Psychological safety in the team, what is it?
Psychological safety is created in the team when everyone agrees that it is okay to take risks, try new ideas, question or speak out. It is done by consensus and is expected to result in the team both learning new things together, finding new solutions and learning from their own and others’ mistakes. This according to Professor Amy Edmondson at Harvard Business School.
Why is it important?
In a team that has psychological safety, you share your thoughts and ideas and know that the others listen and respect them, even if you don’t always agree. This in turn means that the members feel more motivated and engaged and that more people contribute in different ways. And when more people contribute with thoughts, ideas and information, you get greater breadth and can find new solutions and ideas.
How do you create psychological security in a team?
It is important that the entire team agrees and actively works together to create psychological safety. If the whole team does not share information, mistakes and thoughts, you will not get the same effect. Often you have to start from the beginning by practicing listening, not interrupting and criticizing, but asking curious questions and asking others to tell you more. This can be done, for example, by distributing the floor at a meeting and ensuring that everyone gets time to share their thoughts and ideas. And as the leader of a team, it’s important to share your own mistakes and lessons learned.
Together you build a base that makes you more efficient and productive.
Source: Harvard Business Review