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Soft Skills for Leaders with Lisa Evans

Nov 27, 2023

Welcome back to another episode of Soft Skills for Leaders! I'm your host, Lisa Evans, and today we have a very important and timely topic to discuss: "Grey Area Behaviour" in the workplace. Joining me today is Yhana Lanwin, the founder and CEO of Sans Prejudice Solutions, who brings a wealth of expertise in diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

In this episode, we delve deep into the world of grey area behaviours, those actions that aren't clearly right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable. These behaviours can create discomfort, ethical dilemmas, and even serious issues in the workplace. As legislative changes require employers to provide a psychologically safe workplace, it's crucial for leaders to navigate these grey areas with finesse.

Yhana shares her expertise on the subject, highlighting the three common grey area behaviours: silence, uncertainty, and micromanaging. We explore the impact of uncertainty in the workplace and how leaders can address it through effective communication. 


01:50 Concerned about a lack of change, a driving force for Yhana.

04:38 Defining black and gold behaviours to understand grey.

08:42 Acknowledge power, influence, and responsibility as leaders.

10:03 Consistency and listening are important for leaders.

16:34 Creating spaces for conversations, and training struggles to be effective.

19:06 Leaders need to prioritise psychological safety. Confidentiality, independent support, and trauma-informed responses are crucial. 

23:23 Leaders can use system controls to address bias, discrimination, and mental health impact. Affordable online tools are now available. 

25:35 Evaluation of biases through technology and self-awareness.

27:45 Emerging research database offers trends and they are free.

Why Listen?

Gain valuable insights on how grey area behavours can impact your team's morale, create ethical dilemmas, and even affect individual mental health. Discover practical strategies to navigate grey areas, foster psychological safety, and become a leader who thrives in the ever-changing landscape of modern leadership.

Talking Points

  • Grey area behaviours: Complex workplace actions with ambiguous consequences.

  • Leadership impact: Acknowledging influence and modelling positive behaviours.

  • Psychological safety: Creating a safe and supportive work environment.

  • Reporting processes: Clarity, confidentiality, and involving independent parties.

  • Seeking outside help: Mediation and expert advice for challenging situations.

  • Using technology: Tools to address bias and promote diversity.

  • Creating a thriving culture: Routines, structured spaces, and open conversations.

The top three takeaways from this episode are:


In this episode of Soft Skills for Leaders with host Lisa Evans and guest Yhana Lanwin, the top three takeaways are:

1. Grey area behaviours can create discomfort, ethical dilemmas, and issues in the workplace. Leaders need to be aware of these behaviours and address them to create a psychologically safe workplace.

2. Psychological safety: Leaders must prioritize psychological safety in the workplace. This means acknowledging their impact and influence, modelling appropriate behaviours, and creating a space where employees feel safe to speak up about any issues they may be facing. 

3. Using technology for bias and discrimination: Leaders can utilise tools and technology to address bias and discrimination within their teams. Apps and tools can help assess gender-balanced language in job ads and identify subconscious bias. Seeking support from databases like Sage publications can provide valuable insights. 


Creating a Safe Space for Discussions: "It's around being able to create a space where if you can talk about small things, then you don't need to talk about big things."

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Connect with Yhana Lanwin


Connect with Lisa Evans 



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Your Host Lisa Evans is one of Australia’s leading Executive Public Speaking Coaches and Corporate Storytelling Trainers. If you would like help training your team in soft skills, public speaking and business storytelling, get in touch with Lisa

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