Let me ask you a question: do you know the #1 factor that sets apart consistently high-performing teams and organizations?
It’s not higher pay, or open concept workspaces, or assigning teams based on personality test results.
It’s PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY.
When you hear the term “safety” in a work context, you probably think of things like personal protective equipment, smoke detectors, first aid kits, and everything that goes into a physically safe work environment.
But If you want your team or organization to not only succeed, but also to thrive, it’s essential for it to be psychologically safe as well.
What does that even MEAN?
Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered! 😀
The latest podcast episode of Talk About Talk is all about communicating PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY. My goal here is to help you understand what psychological safety is, why it’s so impactful, and how to enable it.
Specifically, in this week’s podcast episode, you’ll learn:
1️⃣ What Psychological Safety IS and what it IS NOT
2️⃣ 3 ways to create a CULTURE of psychological safety
3️⃣ My top 3 Psychological Safety RECOMMENDATIONS
Read on for your Psychological Safety primer…
What IS Psychological Safety?
Even if you’ve never heard this term before, you can probably guess it’s meaning just by thinking about those two words: Psychological. Safety.
But there’s more to it than that.
When I was a doctoral student, I had the privilege of learning all about Psychological Safety (and other Organizational Behavior constructs) directly from Professor Amy Edmondson, who’s considered THE Psychological Safety Guru. Prof Edmondson is a highly regarded scholar and professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School.
Here’s how Prof. Edmondson defines psychological safety:
Based on Prof. Edmondson’s work and more (ever heard of Google’s “Project Aristotle”?), I created this list of what Psychological Safety IS and what it IS NOT.
Psychological Safety IS:
- a CULTURE or CLIMATE
- an ONGOING activity
- enabled from the TOP DOWN, the LEADER’S responsibility
Psychological Safety IS NOT:
- something that can be COMPLETED or CROSS OFF of your To Do list
- a GRASSROOTS initiative
- individual team members’ RESPONSIBILITY
- something you can DELEGATE
Does psychological safety REALLY matter?
The short answer is YES.
But don’t take my word for it…
In 2012, Google began an extensive project – called Project Aristotle – in which they studied hundreds of their own teams.
Their goal was to determine the various factors that go into making a great team, and figure out why some teams were highly successful while others were not.
Can you guess which factor topped the list?
If you said “Psychological Safety,” you’re correct. Give yourself a round of applause! 👏👏👏
Psychological Safety is a key contributor to team performance, including increased learning, creativity, productivity, satisfaction and engagement.
I hope you learn a lot from this episode, including specific ideas for WHY and HOW to implement a culture of PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY for your team.
Please forward to your friends who might like help with their communication skills and communicating Psychological Safety. Thank you.
Have a great week.
Chief Talker & Communication Coach
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