Psychological safety was highlighted by Google as the most important driver of team performance when it published the findings of Project Aristotle[i] into what makes teams perform. Most now agree that psychological safety is the most important factor contributing to a team’s effectiveness, but what makes a team psychologically safe?
So here is an interesting exercise, how psychologically safe is your team?
To measure your team’s level of psychological safety, ask yourself, and your team, how strongly they agree, or disagree, with these statements:
How did you get on? If you and your teammates strongly disagree with the first three and strongly agree with the last four statements your team has a high level of psychological safety. Well done, you have one of the foundations for performance.
But if you don’t, do you know how to increase psychological safety?
Do you understand how trust evolves dynamically in a group?
Google said “In a team with high psychological safety, teammates feel safe to take risks around their team members. They feel confident that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea.”
Being nice won’t create psychological safety
Many who write about leadership suggest that psychological safety and trust can be achieved through specific leadership
Research into psychological safety shows we trust people more when we
Psychological safety and trust are the results of collectively shared beliefs and emotional connections. To learn how to develop psychological safety in your team subscribe to great-teams-academy.com, or contact me by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on +44 (0)1903 814 259 if you’re interested in coaching, training, or consultancy.
About the author…
Founder & CEOI am a Chartered Occupational Psychologist with 24 years’ experience of consultancy and coaching, training. I got a First Class Honours degree in Social Psychology from University of Kent and worked in London advertising agencies for seven years before taking an Occupational Psychology MSc at Cranfield in 1993. I founded the Centre for Team Excellence in 1999, having first worked in a small psychology consultancy.