Social rejection is hard in any setting, including at the office. When people feel excluded, they can’t be productive, innovative, or collaborative.
As a manager you need to create a work environment that discourages rejection. Here’s how:
• Prime the room for trust.
To downplay hierarchies, start meetings by stating that all viewpoints are welcomed and valued. This will ease fear of rejection and put people into a more collaborative state of mind.
• Start with a shared reality.
Send agenda items out before a meeting or give team members an article to read – and ask them for input. This signals that you care about what they think.
• Encourage candor and caring.
Use open, non-judgmental language and listen with respect in all conversations. Thank people for sharing, and make sure that there are no negative repercussions for doing so.
Adapted from “Preventing Rejection at Work,” by Judith E. Glaser.