Psychological Safety Newsletter #23

Training, Workshops, Exercises and Tools

Psychological Safety Newsletter #23

Thanks for subscribing to the psychological safety newsletter! This week we have loads of amazing content and it might be my favourite issue yet! There are new posters for you to download, awesome podcasts, a great article on “feminine leadership”, “JOMO” and a cartoon about accepting compliments. 


Exciting news! The Psychological Safety Poster Pack has been completely redesigned and there’s a new “Everything Is An Experiment” poster too! Download it now and use them in your workshops, stick them on your office wall, or use them as your Zoom backgrounds! (Also please share them with your friends!)

These posters were reimagined and designed by the brilliant Deisa Teremarias, an illustrator and graphic designer based in Caracas, Venezuela. Deisa specialises in powerful feminist imagery and illustration, and her latest works include creative campaigns, character design, storyboarding and editorial illustration. You can check out Deisa’s fantastic work at Behance, find her @esmagia on Instagram or at Women Who Draw.

Psychological Safety In the Workplace:

The Heroine published this piece by Eva Blechová and René Levínský, “Is the “female style” of leadership more successful? From hero to posthero leadership.” and it’s an excellent discourse on typically “masculine” and “feminine” styles of leadership. It’s an excellent and really comprehensive piece on leadership, and well worth a read.

I’m not particularly taken by the headline of this piece (I’m uncomfortable with the implied shaming of insecurity in leaders), But I do appreciate the point that insecure or fearful leaders unintentionally (or intentionally) create environments of low psychological safety in order to avoid criticism or dissent. The authors make some good points about the difference between arrogance and confidence.

This is a nice piece by John Kotter (of the 8-step Change Model), Vanessa Akhtar and Gaurav Gupta called  “Overcoming Obstacles to Successful Culture Change – New behaviors must become lasting habits to achieve positive, sustainable change.

Here’s a nice little piece by Junade Ali: “EngProd: The Secret of Elite Developer Teams” – a good read if you work in tech, and I’m always a fan of anything that references The Goal.

It seems that Gerald Weinberg was aware of psychological safety back in 1971 when he wrote “The Psychology of Computer Programming. Check out this fab thread by Vicki Boykis on Twitter.

If you work in or around healthcare, here’s a brand new comprehensive literature review of the evidence base for psychological safety in healthcare teams. The presence and potential impact of psychological safety in the healthcare setting: an evidence synthesis. (Open access paper)

And an environment that I don’t believe we’ve highlighted in the newsletter before: Psychological Safety in the Dental Office – a good piece by Ricardo Mitrani.

Psychological Safety Theory, Research and Opinion:
This was an amazing experience! I was super pleased to be invited onto PagerDuty’s “Page it to the limit” podcast with the excellent Mandi Walls, published this week. We talked all about psychological safety including the origins and history of the concept, Tim Clarke’s 4 Stages model, Westrum’s cultural typologies, organisational power structures: ‘old power’ (hierarchy & control) vs ‘new power’ (egalitarianism & diffusion) and more. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!

In this episode of The Safety and Risk Success Podcast, Christian Harris talks about leadership and psychological safety with Anton Guinea. Anton is a burns survivor who’s become a passionate advocate for getting safety leadership right, ensuring psychological safety and, as he puts it: “To make safety safe: Safe to talk about, Safe to engage in and Safe to report about.”

Work Chronicles make some excellent short-form comics, and this one about “poor decisions” speaks directly to building psychological safety. Never judge a decision by its outcome, lest you prohibit decision making by making it unsafe to decide.

 Many teachers are often left wondering whether they have wasted their time when, at the end of the lessons, “any questions?” is met with a room of blank faces. This is a good actionable piece: Adopting psychological safety in the classroom: students shouldn’t worry about looking stupid when the whole class knows that asking questions and making mistakes is crucial to learning.

Workplace spirituality” refers to the recognition of individuals’ inner life that is nourished by meaningful work with a feeling of community, and the social bond can play a preventive mechanism for employees’ stress and related negative emotions. Reassessing Innovative Work Behaviors during COVID-19 Pandemic: The Impacts of Workplace Spirituality and Psychological Safety Perception. (Open Access Paper)

Things to do and try:

I absolutely LOVE Matthew Inman’s “Oatmeal” comics. This is a new and fabulous one about why it’s so difficult to give and receive compliments, and how to cope with our brain wrinkling up when someone compliments us.

This week’s poem:
This poem features in Fabio Pereira‘s excellent book “Digital Nudge“, which I strongly recommend reading. The poem turns the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) on its head, and into the “Joy Of Missing Out” (JOMO) – the wonderful sensation of disconnecting from the always-on attention economy of social media and the internet.

 “Oh the joy of missing out.

When the world begins to shout

And rush towards that shining thing;

The latest bit of mental bling–

Trying to have it, see it, do it,

You simply know you won’t go through it;

The anxious clamoring and need

This restless hungry thing to feed.

Instead, you feel the loveliness;

The pleasure of your emptiness.

You spurn the treasure on the shelf

In favor of your peaceful self;

Without regret, without a doubt.

Oh the joy of missing out”

—Michael Leunig

Finally:

We’re working on a psychological safety meetup. If you would like to be involved, head over to the community:  
https://www.psychsafety.co.uk/psychological-safety-slack-community/ and sign up here: 
https://join.slack.com/t/psychsafety/shared_invite/zt-p0xlx85u-vjkgxHkrpQw4r7C0wU3tAA

As always, check out PsychSafety.co.uk, for more resources and articles. 
Read previous newsletters here, and get in touch if you’d like to share something in this newsletter.

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P.S.: Sponsorship
Are you interested in sponsoring one or more issues of the Psychological Safety Newsletter? Get in touch with tom@psychsafety.co.uk to discuss. 

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