How to improve your safety culture through intercultural intelligence-part 2

In Converation with the Safety Collaborators Podcast

Episode 002

Jul 18, 2022

In this episode...

Welcome to this episode, the second in a three-part series on improving your safety culture through intercultural intelligence.

We are living and working in an interculturally complex world. Often challenges arise as we make assumptions that we all work, make decisions, communicate, share information and comply with a common set of standards and norms. That is the aim, but we are dealing with human beings, and we are like the colours of the rainbow, multifaceted and complex.

In our last episode, we asked, how do you make your teams feel included so they can speak up, stop the job and trust their gut feelings without being ostracised by the more extensive group. This week's podcast jumps right back into that conversation, so let's carry on where we left off and focus more on communication and decision-making. 

Note; Conversational waste is one of the greatest costs to every organisation and to be explored in another episode. 

The questions that we are exploring in this episode are...

  • How are informal and formal decisions reached in the local community/team/group?
  • Is the speaker or the listener more responsible for accuracy in understanding?
  • At what distance do people normally stand from each other when in conversation?

Our aim is that these questions and our conversations will trigger some thoughts and ideas in you. It's about taking a step back and stepping into somebody else's shoes just for a moment and saying, what are our differences? And how can those differences make us more the same?

Over to you and some thoughts to ponder

What are the right communications to have that trigger the right responses so that everybody, regardless of whether they're indirect communicators, direct communicators, time-oriented planners or relationship people-oriented planners, come together for a common purpose and safe, efficient operations? 

If one can remember but one rule for communication, it should be that communication is about triggering the right response instead of sending the right message.

How do you create that third cultural space, allowing multiple cultures to come together to create a new working relationship, a new working culture?

Thanks for listening in, and if you enjoyed this episode, do subscribe and share.

Emotional Gem

We, humans, are emotional beings, and at the end of each session, our gift to you is an insight into an emotion.

Did you know that we have over 250 emotions? Yet, we only understand or talk about +/- 12. By exploring these, you may be surprised at what you learn.

Karin has been studying Emotional Literacy with Dan Newby, the founder of the School of Emotions and references emotional literacy regularly during her coaching conversations.

We use the iPhone app Emote: Mastering Your Emotions to select the Emotional Gem for each episode. (this is a paid-for app)

Today's Emotional Gem is... ANXIETY

  • Story: I sense danger but can’t identify the source
  • Impulse: (what action does it trigger in us?) To be vigilant
  • Purpose: Warns us of possible unidentified danger

When we experience anxiety, it is connected with the belief that something now or in the future may harm us, but it isn/’t clear where the danger is coming from.  The ‘not knowing’ can torment us and be troubling. Anxiety is different from fear,  in which we can identify the source of danger. 

With all emotions, there are ways to strengthen and lesson. 

It may be helpful to have some healthy anxiety when in high-hazard environments as it will encourage us to stop and look around to find the source.  Not enough anxiety may put you or the environment at risk through naivety or too trusting. 

On the other hand, Anxiety is an emotion most of us feel on a daily basis. As much as a little is healthy, too much is quite the opposite and can become counterproductive. The best way to navigate anxiety is to turn it into a fear - give it a name, and then you can decide how to deal with it.

Similar feeling emotion(s) Fear, Doubt, Jealousy, Uncertainty


We use the iPhone app Emote: Mastering Your Emotions to select the Emotional Gem for each episode. (this is a paid-for app)

To learn more about emotional literacy and access the app visit the School of Emotions 

Related Episodes

Check our E000 where we discuss the concept of The Three Colours of Worldviews

About the Show

Our purpose in sharing this podcast is to have a chinwag (conversation) to help people change how they think and behave about safety. 

We do this by engaging in dialogue and testing the levels of trust and psychological safety, which are core to organisational culture. Making safety part of your DNA so that your people speak up, show up, do right, and become safer every day for yourself, your team, and your business.

We will explore topics related to organisational and safety culture, leadership, the language of risk, emotional literacy, psychological safety, conversational agility, intercultural intelligence, and whatever else pops up during our conversations—sharing our experiences and learnings. 

We intend to share nuggets of wisdom that will challenge your perspectives, potentially solve a nagging problem, share actions you can implement, and give you at least one aha moment.

And, if you enjoyed the show and gained value, please share with just one other person to help spread the word.

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