12 Sep Time to make the safety of your team a business priority
Imagine you are in a meeting with some or all of your team and someone takes an interpersonal risk and shares an idea, issue, concern or problem. However, instead of receiving support, leading to an open, constructive and healthy debate or conversation, another member of the team is dismissive, sarcastically belittles the idea and ridicules the person who spoke up.
This leaves the team member feeling embarrassed, unsupported and devalued.
At the next meeting, what are the chances of this person (or of anyone else on the team privy to this interaction) contributing anything?
Psychological safety is lost.
You may be unfamiliar with the idea of psychological safety, but it is now recognised as a fundamental element of an engaged, enthusiastic, effective and high-performing team.
But what exactly is it? Psychological safety refers to a shared belief within a group or team that it is safe to take interpersonal risks without the fear of negative consequences or retaliation.
Psychological safety is critical to a healthy and high-functioning work environment. When your team feel psychologically safe, they will feel comfortable expressing their opinions, ideas and concerns without the fear of being judged, ridiculed or punished.
So why does it matter to the success of your team and business?
Psychological safety fosters trust, respect and open communication. Such an environment encourages your team members to be vulnerable, to share their thoughts and feelings, to admit mistakes and to ask for help when needed. It encourages an atmosphere of collaboration, learning and innovation, which ultimately leads to better problem-solving, increased creativity and higher levels of engagement.
All of this is good news, not just for the performance of your team, but for the performance of your business.
When you create a psychologically safe environment, your team will feel valued and listened to. They will feel assured that their opinions not only matter but that they are supported by the rest of the team and are contributing to the overall success of the business.
Can you afford not to take this seriously? Will you devote more time to building a psychologically safe environment and culture in your business?
Click here to access our Business Bitesize library that includes our downloadable “Psychological Safety” report and discover much more about psychological safety and the benefits to your business of creating an environment where your team can flourish.