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The 3-2-1 of Psychological Safety

Creating a safe environment is everyone's responsibility - It starts with you

- Three resources to learn more

- Two lessons from my experiences

- One approach you can use today

Here goes:

As defined by Prof Amy Edmundson - Psychological safety is the “shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.”

Three Resources

1. [Book] "The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth" - by Amy C. Edmondson.

2. [Study]

"Google's Project Aristotle" - A deep dive into what makes teams effective at Google. This research determined that the presence of psychological safety was the most important characteristic or high-performing teams.

3. [Podcast]

Our Virtually Agile podcast episode with myself & Duena Blomstrom where we talk Psychological safety and Human Debt.

Two Lessons

1. Like trust, Psychological safety can take a long time to build, but be destroyed in a single act

Example - Publicly blaming someone for an error - This will lead to others hiding their mistakes for fear of repercussions.

2. Telling people "They have psychological safety", or are in "a safe space" isn't enough.

It's created through action, not words. Repeated demonstration that it's OK to make mistakes, to challenge one another and speak openly.

One approach you can use today

1. The Psychological Safety Canvas by myself and Steven Sampson-Jones, The Visual Facilitator.

This free template can be used to:

- Gain a shared understanding as to the conditions we feel safe under.

- To co-create how a team handles conflict, mistakes and supporting one another

Use this to be intentional about creating a safe environment as part of your path to high performance.


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