Psychological Safety Does Not Mean Being too Nice!
Psychological safety isn’t about being nice. It’s about giving candid feedback, openly admitting mistakes, and learning from each other.
Psychological safety is not a personality difference but rather a feature of the workplace that leaders can and must help create.
- It takes courage to listen to and accept feedback that’s contrary to what you believe to be true of yourself
- Lack of agenda is the primary essence of safety, giving our people implicit permission to bring forward any aspect of themselves that needs attention.
- “In one study investigating employee experiences with speaking up, 85% of respondents reported at least one occasion when they felt unable to raise a concern with their bosses, even though they believed the issue was important.”
― Amy C. Edmondson
- While good leaders care about business impact, great leaders focus more on psychological impact
- “Sullenberger later wrote about [air traffic controller] Harten, “his words let me know that he understood that these hard choices were mine to make, and it wasn’t going to help if he tried to dictate a plan to me.”
― Amy C. Edmondson
- If you decide to label a behaviour as gaslighting on social or in real-time, be sure you are correct. Because if you are not, you’d be the one gaslighting
The following are Leadership Quotes From Amy Edmondson on Psychological Safety:
- We live in a VUCO world – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous
- Anyone’s voice at any time can be mission critical.
- Impression management is second nature.
- This is a state of playing not to lose.
- Impression management should be in the back seat, not driving the car. The mission should be in charge.
- Psychological Safety is a belief that the context is safe for interpersonal risk-taking – that speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes will be welcomed and valued even when I’m wrong. It’s a sense of permission for candor.
- Psychological Safety is not being nice, a license to whine, guarantee your ideas will be applauded, and free from conflict.
- Fear of missing a deadline is motivating. Fear of each other is problematic.
- At Google, psychological safety was the main differentiator in high performing teams.
- As leaders, it is your job to create a safe environment for people to bring themselves to work.
- I don’t see many places in the comfort zone anymore. I see many companies in the anxiety zone. You need to be in the learning zone. That’s where high performance happens.
- Failure is not all bad. It’s how we learn, innovate, and grow.
- Failure is not all good either. Preventable failure (Mistakes) is where we know how to do it right. Complex failures (Accidents) produce an unexpected consequence. Intelligent failure (Discovery) is when you get undesired results from a new foray into a new territory.
- An intelligent failure is pursuing something meaningful and the cost and scope are relatively small and informative.
- Fail well. Promote intelligent failures.
- Frame Work. Leaders reframe the work and learn as you go.
- Invite engagement proactively. Insist on dissent.
- Equate disagreement with depth.
- Ask Good Questions. What do others think? Are we missing something? Who has a different perspective? Can you give us example?
- A good question focuses on something that matters so we can think out loud together.
- Good questions makes silence awkward.
- The essence of a productive response is appreciative and forward looking.
- It starts with humility, then curiosity, and finally empathy.