L&D leader who has identified a significant gap in their organization’s culture or in the relational skills of leaders or employees.

If you’ve ever been this person, you probably know how nerve wracking it can be! While you want to commit your team to more transformational or impactful training, you may also be thinking:

We hear this a lot! And we’re glad when we do, because it means we have an opportunity to help you prepare your team for open conversations about belonging, values, and expectations. Here’s our best advice:

  • Start small: If your team has never had an open conversation about belonging, organizing a full-day, in-person session won’t solve it all at once. Stick to small, practical lessons that support the health and function of your team.
  • Let people prepare: There’s nothing worse than being ambushed at work. Let people know when you’re going to explore new topics and what to expect.
  • Share the “why”: To make sure nobody feels targeted, tie your learning strategy to larger organizational goals: “It’s not you – it’s us.”
  • Use scenario-based learning tools: It can be damaging to use real examples of your team members’ behaviours or conflicts. Instead, spark discussion using generic scenarios or examples of what other teams or organizations have done.

The most important takeaway is that conversations that ‘stir the pot’ don’t create issues — they surface them! As people leaders, we need to be brave enough to let things rise to the surface so we can learn together.

Check out these resources about learning, discomfort, and how to build brave spaces.


Psychology Today

People Can Learn to Appreciate the Discomfort of Learning

Learning new things often requires some amount of discomfort. It can be frustrating to be really bad at something when you are first acquiring a skill. You may feel lost when encountering topics you know nothing about. On top of that, confronting information that contradicts deeply-held beliefs can also make you feel bad. But research suggests that when discomfort is framed as a signal that valuable learning is taking place, then people are less likely to avoid it.


Dare to Lead with Brené Brown

Brené and Barrett on Building Brave Spaces

In this episode of the Dare to Lead podcast, Brené Brown explores some research data on how to build brave spaces with our teams, what gets in the way of people showing up, what gets in the way of doing the work, and how judgment is the primary killer of these spaces.


Psychological Safety

Creating a psychologically safe workplace is essential for fostering trust, innovation, and collaboration among team members. This intermediate-level program based on the work of Dr. David Rock of the NeuroLeadership Institute explores how leaders can promote psychological safety and belonging on their teams by mitigating threats to status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness.

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See how easy it is to activate DEI, Leadership, and Collaboration soft skills in your organization.

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Try Learning Snippets FREE

See how easy it is to activate soft skills in your organization. Soft skills training on 3 key topics: DEI, Leadership, and Collaboration.