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Would you believe that the highest performing teams are more focused on creating an environment where people feel a strong sense of safety and belonging - even when they fail, miss the mark, or have a particular weakness? Google researchers found that individuals on teams with higher psychological safety:
• are less likely to leave Google
• they’re rated as effective twice as often by executives
• they bring in more revenue
• they’re more likely to harness the power of diverse ideas from their
Organizational behavioral scientist Amy Edmondson of Harvard first introduced the construct of “team psychological safety” and defined it as “a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.” Taking a risk around your team members may sound simple. But asking a basic question like “what’s the goal of this project?” may make you sound like you’re out of the loop. It might feel easier to continue without getting clarification in order to avoid being perceived as ignorant.
Every team screws up, mismanages priorities and hits roadblocks. When a culture of psychological safety is in place, the best teams view challenges as learning opportunities, treat one another as partners in that learning, and know how to talk about difficult things without wounding one another.
Sounds like something your non-HBR-subscribing-grandmother probably told you, right? Seems pretty obvious.
Yet it's easy to forget the necessary human elements of our work when we're faced with pressure to perform, deadlines, and a desire to be excellent. When we forget to place a priority on the psychological safety and culture of our teams and organizations we're not only robbing our people of a chance to make their contributions with confidence, we're also guaranteeing our organizational goals will suffer in the long term.
This sounds right in theory, but we're only able to make real change necessary to improve the health of our teams if we:
Remember it’s not about what we think, it’s about what we believe. We need to install better beliefs and mindsets around work place culture.
Realize it's not about what we’ve felt or thought in the past, it’s how we choose to think and feel moving forward. We need a better vision for the future of our teams.
Understand we only change when we have a purpose - a compelling reason to live and work differently. We need a better why behind our motivations to modify our cultures.
Accept nothing changes unless we take action. We need a real strategy and a timeline for putting better practices in place and measuring their effectiveness.
Join us as we welcome Reagan Pugh from Austin, Texas to lead us in interactive session where we'll:
• Get clear on what psychological safety is and what is isn't
• Through reflection understand where your team currently stands
• Workshop a plan for you to improve the psychological safety of your team moving forward