Naked AND Loved
I was in the White House, surrounded by people engaged in conversation, sharing views, exchanging opinions. The atmosphere was delightful and different… warm, energetic, calming, collaborative, and connected.
Then I realized I was naked. A spark of recognition that soon faded away. I did have a blanket of sorts draped loosely around me, but there was no doubt to me that I was obviously naked. What was even stranger was that it seemed to be a non-issue to everyone else.
Conversations were easy and deep as melodious voices filled the room. Ideas were shared, opinions were solicited; dialogues among people were engaged and engaging. All seemingly normal with one exception – no one seemed to notice that I was naked.
Something else was different.
Other than being naked in a room full of people, I had a feeling of being encapsulated in a cocoon. A cocoon of love, where it was warm and regenerative. An environment where I felt accepted, embraced, at peace… a place of unconditional love.
When I awoke, that sense of tranquility and peace was front and center of my now conscious mind. It loomed over, around and through me for the rest of the day. I don’t think I have ever felt that kind of love and peace before … in real life or in a dream.
I got up this morning with the writing of two blogs being on my to-do list. I keep a tickler file with topics for potential blogs, but today Naked AND Loved took center stage.
What was this dream about? What was the lesson for me, for my readers and clients? I could only hypothesize.
It could mean on some level that I am worried about others seeing me for the real me, or that I am the one concerned about how I show up when it’s not even on anyone else’s radar screen.
During coaching sessions, I work with leaders to create a psychologically safe environment. A place where people can show and employ one’s self without fear of negative consequences of self-image, status or career.
In psychologically safe teams, members feel that they belong, they matter and that they make a difference. They feel accepted and respected.
Yes, it’s great that people feel these things, but does it do anything for the organization, or is it just a feel good for the person?
The good news is that there are some empirically supported outcomes of team members feeling psychologically safe:
- Chances are higher that an attempted innovation will succeed
- We learn from one another since each of us is both a teacher and a student
- Team members are more engaged and have a higher sense of job satisfaction
An average dream ranges from a few seconds to 20-30 minutes.
Let’s say I had an average dream. How could something that lasted for such a short amount of time make such an impact on me not only for the rest of the day but well on into the next day?
A subconscious experience that left me feeling accepted, included, and at peace?
Could I describe what I felt in my dream as psychological safety? I’m thinking yes. Did I feel that I belonged, that I mattered and that I made a difference – you bet I did!
If a max of a 30-minute dream could have that kind of impact, can you imagine the possibilities if we proactively created that kind of environment in the workplace?
Wanting to learn more about Psychological Safety, we take a look at the work of Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, a chair established to support the study of human interactions that lead to the creation of successful enterprises and contribute to the betterment of society.
Do you have first-hand experience with creating and/or working in this type of environment? Would you like to find how this type of environment could help take you and your organization to the next level?
I encourage you to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until then, sweet dreams!