At our core, people crave emotional safety.
Research shows that in organizations where individuals feel emotionally safe, they are more creative, more productive, stick around longer, and bring their best ideas to work.
Conversely, research shows that when people feel unsafe, they stifle themselves. Valuable thoughts are left unsaid. People stop showing up. Or worse, they bring the worst sides of themselves. Eventually, people leave.
Emotional safety is crucial for every organization. That doesn’t make it easy to address.
From personal history to generational differences, everyone has different expectations around emotional safety. And where not every boundary can be met, these boundaries need to be heard and negotiated.
I help organizations focus on the following aspects of emotional safety:
Create cultures that discuss emotional safety.
Create norms around negotiating emotional safety expectations and boundaries.
Create relationships that healthily address emotional safety, and manage violations.
Sure a nice byproduct of these is the business case. Higher retention. More innovative ideas. Fewer lawsuits. But, this is a necessity for people. People deserve to feel safe in their organizations.
Let me help teach you how to navigate this in researched ways that make practical sense.
There is no lack of research on topics like emotional safety. My perspective started by focusing on security in interpersonal relationships and how individuals can recover from harm.
As a survivor of sexual violence, my work started with me becoming an expert in sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention. Collecting data from thousands of Millennial and Generation Z program participants gave me the ability to talk on the interpersonal sides of safety.
For emotional safety, I’ve researched managers and individual contributors to understand how we create expectations for emotional safety, set boundaries, and overcome violations. Over 100 qualitative interviews in organizations with high power differences, I have learned how we can create safer environments.
- 1. The two most frequently-mentioned reasons for not contributing to organizations are fear of being viewed or labelled negatively, and fear of damaging work relationships.
- 2. 10% of men and 27% of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, and they leave less than 2 years later.
- 1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-6486.00387
- 2. Lee, H. (Dec. 19, 2017)
List of Notable Clients
About Tim- A Speaker in a Researcher Body
At 22, I got my dream job. I was excited about my future. Then, I experienced not only an incident of sexual violence but also workplace sexual harassment. My priorities changed. And the rest, as they say, was history, although that leaves out a lot of the interesting parts.
Since then, I have spent my life helping people feel emotionally safe in their relationships, organizations, and communities. A part of this meant sharing my story on stages across the globe. Over 450 keynotes with 250 organizations in 7 countries to be precise.
A part of this means writing about my findings. To date, close to half a million readers worldwide have read my work.
And as a friend said, I am a researcher trapped in a speaker’s body. I talk about pressing topics that demand an acute understanding. Conducting research serves as a cornerstone of my speaking. Where facets of my original research can be read on this site, I love continually learning more about this topic.
“Tim was an absolute gem! He has a perfect mixture of research, personal insight, and humor. Students, staff,and faculty all praised his ability to get to the heart of sexual assault issues. He is relevant and relatable, approachable and likable. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find a man to speak on these issues, but Tim was able to take a difficult subject and make it something we can all talk about.”
– Stephanie Kincaid, Monmouth College