Episode 36 – Featuring Suzanne Jackson
Why should leaders care? The power of empathy with Clive F. Lloyd
Episode 22 - Featuring Clive F. Lloyd
Watching how a co-worker is treated in the aftermath of a mishappening goes a long way in winning an employee’s trust in their leaders. In this podcast, Clive F. Lloyd, author of the influential book, ‘Next Generation Safety Leadership: From compliance to care’ helps us understand why business leaders and safety professionals should make care and empathy their highest priority in responding to crisis situations. Despite their best intentions, many organisations fail to live up to this expectation and end up creating long-lasting and irreparable damage to employee relationship. Clive warns us that recognizing this as a problem is the first step in resolving it.
- Clive’s website: Clive Lloyd (gystconsulting.com.au)
- Clive’s book: Next Generation Safety Leadership: From Compliance to Care
- The ethics of risk and safety with Rob Long
- The overstated role of crew resource management: Are we being sold the icing without the cake? With Gitte Damm
Nippin Anand [00:00:06] Welcome to another episode of Embracing Differences with me Nippin Anand. This podcast series is meant to bring you different perspectives and concepts in safety. The idea really is to create space for thinking and reflection, not to reinforce any grand theories or our prior knowledge on a subject. The aim is to learn and grow, not to remain stagnant. And of course, as I keep saying there is no reason for you to believe me or any so-called expert but keep an open mind and be prepared to challenge your beliefs if you truly want to learn more than what you knew yesterday.
[00:00:38] Imagine this. A seafarer gets off the ship, he is tested positive for COVID-19 and then he is stuck in foreign land for 2-3 weeks. He emails his office to explain his misery whilst he’s quarantined in a hotel. There’s no medical care provided to him because quite frankly, where he’s caught there are more serious issue of coronavirus. A foreign national who has just gotten off a rusted bucket is not on their priority list.
The next two weeks are miserable for him. No decent food, no medical attention and very limited internet connectivity to talk to his family. In the end, he survives and he gets back home but through this experience he learns how much his company cares for him. He’s at home for 2 months and the only time he gets a call is when he is about to join a ship. he gets his joining instructions from his crewing manager who, by the way, tells him that it was his first day in the office after being on sick leave for 3 months suffering from COVID-19. The crewing manager praises the company for supporting him so well in those two difficult months, being in touch with him on regular basis and sending him chocolates and a bouquet of flowers to his home on his first day of return to work, of course he’s still working from home. The seafarer has no idea how to react.
My guest today, the great Welshman from up North, who lives down South in Australia (watch my words – up North and down South), talks not only about why businesses should care for their people during difficult times but also why it makes perfect business sense to do that. In fact, Clive has a much better word for care – he calls it benevolence and we will learn more about it as we go through this talk. Let’s welcome Clive Lloyd. Clive would you like to introduce yourself please.
Clive Lloyd [00:02:58] So I’m a clinically trained psychologist and going back to 20 years ago and I had no real interest in safety and that’s not to say obviously I don’t care about people safety, of course, I do. But it wasn’t an industry that I ever imagined I would work in. As a clinician I believe that it has given me a different lens now when I do go into safety. I’ll maybe come back and expand on that when I talk about personal stories but how I got into high and safety was because of my clinical background. I’ve been doing quite a bit of grief counseling and I had a private practice and I tended to specialize in that for various reasons. Then of course my phone was ringing quite hot from EAP providers to employment assistance programs to go to a mine site or an oil and gas plant for example, after a fatality on the site.
[00:03:51] Now, this is my first glimpse into #1 how frequently those terrible events actually do occur and that was news to me. I didn’t really know that. I was sort of nestled away in clinical centers. Secondly, was how companies went about that and again they were doing this humanistic stuff – bringing in counselors for example, after a fatality and because it was happening so often, I started asking questions like – what are we doing at the other end? What are we doing the prevention end? Because they were mixed signals for me all at once. I was doing counseling which is very humanistic with team and family members but as I was doing that, messages were going out and it seemed like they were all written by the same lawyers like, we wish to remind everybody that safety, the safety of our people is the number one priority and things like that and equally there were investigations which frequently found violators and offenders and I think this language doesn’t really tie in with what I’m doing here.
[00:04:50] It’s interesting that that language is still quite prevalent in safety where it doesn’t tend to be as prevalent outside of safety. We have safety auditors, we do safety investigations by safety officers and then again who doesn’t love being investigated by an officer? With my clinical background it seemed to me, that safety the way they we’re doing safety was nothing that I really knew in terms of bringing people on the journey, creating engagement, creating intrinsic motivation.
As I was looking around mine sites, for example, at the gates of the mine it would be this huge sign with language like – 200 days since an LTI and again this is my psychological lens on that. Hang on, bigger the number gets, people who want to actually admit a mistake or admit an error reduces because who wants to be the guy right? Who wants to be the guy who brings it from 200 to 0. I know you interviewed Dr. Rob Long, recently and I’m sure he would have talked adequately about ‘zero harm’ but that was another thing that got me was state they sort of banged on about zero. For me at least, again, with clinical lens that is going be likely that organisations may become a little bit overzealous about incidents. So they may even become intolerant of incidents and again knowing a bit about psychology what that means is once again the very thing they’re trying to promote through that it’s less likely people will speak up.
[00:00:06] So the other thing I noted was the hierarchical, that the parent-child nature of safety leadership, as I mentioned. The language is one thing clinicians pick up on cues . We’re trained to pick up on cues understanding was sitting in pre start meetings and toolbox talks and I could just see in the sense that nobody was really listening. People would disengage just the ways that they were operated. I notice leaders around out there with a hardhat clipboard pen and most of it appeared to be at least, looking for people doing the wrong thing. And again, all of this stuff to me, psychologically, speaking was the activities of what they’re actually seeking to create.
[00:07:03] So my personal story – A little bit of a lightbulb moment both, for me, and I think that the manager I was speaking to at the time was, I said you know safety is one of those areas where we, in the workforce already share a key goal. We’ve got a shared goal and that is nobody wants to get hurt. We all want to be safe and well and it seems to me that even though we share the same goal, the management have this thing where they think they need to you tell people how to get to that goal and punish people if they feel off track with that goal.
It seemed to me like a huge opportunity missed and that was 20 years ago and over the last 20 years, I sort of honed my approach, picking up on other cues what companies do. I’m not saying I go looking for what they do wrong, I am much more interested in is are they creating the very climate that they wish in order to allow safety, wellness, well-being to thrive and so that’s where it all came from.
Nippin Anand [00:08:58] Interesting! I’m thinking that here’s somebody who was in a very different position. You said you were mainly looking into grieves and then how you switched to something completely different. So in for the lack of a better term here’s you counseling somebody because something wrong has happened, some ugly outcome and then you were actually wanting to do something to avoid that thing from happening in the 1st place. So how did that switch happen? You’ve been a practitioner unlike many other people who entered this profession because they are educated in a particular way and they go. But this is quite a radical shift in your career isn’t it?
Clive Lloyd [00:08:40] Yeah of course like everybody project our own experiences onto other things and before I started my private practice in grief counseling in fact, I think why I went into grief counseling is because prior to that and particularly during that I was working in the field of addictions. So, mostly, young people with chronic addictions things like heroin addiction, speed addiction, and I know this seems 1,000,000 miles away perhaps from safety but it’s actually not and the nature of addiction is that I was in a senior leadership role back then I was a clinical director of one of the largest rehab clinics here in Australia.
[00:09:18] As a senior leader of that organization, the nature of addiction is that from time to time we would lose somebody. It was for me to sit down with a mom and / or dad and explain to them the circumstances around the fact that their son or daughter is not here anymore. Just the nature of those conversations, how difficult they are not for me but they are in a sense but obviously for the people who’ve lost a loved one and that w takes a toll emotionally and it can do. But when I was working with the griefs those people were experiencing, changes people, change me.
[00:09:56] Anyway, let me take ownership of my words and so again when I was at the end doing my grief counseling in private practice and get sent off to these mining companies and again, I had no real interest in mining, oil and gas when I was sitting down with teammates, for example, had lost a colleague. Here it comes again, the knows that the deeply emotive discussions and a lot of these guys were traditional mining macho, not used to deal with feelings and I saw these burly grown men sobbing and that sticks with you and naturally that was a driver in me and maybe some sort of reaction formation within me too. We’ve got to do what we can to prevent this as much as we can but frankly, I don’t want to do those many conversations if there’s something I can do to reduce the amount of those conversations that have to take place – I’m in! I still do those conversations by the way, even though it moved out of the clinical psychology but we will always put a hand up. I will always put my hand up if there’s been a fatality and those team members, those family members need a hand ’cause based on evidence, based on my experience, those people need all the help they can get and sometimes again companies just have very little idea how to do that. I’m not saying that is their fault, by the way, they’re there to get rocks out of the ground, they’re there to do all that stuff they do what they can. But they kind of throw their hands up in the air when something like that happens. There are deeply emotive reasons that got me into it in the 1st place and I suspect that it kept me in it.
Nippin Anand [00:11:34] I don’t even know where to start because you opened up a really interesting discussion here. I’m actually doing a podcast series right now which I called – 5 lives, and these are five people who have experienced or come very close to seeing a fatality or human loss or an injury and when I interviewed these five people, they have very different understanding and meaning making of that experience. Some would say, “I have personally taken the responsibility to go around and tell the story and to tell people to be more safe, more careful” and others have found a meaning in their career that suddenly they feel this is the best thing you can do to pursue the path of a safety professional and then there is one wonderful gentleman who has opened up a charity to promote this kind of thinking. So, it is fascinating to see although it’s such an undesirable, unfortunate thing that happens.
But it changes you, it impacts you as a person because we are meaning making species, we like to make meaning of our experiences, isn’t it? So interesting what you say because that particular experience has made you to become what you are today isn’t it?
Clive Lloyd [00:12:51] You’re absolutely right and you just reminded me when you’re talking about your five lives, there’s a gentleman who was working out of Scotland he’s a British guy, I ended up speaking with him probably 15 or 16 years ago and again it was wonderful to hear my experience compared with his. He was an OIM –Oil installation manager, fairly traditional one. Then, for the first time in his career he experienced fatality on his watch if you will and again profoundly changed him, not just as a human being but profoundly changed the way that he went about leading particular, leading safety but leading in general and to the point where he ended up getting out of that business and actually into the business of actually helping to create safety. So based on that we had a lot in common, of course, and we did a lot of work together. But again, just that one incident can completely change a person’s thinking, feeling, behaviors, they can be very profound and the last thing I would like to see and I think it does happen, sometimes is that we take those events it’s just what happens we don’t change as a result we need to be a little less cold and most people are. I think it’s just that usually fatalities are at a distance for most people. I’m sure 20 odd years ago, I’m sure I heard on the news bulletin sometime that we lost a person in mining or gas. Of course, I did but it’s one thing to hear about them from a distance and another to sit in front of the people that are impacted by those you’d have to be pretty cold person indeed or a person with some very strong psychological masks and defense mechanisms to not be impacted by that, I believe.
Nippin Anand [00:14:37] Clive, would you mind if I share this story and we take it from there because I think this could be a really focused discussion and then very helpful to the listeners also. I go back to 1997 when I was working on ships and I was put on a ship and she was on a regular run between in and across Philippine waters and on one occasion during the midnight watch, the second officer who was on duty, he didn’t see a ferry really approaching the ship and the ferry collided with a ship as a result of which lot of people lost their lives, it was in the middle of the night it was hardly any investigations done at that time let alone, publishing the findings of the investigation in the public domain.
[00:15:20] So the interesting thing about that accident was that this second officer who was a Filipino guy he went home and he was put back on the same ship again under throughout my 6 to 7 months on that ship while I was sailing, I hardly ever saw him sleeping. He would keep a midnight watch – midnight to four in the morning and he would he would come down at about 5:00 o’clock have breakfast and then he was to staying the in the TV room and until 9:00 o’clock in the morning and then 11:00 o’clock you see him back on the on the bridge, ready for his watch. I watched him for six to seven months. It had impacted upon him so deep and a couple of times I tried to approach him ask him but he was so protective about it, and it was so uncomfortable talking about it.
[00:16:14] I remember at on one occasion he gave me a used I used to keep morning watch four to eight and so he used to keep midnight to four in the morning. So, I had a very bad habit at that time when I come up on the bridge it’s a good morning, I say what’s up or what happened. One day he got coming I think he was ignoring me for a while and one fine day he said what happened nothing happened? Why do you keep saying what happened? I couldn’t understand it for many years. It was only when I got into this as anthropology that I started to reflect back on some of these extremes and see how uncomfortable it must have been for him because every time I say, “What happened?” something is triggering him but I think there’s a deeper question here which is which is where you said also that why is it that that realization does not exist within the organizations that these people do need some support that you would be doing yourself a favor as an organization if you gave them some support. Why is it so difficult in your experience to realize that?
Clive Lloyd [00:17:18] It’s a great illustration. Number one, putting him back on the same vessel in a sensor at least at that early stage of was probably an error to kind of bound to be re traumatized, bound to be retriggered back into those horrible events. It’s a great question. I’ve got a few guesses, I’m sure one of the reasons, I’m speaking from an Australian perspective but I’ve worked globally and I don’t think it’s limited to Australia but those a lot of those high-risk industries probably including shipping, but you could tell me better than I know about shipping, mining oil and gas, construction utilities. Look frankly they do tend to be what I’d sometimes termed the macho industries which are again traditionally male dominated, old school male.
[00:18:18] I would suggest to if you sort of, I understand what I’m suggesting there and of course old school male dominated thinking don’t tend to go whole bundle on acknowledging emotional distress. We tend to have that mentality intended we tend to speak in this mentality toughen up, harden up, get through it, be resilient and that bugs me too by the way when organisations think resilience training is the way we deal with this – If our people are just more resilient then we won’t have to worry too much. Well, maybe we’re missing something there. You don’t want to think about it again but I bring a clinical lens often to this and what we learn very quickly of course, in psychology generally, but especially in clinical psychology, is that our core beliefs in life are usually formed by about the age of seven and that doesn’t mean they cannot change but they’re fairly robust and strong beliefs that create self-fulfilling prophecies in our lives and I was reflecting with the group that I did the other day a fairly macho group with that but I had them in a reflective space and I’m going to make the most of this and I thought think about the messages here in Australia and again not limited to hear that we give our young males about things like showing vulnerability.
[00:19:38] All of the guys just came out of the cliches that they grew up with is like don’t be such a girl which is kind of offensive on so many levels. One, I grew up with and once one of the guys actually shared literally, he was saying as a child he cut his leg really badly went home, mum’s not there and what dad said was despite the fact that this kids in distress stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about think about that by the age of 7. What do our little Australian males learn? Shut up, basically. Don’t speak up. Now of course that is going to impact later on when there’s an event such as the ones who been discussing our first reflex as males can then of course change to do whatever you can do to minimize the emotional impact, tell you in just straightforward terms rather than emotional terms. If somebody’s obviously in emotional distress try to escape from that, make them laugh.
[00:20:44] I used to see that in workshop after workshop somebody would talk about something that was quite serious emotionally. There would always be somebody in the workshop that wanted to stop that and tell a joke and there’s no malicious intent behind any of this. It’s just we grow up of course we do feel really uncomfortable with the vulnerable emotions. Now that’s go to factor into what we’re talking about here that is got to factor into why many high-risk organisations are not good at essentially picking up on the distress when people may be traumatized, when people may need support to avoid them putting the person that you mentioned back on the same vessel. If there was a little bit more depth in thinking about that they wouldn’t have done it. You’re not going to stick that guy back on in the same environment, where something so terrible occurred before. Before you put him anywhere actually, you check in with him and you do whatever work needs to be done and I think that’s one of the main reasons. But I think that is one of them obviously things like cost effectiveness, employing what the psychologists to help them with that I don’t know but I think just the nature of belief systems that males tend to grow up with is probably a large factor.
Nippin Anand [00:21:56] I think that that that is a very succinct explanation because it also resonates with what Rob Long will stop it about it is the ethics of masculinity against the ethics of feminism which is care and compassion on one side and then as you pointed out that masculinity side of it which makes it very difficult to admit weakness or failure as an individual. So, a very practical question is that when you see an organization which probably does not see value in this kind of thinking, what do you do about it then and how do you make them understand that? Well, first of all why should businesses care? Why should an organization care about it?
Clive Lloyd [00:22:51] Why, indeed. I’m not naive enough to think organisations will want to become more humanistic for humanistic reasons. There has to be a business case and that’s as cold as it may seem when I’m working with organisations and sometimes this is at the board level to make a change in this arena. You do need to give them a business case and it just happens that there are some very big ones. Just if you look at which organisations hurt the most people, they might be, what professor Hudson Michael the empathetic and the reactive companies, their EQ, their leaders EQ, their emotional intelligence as a whole tends to be very low. There is a lot of ‘us versus them’ that is ‘the workloads’ versus ‘management’.
[00:23:44] They actually end up with more fatalities that there’s a huge cost of that, not just human but financial shutting down whole operations. These mines over here in Australia that literally that three or four fatalities and after the 4th one the government says you are done! There’s huge cost associated with that. What we know is the more culturally mature organisations and if we talk about high reliability organizations, for example, the big shifts there are not so much in policies. procedures, systems tools they are all important the biggest shift is the level of trust between management in the workforce and between workers themselves in other words down in the lower cultural realms there’s a lot of secrets kept. You can’t fix a secret, right?
[00:24:34] As leaders we can fix a lot of things, we cannot fix things we do not know about. When there’s ‘us’ and ‘them’, there’s lots of secrets people will not speak up, they will not report near misses and so forth. So, the business case is this a wonderful study that was done here in Australia through the Australian National University again in coal mines with one of the concluding paragraphs of that study was, unless the mistrust of the workforce can be overcome even the most well intentioned and sophisticated management initiatives will be treated with cynicism and undermined. What that actually means is this: management – it doesn’t matter what you do if you first have not at least overcome a large degree the mistrust of the work, there’s nothing else you do to improve safety presentable is going to making a difference that’s how important it is. First, you create trust or at the very least you overcome mistrust, or pretty much anything that you bring on board, it’s more likely the workforce will see it as benevolence in nature, that they’re much more likely therefore to engage with it and so there is a huge business case for doing this.
[00:25:45] I know I’ve read and listened to some of your words of wisdom around the difference between what foolishly sometimes termed soft skills, we know that they’re create human and sometimes perhaps errantly separating natural other things. When I talk about trust, that again the evidence based the research-based model on trust says there are three factors. All of which, we need to demonstrate consistency. One of those factors is effectively capability, include competence, including technical skills. So, I’m never going to diminish those. That is one key you cannot trust one of your leaders for example if you perceive, he simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he lacks competence. You cannot build trust with that. The other two factors involved in trust of course one is integrity which is just intuitive – we do what we said we were going to do and the other one is what the academics called benevolence, which just means care to what degree do workers perceive that their leader actually cares about them now to build and maintain trust you got to have all three of those demonstrated consistently and the business case for doing so is through the roof. I’m yet to find them a better predictor; of not just safety climate, but safety performance and the level of trust and I put that out there many times and nobody has actually come back to me yet.
Nippin Anand [00:27:41] I’m kind of enjoying this discussion with you by just listening to your pearls of wisdom. So, I think we are back to the same thing that when you see one of your colleagues being hurt and how that colleague is treated by the management, what is the first question asked, I think that has much more power than anything else because people I mean my experience in the field has been that if it goes really fast and really deep with many people that if you don’t treat my buddy well, you will never get that loyalty and trust from me.
Time and again I’ve seen organizations failing there. You’re absolutely right. I mean I’ve seen people getting off from the ship and I’m being put in a hotel where they complain about it when they tell other people. They tell their colleagues a story and this story goes so far in the organization and it’s so much more powerful than any top-down news bulletin or safety newsletter. This is where I think the idea of benevolence – such a beautiful word that you use becomes so important.
Clive Lloyd [00:28:41] It’s such a crucial subject. You’re absolutely right. The damage an organization can do to its culture is trust levels after an incident occurs. I included the whole chapter on this in my book for that reason. How to respond well after an incident and Sidney Dekker actually explains this quite well. The difference between a restorative culture and a retributive culture and I’ll give you one quick example and this is going back a little while now but it’s so common I was called into a site and I just happened to be in a mining town doing some other work and there was a fatality and the general manager made a call to get me out there ’cause again he felt totally inadequate. So what happened was I arrived on that site and they assured me into a meeting area and the five colleagues of a guy who’s just died in the mantle and none of them actually witnessed it per say but they’re all very close colleagues an as I walked in, the GM was talking to these five guys and his words were along the lines of, you know we do everything we can you know to prevent these we’ve just done a behavior based safety course ,there’s no need to take shortcuts, there’s no need to take risks.”
[00:30:06] I looked at the five guys you know and they’re just staring at the floor moving up and down and that’s always indicator with you always think what is his leg trying to say is trying to say I want to get out of there basically and I just looking around right now again I don’t misunderstand me I’m not giving the GM here a hard time. You don’t know what you don’t know. All I said was guys what is it you need? Most they instantly looked up, they looked at me they made contact me said look the main thing I want to do is talk to my wife because she knows the wife of the guy who is just past where should be beside herself, she was heard about it and I just want to let her know that I’m OK and I want to go home.
Then the other guy started talking to and they said, “Yeah me too. I know their family well. I just want to go see if there’s anything I can do”. Now to be fair the general manager picked up on my cues and he said yeah “Look, that’s understandable. please do what you need to do let me know if there’s anything you need from us before you leave site and here’s my number, you call me if there’s anything you need” and so we sort of rescued it from there but it’s in those moments sure you’ll need to put a press release out, you probably have to check with your legal team but now is not the time for that. The absolute focus needs to be on the level on the care for the primary victims but also the care for the secondary victims both people are teammates. Anybody who’s observed that the family members that’s where an organization strike’s needs to be. Now that from the humanistic end but again from the business case end you are teaching. We teach people how to treat us and when I’m putting my primary focus on care, I am teaching the workforce that you know what yeah that is right now matters everybody involved in this is receiving the care that they need. That goes a long way.
Nippin Anand [00:32:25] Absolutely. So, there is so much depth on what you’re saying. Deep inside we are not economic beings, we are social beings. If you can connect with people at that level where you start to see the pain that you see, at the end of the day, the person who’s making the decision, that’s not an evil being. They have very similar problems as us. Sometimes, I think we assume too much that these people have certain goals and certain KPIs and that they won’t listen to us. But when did we make a case, to reach out to them in way that connects with them?
Clive Lloyd [00:33:21] Absolutely, Nippin. Thank you for that. I’m not in the school of thought that believes somehow organizational leaders, board members are cold, uncaring people. They are not and I put this to the test actually demonstrate the people who may be thinking that w
ay little bit and I can understand how it looks that way sometimes I get that but every workshop on doing simulators I get a show of hands and my question is simple I say, “Put your hand up if you genuinely believe that leaders in this organization actually do care about their teams” and frankly most hands go up and I believe that is genuine answer. But there’s a follow up question and my follow-up question is, “Good. I believe you. Put your hand up now, if you believe leaders in this organization are very good at demonstrating care for their people” and it’s really interesting not many hands go up and to me it’s a waste because it’s not that leaders don’t care.
[00:34:25] They generally do, it’s just very frequently they’re not very good and or how they feel uncomfortable or whatever those variables are, they just don’t show it. Now unfortunately and why it’s a waste is when I then go to the workforce ask them to put their hand up if I believe leaders care of course less hands go up and think about it, if leaders are not good at or still uncomfortable demonstrating care how it waterfalls no I actually know that they do care and so for leaders like my I guess our flagship program is called “The care factor program” are a lot of people imagine there but I’m just trying to make people care more, no I’m not, that’s not what it’s about but we do need to get better at understanding what care looks, sounds, feels like so that as leaders we are in a much better position to just do that.
Nippin Anand [00:35:28] I used to work as a ship safety inspector and I once happened to be in the office of a company whose manager was considered to be about the top management is considered to be a very nasty person but then I heard the other side of it and the story was something like this that this person was very mean with money he would save every penny he could. Until they came in until there was a point when he had to go on one of the ships in Aberdeen yet to go out for a sea trial. So, he was on that ship and as the ship went out it got stuck because of the weather conditions and it couldn’t offload to the rig and he was stuck on the ship for four days and if I remember correctly, she used to roll excessively because of a technical issue there was some healing tanks on the ship that was not configured properly.
He came back from the ship and said that, “I want every ship, from this point onwards, to have proper healing tanks working. I just don’t want my crew to experience what I’ve experienced in those 4 days. It has been very unpleasant”. What I took from that conversation is that we are all humans. If we experience something, if we understand something, we will act upon it. Most times, we are unable to express ourselves.
Clive Lloyd [00:37:13] We often get evidence or it looks and sounds like that person is a bad person or is a mean person and I’ve seen plenty of that exposed in the safety field over the years. But this is I guess my clinical lens based on our training we tend I have this thing called unconditional positive regard which comes from the wonderful Carl Rogers and we were sitting with the client if that client may have you know committed crimes and things like that if you’re not sitting with them in that moment with unconditional positive regard how can you help them. So, I tend to work a lot in the field of authentic leadership just trying to help people be who they are and a lot of people have said to me like if they’re thinking what if somebody is just authentically a horrible person and you don’t want them to be authentic leaders and my counter that would be. that’s not table think any of us or horrible or mean and look let’s face it in our lives at some stage I’m sure all of us have demonstrated behaviors that could be put into that category.
[00:38:25] What we’re looking at there is defense mechanisms, our psychological masks things I need to protect myself that’s why my voice sounds also angry at that time and if you can get a little peek behind the mask that you can get some understanding of why that person needed to develop that psychological defense mechanism behind all of that is the authentic person, is the authentic leader in this case. I do like to give humans the benefit of the doubt and try to help them and try to help them understand that we all wear masks of one type or another usually to a sense of protection we do that away from work we do that in social settings. I’ve got to share with you and I’m actually a very strong introvert and people don’t get that of because usually when they see me running a workshop, I’m very loud an do a lot of public speaking and people naturally assume I think that I’m extroverted. I’m not.
[00:39:23] I get recharged often my own energy I live out in the country I vented to go out of the house unless I need you and so forth. In social settings I might choose to wear a mask you know just to fit in better. We all do that to a degree and it’s never that I’m asking leaders you must put your masks down no that’s never do that people need them and they can have them and they’re always there for them to draw upon. But when you help people to have insight into why they need a mask and what is behind it, sometimes that can be a little bit of an express route to helping them see there might be a better way you know there might just be a better way. Authentically I believe most people want to help other people they want to see less suffering unfortunately the modern world is also helped us to construct many masks and defense mechanisms.
Nippin Anand [00:40:20] I think this is a perfect way to end this. But any final word from you, Clive? two questions one is what would you say in conclusion and where can people find you if they need to get in touch with you.
Clive Lloyd [00:40:35] I’ll finish with a positive note. We’ve talked a lot about being better and how we need better organizations leaders. Increasingly we are getting better. I believe there is a movement now towards benevolence. Possibly some organizations because of the business case you know they see your return in actually creating psychological safety trust if you will be treating the people better human beings, I believe we are making progress in in that area as I look when I first started and it’s already 20 years ago, I’ve seen a great shift and we just need to keep that going. My message I’ve rule would be don’t fear benevolence. Don’t fear treating your people with kindness. It’s not going to make them soft, it’s not going to make them take advantage of you, or anything like that it’s going to help your organization to overcome mistrust everything works better when we do that so that would be my hopefully positive parting thought. Probably the easiest way to get in touch with me would be through LinkedIn. I think many of your listeners would be on LinkedIn. I am Clive F Lloyd. F for Freddie Lloyd that is just to distinguish me from the very legendary cricket player Clive Lloyd ’cause you wouldn’t believe how often hear about this other guy wonderful amazing that Clive that Lloyd on LinkedIn. Feel free to connect or just go to our website and you can get in touch with me through that,
Nippin Anand [00:42:10] You have written a book as well isn’t it? Would you like to talk of the book?
Clive Lloyd [00:42:13] Yeah so the book released August last year it’s called next generation safety leadership from compliance to care add much of what we’ve spoken about actually in this session but it is it. I’ve written it I think after 20 years of working in the field a brief summary it is not a long book but it does summarize some of the obstacles I’ve encountered and companies have encountered as well as some of the solutions just towards moving the dial from that sort of fear-based compliance driven approach to a much more benevolent approach to leadership.
Nippin Anand [00:40:50] What did you think?
I just loved it. And you know we had to do this the second time with Clive. The first time around, the podcast didn’t record because of some technical problem at my end. So twice he got up at 4 o’clock his time to do this podcast with me. A wonderful man who walks to the talk when it comes to showing care and compassion for people like me, when we make silly mistakes.
But back to the topic. It’s worth reflecting upon this discussion, and asking, why care and compassion is so important during times of crisis? I have seen so many cases of fatalities, accidents, injuries, collisions and groundings when the first question asked is – was the guy wearing the right PPE or was he following the procedures? Somewhere, we fail to recognize the human in this mishap, and become so hooked on with insurance, liability and media response. Ship captains are expected to get on with it, after all they are the ones who caused the accident. In one case, in a very high profile accident, when a ship captain complained of a headache shortly after the accident he was given two paracetamols and asked to get back to his duty (which he did).
But, no, nobody should be left to ‘get on with it’ even if they caused a failure. It shows a complete lack of sensitivity for the human being and it does more harm than we think it does. Most workers and co-workers watch how leaders react to failures and accidents, and it goes a long way in building and breaking trust with employees. Even our best initiatives are thrown out of the window when we don’t show care and compassion to our workers during hard times. And it’s not a difficult thing to practice. In fact, many businesses do have excellent systems in place to deal with difficult situations, we just need to make sure we practice what we preach. Recognizing that there is a problem is the first step in resolving a problem. We learnt this from Clive today.
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A series of podcasts with thought leaders and safety scientists.