Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast

Minette Norman – Lead Better by Being More Human

September 13, 2023 Marie Gervais Season 6 Episode 17
Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast
Minette Norman – Lead Better by Being More Human
Show Notes

Minette's Bio:
Minette Norman focuses on developing transformational leaders who create inclusive working environments with a foundation of psychological safety. She is deeply committed to fostering workplace inclusion and is a sought-after speaker in psychological safety, inclusive cultures, radical empathy, and collaborative teams. Together with Karolin Heibig, they co-authored The Psychological Safety Playbook.


"You do not get to tap into the genius of the people you've hired and the diverse perspectives unless you have a strong foundation of psychological safety."

Episode Highlights:
Minette Norman grew up in California. Her dream was to become an actress. At some point, she realized how difficult it was to become an actress because of the numerous auditions and rejections. She decided to fall back to French and ended up securing a job at the French Trade Commission, New York.

She later moved back to California when Silicon Valley was getting started and became a technical writer for Photoshop version 1.0. This marked the beginning of her career in the software industry.

Childhood Incidents:
While growing up, Minette's mom was hospitalized with a mental illness, which impacted Minette greatly. She knew she couldn't be a problem in the household since there were other problems to be handled. Minette also knew there were things she had to do for herself. This experience shaped Minette to become someone who was relentlessly challenging the status quo.

How Karolin and Minette Met:
Karolin and Minette met in an online class in 2021 and have been working together for two years. One day, Minette was on a podcast with one of their classmates, and Karolin was listening. She expressed her interest in psychological safety beyond research and academia. Karoline resonated with it and wrote Minette an email with the reference, "Crazy Idea."

During a Zoom call, they discussed working on something small that would benefit their clients. What they originally envisioned as something small turned into a book. Their book comprises plays and moves for workplace safety. Karolin and Minette will meet for the first time in-person at the Search Inside Yourself Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Essence of Vulnerability as a Leader:
Minette's company worked with a global team at some point, where they would meet one-on-one as a team for their quarterly meeting. One time, Minette decided to engage a facilitator because she felt they were struggling to work together as a team. The facilitator suggested they embrace their vulnerability and share something from their early years that made them who they are today. Minette shared her story, and she cried in front of her employees. A sense of empathy filled the room where her employees started opening up and they all got to know one another better.

Influential Groups:
Throughout her career, Minette looked at leaders and picked up all the good leadership traits and skills they had, while simultaneously pointing out — and avoiding — the traits that she wouldn't want to possess as a leader.

Soapbox Moment:
Minette invites us to buy their book, The Psychological Safety Playbook and download the free resources available on their website.

Tagline: Become a better leader by being more human.

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