Psychological Safety

Theory, Research, and in Action

Digital Transformation, Organisational Dysfunctions and Psychological Safety

Digital Transformation originally referred to the transition of an organisation towards delivering its products and services via digital or technological means, from a traditional physical or analogue delivery system. For example, Netflix transitioning from posting DVDs to your house, to providing a streaming service. This article will show how digital transformation addresses typical organisational dysfunctions, and…
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Everything Is An Experiment

How often do you find yourself anxious and afraid to start something in case you fail, in case you’re not doing it “right”, or in case it doesn’t have the result you expect? Psychological safety makes it safe to fail, but what if we made it impossible to fail in the first place? We’ve been…
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The Power of Silence in Creating Psychological Safety

Silence in a meeting can be a warning sign of very low psychological safety, but that’s not always, or even usually, the case. We all have our own, very different, preferences for how we speak up, contribute and communicate, especially in group settings. Some of us prefer to dive straight in to debate, whether we’re…
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The Psychological Safety In/Out Exercise

After doing the psychological safety team performance exercise, you may want to workshop with your team to establish how you’re going to build psychological safety in the team. Whilst there are some standard and ubiquitous approaches to building psychological safety, such as icebreakers, retrospectives, and video call practices, this is an opportunity for your team…
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Giving Feedback with Psychological Safety

Providing constructive feedback is one of the most powerful things you can do to help others achieve their goals, be happier in their work, create psychological safety and help your teams and organisations perform at their best. However, it’s really important to bear in mind how, why, and when feedback is delivered, or if it…
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The Four Stages of Psychological Safety

Timothy R Clarke in his book “The Four Stages Of Psychological Safety” describes a conceptual model of four “stages” of psychological safety that teams can move through, progressing from stage 1 to stage 4. These four stages are: Inclusion Safety – members feel safe to belong to the team. They are comfortable being present, do…
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Wikipedia, Psychological Safety, & the Tragedy of Open Source

I have spent quite some some time working to contribute to the Wikipedia page on psychological safety, particularly in respect to the section on History of the subject. Dr Amy Edmondson was kind enough to help structure and edit it. Unfortunately, it recently became the victim of overzealous Wikipedia editors who have stripped much of…
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Psychological Safety, Diversity, Inclusion, and Politics.

Inclusion is at the core of psychological safety, and must be defined as a central team value. Any individual behaviours or beliefs that don’t align with the principle of inclusion must be addressed.

Retrospectives and Psychological Safety

Retrospective exercises, when teams come together to discuss and discover what went well, what did not, and what lessons can be learned, are extremely powerful and are a fantastic way of building psychological safety. For example, Agile teams usually schedule in a retrospective once every sprint, which is an extremely effective method (if done well)…
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How to use Icebreakers to Create Psychological Safety

Most of us will be used to the idea of icebreakers that are used in meetings or group sessions where not all the participants know each other, and are a good way to increase the psychological safety of a team or space. There is, however, so much more to icebreakers than just getting to know…
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