Psychological Safe Teams

This morning, as I read Brene Brown’s book, Dare to Lead, I came across Google’s five-year study on highly productive teams, Project Aristotle, found that “psychological safety – team members feeling safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other – was “far and away the most important of the five dynamics that set successful teams apart.” Brown quotes Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson who coined the phrase “Psychological safety.” In her book, Teaming, she writes,
“Simply put, psychological safety makes it possible to give tough feedback and have difficult conversations without the need to tiptoe around the truth. In psychologically safe environments, people believe that if they make a mistake others will not penalize or think less of them for it. They also believe that others will not resent or humiliate them when they ask for help or information. This belief comes about when people both trust and respect each other, and it produces a sense of confidence that the group won’t embarrass, reject, or punish someone for speaking up….” Brown further states that “The behaviours that people need from their team or group almost always include listening, staying curious, being honest, and keeping confidence.” I for one, have been a team member of such a psychologically safe team and it makes success so much easier and more enjoyable.

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