Psychological Safety #7: Virtual Teams

Training, Workshops, Exercises and Tools

Psychological Safety #7: Virtual Teams


Thanks for subscribing to the psychological safety newsletter! This week we have a load of great pieces on education, health and medicine, the work environment and more.

Issue #7 is brought to you by Attuned.

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Last week, a couple of links got broken, again. One was the link to book a 1-1 chat with me, so if you were hoping to do that but couldn’t, the link is and if that link doesn’t work, use this one:

Also of note this week, Akima from the Women and Girls Network got in touch to find out how they could use some of the practices in the Action Pack to increase psychological safety in their teams and in supporting the women they work with.

They do an amazing job, supporting survivors of violence against women and girls in very difficult circumstances. The Covid pandemic has increased cases of domestic abuse, which largely, but not exclusively, affects women and girls, and need your help more than ever. You can find out how to support and/or donate on their website at

Work and industry:

This is incredible and powerful:
It’s bad enough making a ‘mistake’ or asking the question no one else will ask; imagine doing that as a Black woman, a trans woman, or as a Black trans woman. Every trope placed upon us immediately enters the room and our safety exits.
Black at Work: Psychological Safety, by Kelli King-Jackson.

An excellent piece by Dr Amy Edmondson – Leaders Should Make It Safe to Speak Up – Low psychological safety and its fallout are in the news again:

This is a really comprehensive write up of the leadership practices and principles that build psychological safety, by Terry Brown:

This is a fantastic, in-depth paper on how to create psychological safety in virtual teams, by Alexandra Lechner and Jutta Tobias Mortlock in the Organizational Dynamics journal.

Related: Psychological Safety in Remote And Virtual Teams

Health and Medicine:

Exploring the barriers and facilitators of psychological safety in primary care teams: a qualitative study:

Just Culture: The Foundation of Staff Safety in the Perioperative Environment


Daniel Truemper, an engineering manager in Berlin, wrote this great piece summarising psychological safety in engineering teams.


Good article, but apologies – you have to sign up to THE (for free though) to read it. Anonymous polling platforms to boost student confidence, engagement and inclusivity:

A few years old (from 2017), but still a great paper: “Are your students safe to learn? The role of lecturer’s authentic leadership in the creation of psychologically safe environments and their impact on academic performance.”

Providing Psychological Safety for schools and in the workplace – The Stories of Success Podcast

This paper presents five team processes: strategic leadership, egalitarian power dynamics, team member commitment, effective communication, and clear decision-making processes, that shape how teams work together, and three emergent states: shared vision, psychological safety, and team cohesion, that team members perceived as important aspects of how teams feel and think when working together.
Team-based instructional change in undergraduate STEM: characterizing effective faculty collaboration:


This is a great paper by Kirsten J.Fasey, Mustafa Sarkar, Christopher R.D. Wagstaff and Julie Johnston – 
Defining and characterizing organizational resilience in elite sport. The five resilient characteristics identified from the analysis were structural clarity, flexible improvement, shared understanding, reciprocal commitment, and operational awareness.

I was in touch with Mustafa and he mentioned that if you can’t access the paper, request a copy through researchgate:

Theory, practice, and pictures:

Lizandmollie illustrations are brilliant, and I love this one on a lack of psychological safety in meetings. All their others are amazing too: 

I always like a good sketchnote, and here’s one by Haley Lewis (@haypsych) shared by David Nour, on the three ways to build psychological safety at work:

Standardization can be good for exploration: a social capital view of the productivity dilemma in operational teams – how standardisation can increase psychological safety and team performance:

This Dutch paper shows on how psychological safety improves organisational resilience: How structural empowerment boosts organizational resilience: A case study in the Dutch home care industry:

This is a very interesting Russian paper – Psychological and Legal Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This week’s poem:

This week feels like a Jabberwocky week to me:

As always, check out, 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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