A few months ago I was speaking with my brother about my personal leadership values and principles, one of which is psychological safety. After describing what psychological safety is to my younger brother he said, “I usually don’t feel psychologically safe around you.”
I wasn’t living my number-one principle with my own brother! What’s more eye-opening, is I thought I was creating a psychologically safe space for him. This was a major problem.
Awareness is all about restoring your freedom to choose what you want instead of what your past imposes on you. — Deepak Chopra
Conflict. If you’re like most people you have a love-hate relationship with it. We love it in movies, musicals, and plays but when approached by someone wanting to talk about sensitive topics we jump into fight or flight. Neither response allows us to approach conflict constructively.
When we find ourselves in conflict it’s usually because something is important to us. We feel strongly about it because we are emotionally attached.
The result is most often an emotional reaction with no intent on learning or growing. We engage just to prove our rightness. Consequently, we associate conflict with relatively aimless and…
Are people silent in your meetings? Do you have the feeling they try to avoid you? Do they seem to always agree with you?
If you answered yes to these questions then you will benefit from cultivating psychological safety within your team.
Psychological safety is when people believe the environment is safe for interpersonal risk-taking. It’s when people feel comfortable speaking their true thoughts and feelings because they know others will not critically judge them. It’s also the experience of not feeling like you need to prove yourself or impress others. You can just be you.
Psychological safety is not…
Alex felt like she was at a dead-end job. She had been there for almost two years and was worried the job would continue to get worse.
She wanted to enjoy her work but had two problems:
Alex didn’t care all that much anymore and she didn’t have hope of things improving — that frustrated her.
Does this scenario resonate at all with you? It does with the majority of workers in America. It doesn’t have to be this way. People should love (or at least enjoy) what they do for work.
“Matt has been shot.”
Those were the words I overheard my aunt say to my dad. We were sitting at the kitchen table doing my 6th-grade math homework when he got the phone call that his brother had taken his own life.
About a month ago a similar heartbreaking message was relayed when we learned my wife’s cousin had taken his own life.
I had seen this cousin just a month prior. We played games together, talked, and laughed. I never would have guessed he was struggling — and I still wonder what I could have done to help him.
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
– Babe Ruth
I have been a member of multiple teams and groups, some of which were high-performing and others that were dysfunctional. …