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Safe Spaces, Strong Teams: Understanding Psychological Safety

Photo credit: Kat Jones Creative


I frequently talk about Psychological Safety and its impact on well-being and performance. I realized however, that you may be curious about 'why' Psychological Safety is so important.

 

Fun Fact.

⁉️In 2012 Google set out to answer this important question,

 

What makes teams successful?”

 

It was coined ‘Project Aristotle,’ which comes from the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s quote,

 

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

 

Google wanted to identify factors that contributed to a successful team. Surprisingly, they found that the most important factor for a high-performing team was Psychological Safety. Teams where members felt safe to take risks, express their opinions, and be themselves were more likely to excel.


⁉️Did you know? Psychological Safety is well-known for team success but it can also enhance your overall well-being? Let me tell explain!

 

Understanding Psychological Safety:

The concept of Psychological Safety was first introduced by Harvard professor Amy Edmondson in the 1990’s. However, it was initially introduced in the early 20th century by J.L. Moreno as the concept of ‘sociometry,’ “the method for measuring social relationships within groups.” 

 

Psychological Safety is a crucial factor for shaping organizational culture and creating a healthy, productive workplace. It’s about feeling safe to speak up, share ideas, and take risks without fear of negative consequences. This often overlooked, yet powerful element, plays a pivotal role in fostering innovation, creativity, and overall team performance.

 

Key characteristics of a Psychologically Safe environment include:

  1. Trust: People trust each other and believe others have good intentions. This trust is essential for creating a safe space where individuals can be vulnerable.

  2. Open Communication: There’s an atmosphere that encourages and values open communication where everyone feels free to share their opinions, ask questions, and give feedback, without the fear of being criticized or punished.

  3. Respect for Diverse Perspectives: Psychological Safety promotes an appreciation for diverse viewpoints, where everyone understands that differences in opinion are natural, and can lead to better outcomes through constructive discussions.

  4. Risk-Taking and Innovation: Everyone is willing to take risks and explore new ideas without fearing repercussions. This fosters a culture of innovation where creativity is nurtured.

  5. Supportive Leadership: Supportive leaders play a crucial role in establishing and maintaining Psychological Safety. They actively listen, provide constructive feedback, and demonstrate empathy, which creates an environment where everyone feels valued.

  6. Learning from Mistakes: Psychological Safety allows for learning from mistakes rather than punishing them. It’s a safe place to admit errors, share lessons learned, and collectively improve without fear of blame.

  7. Emotional Well-Being: Everyone feels a sense of emotional well-being within the team, which includes feeling respected, valued, and supported in both personal and professional aspects.

 

Building a Psychological Safe workplace doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an on-going process of being mindful of your mindset, and it involves intentional efforts from both leaders and team members. The benefits however, extend far beyond work as they positively impact the professional and personal lives for everyone involved, because it clearly shows, that connection with the right people  matters.

 

Key steps for implementing Psychological Safety include:

  1. Leadership: Leaders play a crucial role in creating a Psychologically Safe environment. They set the tone for the organization and model the behavior they expect from their teams. Encouraging open communication, acknowledging mistakes, and demonstrating vulnerability are key aspects of effective leadership in this context.

  2. Promoting Inclusivity: Psychological Safety goes hand-in-hand with inclusivity. Workplaces need to create a culture that values diversity and ensures that every team member feels heard and respected. Inclusive practices contribute to a sense of belonging, further enhancing Psychological Safety.

  3. Feedback and Recognition: Regular feedback, both positive and constructive, is essential for maintaining Psychological Safety. Recognizing and appreciating contributions fosters a positive atmosphere, while constructive feedback is seen as an opportunity for improvement rather than criticism.

 

⁉️Are you creating safe places and strong teams in your workplace? Dare to thrive! Implementing Psychological Safety is the ticket to doing so! In a world where innovation is a driving force for success, Psychological Safety emerges as a key enabler. By understanding its importance, recognizing its impact, and implementing practical strategies, organizations can create workplaces where everyone feels empowered to contribute their best. Thriving? Isn’t this what we should all be striving for?


"If we want innovation, if we want creativity, if we want morale, if we want collaboration - we need safety. If we don't have safety, then we aren't able to connect, and we aren't about to come out with the same kind of outputs we would if we were in a safe environment." - Dr. Angie Montgomery

 

‼️I’d love to hear how you’re creating safe places and strong teams at work! Drop me a line or DM me on LinkedIn or IG. Stay tuned for my next blog out in two weeks about understanding how Psychologically Safe is your work team.


Today I will be fearless. Today I am grateful.

Shine on beautiful people. 🦄

 

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about psychological safety and how to deal with female frenemies, follow me on LinkedIn!

 




I say that it’s time to be different. It’s time to talk about what female rivalry is, to know how to break it down one action at a time.


⁉️Interested in learning how ‘female rivalry’ impacts the workplace? 🎉DOWNLOAD my FREE .pdf guide, ‘5 Reasons WHY Good Women Walk’to learn more!


 

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