Have you ever stopped yourself from saying something at work when you know you really should speak up? You’ve stopped yourself because the last time you spoke up someone in your team responded to what you said in a way that embarrassed you to a point that you wanted the ground to open up beneath you?
This may sound extreme to some of us but these behaviours can be seen observed in the workplace more often than we expect. Many of us have been here and now there’s a term to explain what this scenario is. It’s called ‘Psychological Safety’.
This term was introduced in 1999 by Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, Amy Edmondson. She explains how this term came to be and describes how it’s a game-changer for individuals and organisations who adopt it.
Google ran a research programme called Project Aristotle. The focus for this work was to understand what made some groups of people high performing teams and other groups ‘meh’ at best. Turns out that Google discovered this idea of psychological safety too and over the last five years they have been nurturing greater psychological safety within individuals which has in turn produced higher performing teams and better results.
So, how do we know what makes us feel safe? The amazing thing is that all of us can take a test to identify the most important thing we need to feel safe. Using the SAFETY model designed by Dan Radecki and Leonie Hull, https://ablsafety.com/ you can find out what’s most important to you so that you can feel safe!
For example, my top result from the SAFETY test was Fairness. This made complete sense to me. I know I get agitated and find it difficult to concentrate on my work if I think that something is unfair, or someone has not behaved in a fairway. Having this self-awareness has really helped me and I’m curious to know how the SAFETY model could be a game-changer for you and the teams you work with. Take a look. Don’t give it a second thought.
Find out more on the topic of psychological safety by reading the article below!