The Best Books On Creating Psychological Safety

Research, Workshops, Practices and Exercises

The Best Books On Creating Psychological Safety

psychological safety books

There are so many leadership books that propose to hold the key to unlocking team and organisational performance that it can be really difficult to decide which ones to actually read.

To help you build psychological safety in your organisation, here is a carefully curated selection of books that highlight the importance of psychological safety to high performance leadership.

Some describe what psychological safety is, some how to measure and build it, and some are about the process of forming psychologically safe teams and organisations. Take your pick and let me know what you think.

the fearless organisation psychological safety

The Fearless Organisation by Amy Edmondson

A rather US-cultured approach to psychological safety but nonetheless provides some excellent actionable takeaways to measure and build good organisational cultures.

turn the ship around - psychological safety

Turn The Ship Around by David Marquet

Whilst David doesn’t specifically discuss psychological safety in this book, what he did with his crew and his approach to leadership are very much psychologically safe approaches to high performance leadership. An excellent book.

people before tech - the importance of psychological safety in the digital age

People Before Tech, by Duena Blomstrom

Businesses across all sectors now realise that, if they intend on staying competitive in the 21st century, then they must embrace new innovative technologies such as AI, automation and digital platforms. But many business leaders have become too focused upon digital transformation, leading them to neglect other vital elements of their organization.

four stages of psychological safety

The Four Stages of Psychological Safety by Timothy R. Clarke

A useful framework to aid the journey of a team through psychological safety, with echoes of Tuckman’s Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing model.

agile conversations - psychological safety

Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick

Whilst not primarily about psychological safety, this a practical, step-by-step guide to using the human power of conversation to unleash the unique human power of conversation and build effective, high-performing teams

the culture code - psychological safety

The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

A useful step-by-step guidebook to building teams that are not just more effective, but happier – and we know that happiness precedes success.

The unicorn project five ideals

The Unicorn Project by Gene Kim

Specifically about software development teams, Gene Kim refers to “The Five Ideals” of which the fourth (and I believe the most important) is psychological safety.

creating psychological safety

Creating Psychological Safety by Tony Humphries

Key pathways to psychological safety are outlined throughout this book with special attention given to parents, teachers, managers and leaders, who are the architects of the relationships they create with significant others.

psychological safety the key to high performing teams

Psychological Safety: The key to happy, high-performing people and teams by Dan Radecki and Leonie Hull

A comprehensive description of some of the evidence supporting psychological safety in teams, and in particular how poor decisions or adverse circumstances impact psychological safety – and why it’s easy to destroy safety, but hard to build.

leaders eat last

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

One of the classic books about servant leadership and how to create great team cultures and his “circle of safety”.

Do you have any suggestions to include in this list of psychological safety books? Get in touch and I’ll add them here.

Sooner Safer Happier by Jonathan Smart

Jonathan Smart, business agility practitioner, thought leader, and coach, reveals the patterns and antipatterns that will help organizations from every industry deliver better value sooner, safer, and happier through high levels of engagement, inclusion, and empowerment. 

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