When Communicating, More is More - in conversation with Anthony Glover

When conversations balance advocacy and inquiry, people can expose their thinking to the influence of others. It brings us one step closer to discussing those ‘undiscussables’. ‘Undiscussables’ are usually things that need the most discussing. When those courageous conversations are had, we can create a safe environment where people, ideas, and diversity, can flourish.

Anthony Glover, a driver of positive change and highly experienced business professional has been on a mission to create safe work environments for his employees. He is the kind of leader who genuinely cares about others. His leadership style, and experiences at some of the world’s largest firms, have made him an influential force.

Creating a safe working environment involves a space where open dialogue is allowed and people can SPEAK FREELY about and tackle ‘taboo’ subjects. What is your take on this, and how do you go about encouraging the discussion of important (and sensitive) issues?

“Social justice, racial equity, and mental health are more than just hot topics on social media. Today, employees are actively talking about these issues in the workplace (or virtual workplace). As leaders, we can bolster DEIB efforts by providing a safe space for workers to have honest and respectful conversations.

“Creating a safe space for workers to have candid discussions starts at the top of the organization. By carefully cultivating discussions and further implementing what is learned, we as leaders can guide workplaces into a new era of respect, understanding, honesty, and inclusion. My efforts to do this have been through sharing my personal experiences.

“Mental health has been an extremely taboo topic, it is still extremely stigmatized in most settings. This stigma stems from a lack of understanding or misleading media interpretations. Hence, patients are often prevented from awareness and access to much-needed help. To disarm this phenomenon, I shared my experience with mental health with my entire team. It was a liberating experience and allowed others the freedom and comfort to speak about what they were going through as well.

“Another effort was maintaining open lines during the pandemic. At the peak of the pandemic, stress levels were high — for leaders and employees alike. Oftentimes, leaders, including myself, had open lines a few times a week. We shared a Zoom link with the team, and whoever wanted to join, could join. There was no meeting agenda or schedule, we could talk about absolutely anything. This became an extremely cathartic experience for everyone. Further, employees feel so at ease when they know their leaders are also going through stress in such times. Everyone can relate to each other, and feel a sense of closeness.

“Another effort I made was openly accepting feedback. Employees often hesitate to provide feedback to leaders or may think it won’t make a difference. I actually implemented their constructive criticism and followed up with people. This allowed them to understand that they could speak to me freely. Listening, understanding, and then reacting is so important in such scenarios. You can never over-communicate. When communicating, more is more.

“These traits — authenticity, integrity, and honesty, are the hallmarks of my leadership style and how I create a safe space for everyone around me.”

Thank you for sharing, Anthony.