Why don’t my people speak up?
How can I make my people feel safe, so they speak up about the problems that matter?
My first workshop held in German took place in Vienna, at the wonderful Magdas hotel, a social business where 2/3 of the employees are people with a refugee background, creating a very special experience for everyone.
When preparing the workshop, I asked myself how to best integrate the art of persuasion into the flow and structure of the day. We all know the best (and only) way people are able to change their environments is when the ideas come from themselves. But why is that so? The best explanation I found were the words of 17th century philosopher Blaise Pascal:
“When we wish to correct with advantage, and to show another that he errs, we must notice from what side he views the matter, for on that side it is usually true, and admit that truth to him, but reveal to him the side on which it is false. He is satisfied with that, for he sees that he was not mistaken, and that he only failed to see all sides. Now, no one is offended at not seeing everything; but one does not like to be mistaken, and that perhaps arises from the fact that man naturally cannot see everything, and that naturally he cannot err in the side he looks at, since the perceptions of our senses are always true.”
Pascal also added:
“People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.”
Time to put it into practise: I had built in four very simple tools, and with just enough guidance and entrusting the rest to the flow of the session, we got started. Without wanting to make too many words, I hope you can sense the great atmosphere we had on the day on the photos below (courtesy of Katharina).
Like always, I learnt lots too and thank the participants for the feedback they gave, as it has helped me make the necessary improvements for the next time.
Thanks to Leni, one of our participants, you can also read a summary in German.
Here is the deck I used for the day. If you have any questions or would like any of the tools I used, then drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also published on Medium.