Psychological Safety & Leadership

January Performance Tip

Psychological Safety is “a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.”

As a leader, it is important to have a cohesive and productive team. Many leaders overlook the importance of psychological safety within their organization. This can be problematic as psychological safety outlines what it truly means to be a team member. Psychological safety of a team and its members is a critical (but often overlooked) element within leadership.

Without this workplace safety, creativity and innovation suffers, impacting the businesses overall success. In psychologically unsafe environments, any mistake made will be held against the individual which perpetuates a hostile environment.

“For a team to discover gaps in its plan and make changes accordingly, team members must test assumptions and discuss differences of opinion openly rather than privately or outside the group.” – Amy Edmondson

In psychologically safe environments, people easily engage in important growth discussion; such as sharing controversial ideas, speaking up, asking questions, admitting mistakes, seeking feedback, asking for help and raising concerns.

It is important for leaders to ensure safety and become a team member.

Adapted from Amy Edmondson, Psychological Safety and Learning Behaviour in Work Teams

Psychological Safety Within Your Team from St. Lawrence College