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Julie's One-Degree Shift - Issue #4 (Inclusion Safety)

Transforming the way we Connect Newsletter

May 2024, Issue No. 4

Julie's One-Degree Shift Newsletter

OVERVIEW: Julie's "One-Degree Shift" newsletters are a guide for leaders to make subtle yet impactful changes which foster well-being and connection in the workplace.

This one-degree shift has us connecting our journey to the important elements of psychological safety.

Consistent, repeatable actions are the foundations for building unrelenting trust.

Bridging the Disconnect through Psychological Safety

Psychological Safety is a condition in which you feel 1) included, 2) safe to learn, 3) safe to contribute, and 4) safe to challenge the status quo - all without fear of being embarrassed, marginalised, or punished in some way.

The Framework of Psychological Safety by Timothy Clark
The Framework of Psychological Safety by Timothy Clark

The need to be accepted precedes the need to be heard.

Inclusion safety is the first step. It is provided by genuinely inviting others to connect with your team based on the sole qualification that they possess flesh and blood.

A must read: The 4 stages of psychological safety by Timothy R. Clark.

It’s time to: shift perspective; lean into the discomfort; and, Transform the way we Connect.

~ Julie Gillespie

Widening the perception lens for transformational leadership
Widening the perception lens for transformational leadership

Monthly Focus: Taking Action to create Inclusion

What does ‘Good’ look like:

As a practical step, consider incorporating a quick check-in at the beginning of your team meetings. This simple yet effective practice, done consistently as a group, sets the tone for inclusivity and connection.

I want to share with you how to do this check in, as I’ve been refining this method for a number of years.


  1. At the beginning of your next team meeting, perform a check-in by inviting the attendees to choose one of the images below that resonates with them at that moment.

  2. Once they’ve chosen their image, they let the group know the number of the image, and then they apply two words to it. Examples of words can be —energised, focused, grateful, drained, overwhelmed, connected, stressed, etc.

  3. Thank each person for sharing before moving to the next.

  4. Once every person has completed their check-ins, 'invite' each person to proceed with the meeting, having acknowledged how everyone is feeling.

If anyone’s check-in has you concerned, you can approach them privately after the meeting, and let them know that you see them, and ask if there is anything that they need to be able to move forward.

Julie's two-word check-in to create a welcoming, inclusive space for every person

As part of this process, images may need to change to suit your workplace. When you introduce a process like this, keep in mind those that may have vision impairment. You want to be able to create the opportunity for every person to participate: quickest way to find out what it would be best, 'ask them'!

Transforming the way we Connect with Julie's One-Degree Shift
Transforming the way we Connect with Julie's One-Degree Shift

Your Actions Count

Support looks different to each person. Over time, as you learn more about your team, you‘ll be able to understand what that looks like. But at first, let‘s keep it really simple. When someone‘s check-in has you worried, after the meeting:

  • Offer them a pause with a coffee or tea run

  • Give them a chance for silence and just be there with them

  • Ask them how long they’ve been feeling the way they feel

By slowing things down and giving them the space to share what they may be feeling, this is a genuine offer of support, as it is not the time to go into ‘fix it’ mode. Just offer them support.

If you’re worried that they might need help beyond what you are able to offer, you can say something like: “For what you’re going through, you seem to need more support than you are currently receiving. Have you thought about talking to someone about this?” (For resources, check in with your organisations EAP, your MHFA network, or check out our resources here.)

People will be more willing to receive help if it’s being offered without judgment and with their best interest at heart.

Let’s Shift: I’m here for you

What now?

If you’re interested in deepening your understanding of this topic, here is a list of some great podcasts:

To learn more about Psychological Safety and Managing Psychosocial Hazards in the workplace, here are my go to resources:

If you are unsure how to make this work, I am here to help. Let's chat.

My hope is that this newsletter will be your support throughout the year. Effective practices will be laid out within it, designed to meet you where you are. Each month, we are going to widen your lens, one degree at a time.

With heartfelt gratitude,

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