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The Psychological Safety Retrospective

New Retrospective - Psychological Safety - How psychologically safe is your team?




Deep in the process of writing, I've been reflecting on the importance of Psychological safety in teams and how to create it.


Following a study of over 180 teams as part of Googles Aristotle project, it was learned that the most important factor in high performing teams is the presence of psychological safety.


“Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes." - Amy Edmondson, author of The Fearless Organisation.


Teams that therefore have a high degree of psychological safety are more likely to have healthy conflict, respectfully disagreeing with one another, exchanging information, ideas and perspectives, in the pursuit of improvement.


Retro number #86 in my collection is therefore the Psychological Safety retrospective.


To browse my full back catalogue of retro templates categorised by theme, click here;


This template has been heavily inspired by the works of Professor Edmondson as well as Richard McLean who shared the scoring approach to statements around psychological safety. You can learn more about how Richard used measured psychological safety at his company Elsevier at the following here.



Access the Miro and image templates below, plug & play into your own instances and let us know how you get on!





Why use this retro?


Use this retro to baseline where the team currently is with regards to it's psychological safety and to foster open, conversations about how psychological safety can be improved.


Break the ice; Invite the team to share what psychological safety means to them using words or images.


𝙂𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙨: Use the statements that Professor Amy Edmundson outlined in her study and invite the team to rate the statements on a Likert scale of strongly disagree to strongly agree.


Asking the team how they’d prefer to respond to these statements is important. If a team already has a psychologically safe environment, it may opt to respond to these statements openly in a live discussion or workshop.


If psychological safety isn’t yet present, the ability to answer the statements through an anonymous survey may be preferable.


Average up the scores and focus on the three statements which have the poorest scores. Use those to generate insights and develop action items by answering further prompt questions.


Statements

  • If you make a mistake on this team, it is often held against me.

  • Members of this team are able to bring up problems and tough issues.

  • People on this team sometimes reject others for being different.

  • It is safe to take a risk in this team.

  • It is difficult to ask other members of this team for help.

  • No one on this team would deliberately act in a way that undermines my efforts.

  • Working with members of this team, my unique skills and talents are valued and utilized.


Retro the retro: Inspect & Adapt the retro itself by rating how much value it brought you & the team using the fist of five scale. Retros themselves should also be subject to continuous improvement


 

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Don't stop believin' folks


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