Psychological safety is the most important dynamic of effective teams: How to create it
High-performing teams need psychological safety. Unfortunately, there’s no ‘hack’ to achieving this quickly.
If you want to create highly effective teams, you’re going to need these three things:
- high-performance standards, training, and clarity about goals
- psychological safety, where people are empowered to speak up, share ideas, ask questions, and drive innovation across the business
- patience and commitment.
(three things that Cadrelo helps teams do super well)
But for the poor folks who don’t have a Dre in their life, this is how you can create psychological safety in your workplace to improve team brilliance.
How psychological safety impacts team effectiveness
There’s plenty of research out there to suggest, what makes a team effective is less about WHO is on the team and more about HOW they work together. And psychological safety is said to have the biggest impact. What does that look like, exactly?
As organisational behavioural scientist, Amy Edmondson, explains, when an employee feels psychologically safe, they believe it’s safe for them to bring their whole self to work, speak up and express questions, ideas, and opinions without the risk of being chastised or judged as incompetent or disruptive.
The result is a greater sense of inclusion and cohesion, higher employee engagement, a strong learning environment where mistakes are learned from, not punished, and increased performance, creativity, and innovation.
If that’s the dream, how to create a psychologically safe workplace?
- Set the stage for people to speak up (and invite them to!)
Create open feedback channels and get better at connecting with people on a more personal level. Embrace having those honest and raw conversations to identify what’s really going on in and outside of the workplace.
- In the workplace, what do people see?
- Are they holding back any concerns?
- What do people most want to know about work-life in this new work era we’re entering?
- Approach conflict as a collaborator
In meetings and project briefings, actively invite people to share their thoughts, poke holes, and ask questions. But don’t just leave it at the invitation. You don’t want to be quickly hitting the defensive when someone does annihilate your masterplan, because conflict and unease can spread (and deter people from speaking up in future).
So, it’s important that when people do use their voice, leaders respond well. Show appreciation, for one. And always respond in a mutually desirable results-focused manner. Conflicting opinions should be viewed as an opportunity for the team to pull together and find a better way.
There’s no team without trust
Teams thrive when they take risks (whether they fail OR succeed!) and trust their colleagues will have their back. When you can create that sense of psychological safety and trust within teams, you can expect to see greater cohesion, engagement, creativity, and performance. There is an art and science to it, which is precisely why we leverage the rituals within our app.
See how Cadrelo helps to create psychologically safe teams.