"Psychological safety is the courage to speak up and the confidence to know you'll be heard." - Stephan Wiedner
6 ways to foster psychological safety at work:
1️⃣ Encourage open communication: Leaders should actively solicit feedback, opinions, and ideas from their team members. By doing so, they create a culture where everyone feels comfortable speaking up.
↳Example: "What other ideas do you have that we haven't discussed?"
2️⃣ Be inclusive: Embrace diversity and ensure all voices are heard, regardless of their role or background. By valuing everyone's input, you create a sense of belonging and encourage diverse perspectives.
↳Example: "Jill, I know you have extensive experience in customer research. We haven't heard much from your perspective yet. What impact do you think this change can have on client retention?"
3️⃣ Show vulnerability: Leaders should admit when they don't know something or have made a mistake. This humility sets the tone for open communication, where team members feel safe to discuss their own mistakes and uncertainties.
↳Example: If you set an incorrect timeline: "You know what team, I clearly underestimated the level of effort needed here. My projections on the timeline were off. Let's recalibrate based on what we have learned."
4️⃣ Establish clear expectations: Clearly define roles, responsibilities, and goals, so employees understand their part in the organization's success. This clarity helps create a safe space for them to contribute and take risks.
↳Example: "Given we are approaching launch, Mark will be leading the overall readiness and cutover plan. He will send weekly updates and coordinate with each function on their expected deliverables."
5️⃣ Foster a learning mindset: Emphasize the importance of learning from mistakes and seeing failures as opportunities for growth. By doing so, you create a culture where employees feel safe to experiment and innovate.
↳Example: If an experiment to test a new feature did not yield an increase in conversion: "I wanted to recognize the team's willingness to experiment and take calculated risks, regardless of the outcome."
6️⃣ Celebrate curiosity: Encourage employees to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and think creatively. By fostering a sense of curiosity, you empower your team to innovate and problem-solve independently.
↳Example: "Great question, Simon! I actually never thought of it from this angle of customer preferences. What next steps can we take to validate this?"
These insights are inspired by "The Fearless Organization" by Amy C. Edmondson - and brought to you by Omar's Desk. By implementing these lessons, you can cultivate psychological safety within your team and unlock their full potential.