LEADERSHIP COACH AND AUTHORITY ON PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY AND EMPOWERING EMPLOYEES TO SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER; AUTHOR, “SPEAK UP” (2019); PROFESSOR, ASHRIDGE EXECUTIVE EDUCATION, HULT BUSINESS SCHOOL; NAMED AMONG THE TOP 50 MANAGEMENT THINKERS IN THE WORLD IN 2021, THINKERS50
Megan Reitz is a Leadership Coach and Authority on Psychological Safety and Empowering Employees to Speak Truth to Power; Renowned Educator, Researcher and Consultant on Mindfulness and Diversity in the Workplace; Author, “Speak Up” (2019); Professor, Ashridge Executive Education, Hult Business School; Named Among the Top 50 Management Thinkers in the World in 2021, Thinkers50
For more information on Megan see her full Bio Below.
Fostering Psychological Safety in the Workplace
How can leaders foster a culture where employees feel free to speak up about workplace concerns without fear of retribution? How can employees be encouraged to challenge conventional thinking and offer new ideas so teams can remain agile and innovative? And how can organizations both avoid scandal and facilitate overall healthy corporate cultures? A renowned expert on leadership and dialogue, Hult Business School Professor Megan Reitz teaches leaders that having a psychologically safe culture requires them to notice their own habits and be mindful of the signals they’re sending which may be deliberately or inadvertently silencing others. In this presentation, Reitz shares evidence-based communication tools leaders can use to encourage employees to speak up and ensure all voices are heard so vital knowledge and innovative ideas can be regularly exchanged.
Speaking Truth to Power: Encouraging Open Dialogue
Many employees have a burning desire to voice their opinions regarding important organizational changes, yet companies may not have a culture that encourages them to do so. When leaders become aware of the link between leadership and mindfulness, says Hult Business School professor Megan Reitz, space for speaking truth to power is born. In this presentation based on her engaging TEDxHultAshridge talk, Reitz teaches leaders how to navigate power differences and transform their workplace cultures so employees feel free to openly communicate.
The Power of Mindful Leadership
What role does mindfulness play in leadership? Hult Business School Professor Megan Reitz’s research shows that mindfulness opens doors for leaders to become more “present,” enabling them to respond rather than react to circumstances, which in turn builds resilience, improves focus, and allows them to become better listeners and decision makers. Based on her book “Mind Time,” Reitz teaches participants tools for becoming more present, mindful, less stressed, and more effective leaders who are viewed as more approachable and relatable.
Diversity and Inclusion: Inviting in New Ideas and Building Awareness Around Biases
How can leaders do their part to mitigate biases among their employees and also become aware of their own unconscious biases? Hult Business School Professor Megan Reitz helps leaders and employees understand how they unconsciously “label” both themselves and others, and how those labels convey different levels of status and authority depending on context. In this talk, she explains how such a dynamic affects the broader conversation around voice and inclusion. She then shares tools for building sensitivity and awareness so everyone in an organization feels seen, heard and included – and, as a result, more satisfied, engaged and productive.
How can leaders enable employees to talk about organisational problems so they can be addressed? How can they invite employees to challenge and offer ideas to stay agile and innovative? And in an age of employee activism, how can leaders ensure that people of diverse backgrounds and value systems can work well together?
According to Megan Reitz, professor of leadership and dialogue at Ashridge Executive Education at Hult Business School, leaders must create psychologically safe environments where people feel it is safe to speak up without fear of retribution.
An executive coach, researcher and author of the book “Speak Up: Say What Needs to be Said and Hear What Needs to be Heard” (Financial Times Publishing, July 2019), Reitz helps leaders become more aware of their “conversational habits” — what they speak up about and what they don’t, whose voices they listen to and whose they discount. Through a deeper understanding of power dynamics, leaders are able to spot how and when they (often inadvertently) silence others. They become more able to create a culture where employees can safely and openly share ideas. As a result, leaders get the feedback they need about what’s really happening in their organizations and teams end up communicating, collaborating and innovating more effectively.
“It takes courage to speak your mind to a person in power,” says Reitz who was named in 2021 among the top 50 management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50. “But equally, if you are the person in power, it takes enormous humility and skill to be able to invite, then listen.” Her enlightening TEDxHultAshridge talk, “How Your Power Silences Truth,” artfully explains how leaders can strike a balance between guiding and being guided by the people they oversee. Her practical frameworks for promoting psychological safety help organizations address issues around trust, ethics, diversity, equity and inclusion, and communication – especially in remote or hybrid workplaces where many cues can get lost.
Ranked among HR Magazine’s Most Influential Thinkers and author of “Mind Time: How Ten Mindful Minutes Can Enhance Your Work, Health and Happiness” (Harper Thorsons, 2018), Reitz’s research also explores the neuroscience of leadership and the links between mindfulness and leadership capacities for the 21st century.
“Leaders who are more mindful have the capacity to pay attention, on purpose, in the present moment,” says Reitz. “They are more aware of themselves, others and the world around them. This allows them to respond appropriately rather than react without thinking.” Reitz’s stress-reducing mindfulness practices offer executives a powerful opportunity to become more resilient, empathetic and focused leaders. They also provide tools for disrupting conversational habits that do not serve them or their teams.
Reitz emphasizes that speaking up is a two-way street. Leaders who are mindful of the signals they send can counteract the traps of silencing by opening up dialogue before the employee has to ‘be courageous’ in order to speak up. Her work is particularly urgent right now as remote and hybrid work settings require leaders to be more proactive about listening to employees and inviting in their thoughts. Her win-win approach allows organizations to learn what employees are thinking and where problems may be hidden, while offering employees the comfort of working for a leader who is more relatable, approachable and open-minded. Her focus is on enabling organizational dialogue in order to sustain more ethical, compassionate and productive workplaces where employees can flourish.
Ricardo did an amazing job. At the time of his keynote, people were tired after a long day, but he managed to get their attention one more time. We got especially good feedback on his session around midday. I don’t know how comfortable Ricardo is with presenting in German – that (maybe) would have been the only thing I can think of that could have elevated his presentation (but that would have just been the cherry on top of the ice cream).Julius MeltzerXING
Thanks a lot for the creativity and resilience to manage this Inspiration Tour in such a great manner. Great leaders (and some great example of how we do not want to come across), inspirational stories, challenge our believes (loved obviously Ricardo Semler) and many insights for the future. Thanks a lot!Head of large pharmaceutical company – Costa Rica
After the workshop I spoke to some of the business relations that we had invited. They were positive without exception. Present were, among others, a partner of a large law firm, a company that offers HR services with the aid of self-developed software and a partner of an international recruitment and selection agency. They all asked questions about specific challenges in their companies and were amazed at Semler's knowledge of their specific business model and challenges. To be repeated!Han MesterHan Mesters, Sector Banker Business Services ABN AMRO Bank
I am leaving early tomorrow morning for 10 days in Botswana without internet so I am writing to you quickly now. Firstly, thank you for coming to SA and thank you for the time you spent with me and the effort you put into your presentation. You are a rare person and have an enormous amount to offer the world. We did get a lot of feedback and all presentations were rated. You rated highly and there were quite a few comments. When I get back I will collate these and send them to you.Robert PhillipsThundermark
Thanks you, Robert