Harvard Business School Professor and renowned business expert, Amy Edmondson, talks about the growing link between psychological safety at work and the results that high-performing teams accomplish.
She details what psychological safety is, how to create a psychologically-safe workplace, and what to do if you don’t have one.
Welcome to Episode 430 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about some signs that your workplace is not psychologically safe.
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Insights From Amy
1. Create a safe and effective culture by building trust and rapport on your team
Amy gives us several steps to building a psychologically safe workplace:
- Clarify early and often what your organization is trying to do.
What’s the mission? What are you up against? What are you worried about, and what skills and resources do you bring? The answers to these questions will help your team establish the common goal.
- Be aware of and check in on the impact that you’re having on others.
Give them feedback about the impact they’re having on you and on the task, and invite your team members to do the same to you and each other. Realize you only have part of the picture. Your teammates have other parts.
- Leverage your team’s different backgrounds in light of your mission.
You may think you all have the same experience with the problem you are trying to solve. You don’t. Invite conversation about each other’s experiences and thoughts around the issue. Amy calls this a “deliberate treasure hunt” and an opportunity to pull your valuable experiences together that may otherwise be lost in what you have in common.
2. Embrace and welcome the reporting of mistakes as a gift
Amy points out that things WILL go wrong. The only question is, are you going to hear about them in time to help your team and clients get it right? We need to get over the thought that, “If something goes wrong, someone is not competent.” The reporting of mistakes is not only a gift to your organization, it’s mission-critical, according to Amy. How can you fix what’s wrong if people are afraid to tell you what’s wrong? Celebrate candor.
3. Realize that people are there not only to work, but to grow
For most individuals, work is not only about getting the mission accomplished. It’s also about being given the opportunities to develop as a person. Amy believes when that latter emphasis isn’t a part of the organization, you’re more at risk of higher turnover. She challenges us to think of the workplace as a deliberately developmental place because that’s what we all at some level really yearn for. She wishes organizations realized this more often.
Quotes from Episode 430
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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Chris Hodges
Chris Hodges had a battle with depression back in 1999, but the last thing he expected was to face it again in the summer of 2020.
In a very transparent interview, Chris explains his battle with anxiety, depression and panic attacks, what felt like a season of ministry suicide, and how he came back and grew his resilience.
Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 431.