Believing Her Boss Who Said a “Safe Space” Was Indeed Safe: Nika Kabiri

Believing Her Boss Who Said a “Safe Space” Was Indeed Safe: Nika Kabiri


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My guest for Episode #67 is Nika Kabiri, who describes herself as a “forward thinking, science-loving entrepreneur, author, public speaker, teacher, and researcher.” She's a decision scientist, who has her firm Kabiri Consulting, is on the faculty at the University of Washington Department of Communication, and is co-author of the book Money off the Table: Decision Science and the Secret to Smarter Investing.

Nika has a PhD in sociology and, while she earned the JD degree, she's not an “attorney” (that was my mistake in the episode — oops!!). She has over twenty years of experience studying how people make decisions in a variety of contexts, from business to politics to relationships, and she's an active writer with a lot of great insights to share. You can also find her at

Questions and topics include:

  • What do mistakes even mean?
  • Was law school a mistake?
  • What’s your favorite mistake?
  • Was it a mistake in thinking that the “Safe space” at work was really safe? But she was TOLD it was!
  • How does a decision scientist decide whether she should speak up or not?
  • Minimizing regret vs. maximizing possibility of good outcomes
  • Helpful to delay a decision when you can?
  • Forecasting the probability of outcome.. can’t predict the future… but we're craving certainty
  • Broader themes on misinformation… what do you trust? Stories? Data?
    • As people decide should they wear masks? Should they get vaccinated?
  • You’ve written about solutions to conspiracy theories… what can individuals do, what must society do?
  • Her article: Vaccine hesitancy: How much should we worry?

Scroll down to find:

  • Video
  • Enter to win a signed copy of Nika's book
  • Quotes
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

You can listen to or watch the episode below. A transcript also follows lower on this page. Please subscribe, rate, and review via Apple Podcasts or Podchaser! You can now sign up to get new episodes via email, to make sure you don't miss an episode. This podcast is part of the Lean Communicators network.

Watch the Episode:

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"Safe spaces aren't safe because somebody calls them so."

"[When] people are being described as vaccine hesitant, I think is more constructive language than vaccine resistant or vaccine denier."
"[Vaccine] hesitancy is not a static situation. It's dynamic. It can change. People can change their minds. If you reject them, you don't have that opportunity to change their minds."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.