Learn how to foster psychological safety as a leader to inspire greater engagement.
Psychological safety, first introduced as a construct by Harvard researcher Amy Edmondson, is the belief that you won’t experience negative consequences for speaking up to share ideas, concerns, questions, or for making honest mistakes. It’s “an environment of rewarded vulnerability” in 4 types of behavior: connecting, learning, contributing & challenging. Without rewarded vulnerability, you can’t bring your whole self to work, learn with intellectual bravery, contribute at full capacity, or challenge the status quo.
A study shows that the key to diverse teams working better together and tapping the potential of diversity is to create a psychologically safe environment. Psychological safety is a critical element of higher performance and greater engagement.
Psychological safety is sometimes misconstrued; it isn’t a shield from accountability, it isn’t niceness, coddling, consensus decision making, unearned autonomy, political correctness, or rhetorical reassurance. Three myths companies must overcome about psychological safety:
McKinsey found that leaders can increase team members’ psychological safety by demonstrating specific leadership styles: "Consultative" & "Supportive" and avoiding others: "Authoritative" & "Challenging". As a leader, follow these behaviors to build psychological safety:
LinkedIn: Psychological Safety: Clear Blocks, by Amy Edmondson
Amy Edmondson: The Fearless Organization
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