Wake-up call! Your Brain will regularly make mistakes, cause conflict, and make you miserable if you don’t pay attention. Here’s what to do.
You may assume that all the thoughts and impressions crossing your mind have a basis…
Psychological safety can exist (or not) between two or more individuals. It is studied most in corporate settings but is important for any team or group to be effective, including a family.
Amy Edmondson (2014) defines psychological safety as
individuals’ perceptions about the consequences of interpersonal risks in their work environment. It consists of taken-for-granted beliefs about how others will respond when one puts oneself on the line, such as asking a question, seeking feedback, reporting a mistake, or proposing a new idea.
More succinctly, she describes it as
The confidence that candor and vulnerability are welcome.*
***Click here to listen to this article through our Discover Your True Course Podcast channel.
An environment of psychological safety is a means to the primary goal of solving complex problems. Such environments are characterized by skillfully open, vulnerable, and effective communication, individual and team learning, feelings of belonging, acceptance, and supportive relationships.
Without it, fear rules, and the fight-run-hide response is active. People will avoid difficult but needed conversations. They will keep their ideas and opinions to themselves and hide their mistakes. In addition, you can expect individuals and the group to experience:
It’s natural for people to enter any setting with a protective posture for their well-being. To overcome this, it takes effort to create a sense of safety, including modeling, training, and practice.
It is not enough to talk about psychological safety, wish for it, or expect others to create it. Your leadership and modeling are essential for creating the psychologically safe environment you want for the greater success of your group, team, and organization.
For most, this requires adjusting long-standing ways of being and doing. True Course can support you with individual and team coaching as you walk through the stages of developing the psychologically safe environment you want will more effectively lead to the results you want for your life and work.
* https://hbr.org/2021/06/4-steps-to-boost-psychological-safety-at-your-workplace Edmondson and Hugander, 2021.