Psychological safety is the shared belief that a group is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.
When Google spent years researching team success for an initiative called Project Aristotle, the organization credited psychological safety—more than anything else—for its ability to foster team success. In other words, organizational success heavily relies on how employees treat one another.
3 Ways to Assess Psychological Safety in the Workplace
- When you share an idea, do you feel supported? Harvard Business School professor, Amy Edmondson, says psychological safety creates a sense of confidence, ensuring members that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up
- If you make a mistake, do team members hold it against you? As the definition states, psychological safety implies a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking—without consequence.
- Is ‘talk time’ evenly distributed among team members? According to Project Aristotle, two key behaviors help create psychological safety in the workplace: conversational turn-taking and empathy.
How do you foster psychological safety in the workplace?
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