Certainty in the workplace

Leaders, The Workplace of the Future Demands Certainty


Years ago, before our kids were born, I went on several climbing expeditions to South America.

During one expedition on an attempt to climb the 20,500-foot peak of Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador, our team got off course. We took longer than expected trying to navigate dangerous avalanche conditions and I ended up exhausted and having to give up the climb at around 20,000 feet.

I was so close to the peak, but I had no more to give.

Yet I knew my team understood.

We trained for months. We were committed: we set aside the time and made the financial investment to travel to South America to climb. When I realized that I was going to let my climbing partners down, it was a very vulnerable process for me to raise my hand and say, “Hey guys, I need some help. I can’t go on.”

But I was on a team where I felt completely safe in doing that.

I was certain of their response to my needs.

That certainty was a psychological safety net for me that gave me the courage to ask for help.

Certainty: A Need That Must be Met in the Workplace

Certainty in the WorkplaceIn my forthcoming book, The Deeply Human Workplace coming out at the end of February 2022, we explore six needs that all humans need in order to thrive and be successful at work.

Certainty is the outcome of a safe environment – both physically as well as psychologically safe.

On a team, psychological safety is the ingredient that allows team members to take social risks.

Like the risk that I took with my climbing team when I raised my hand and asked my team members for help, psychological safety is a construct that was first defined by behavioral scientist Amy Edmonson at Harvard.

What is a Deeply Human Workplace?

Edmonson’s work found that:

When people feel safe, creativity thrives, and new ideas emerge.

The workplace of the future will rely on people from different teams to work together, to experiment and then to adjust their approach based on what they learn.

Bringing humanity into the workplace is truly a game changer. Leaders who cultivate a workplace environment that emphasizes humanity can unleash the full potential of their employees – transforming the organization into a place where employees truly love to be.

That’s a deeply human workplace.

In my new book, I explore five other needs in addition to certainty that all humans have so that they flourish in their workplace – explore the first chapter here:


As a leader, I know you want the best for your employees. The pandemic has shown us that we need to get back to some basics – and become more of what we are: deeply human.

To your team’s success,


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