Psychological safety is about being part of a team and knowing that you can share ideas and information without fear. Psychological safety isn’t the avoidance of conflict, rather it is knowing that we can share information inside a team instead of focusing on protecting ourselves.
It comes from the work of Amy Edmondson, who drew on earlier material from Edgar Schein. Amy used a a survey to test a team’s level of safety:
- If you make a mistake on this team, it is often held against you.
- Members of this team are able to bring up problems and tough issues.
- People on this team sometimes reject others for being different.
- It is safe to take a risk on this team.
- It is difficult to ask other members of this team for help.
- No one on this team would deliberately act in a way that undermines my efforts.
- Working with members of this team, my unique skills and talents are valued and utilized.
People answer on a scale of Strongly Agree -> Strongly Disagree. Once the survey has been run, the team can use the data to help themselves see how they might evolve.
Timothy Clark – 2020 – has extended the concept to four levels: included; safe environment to learn; safe to contribute; safe to challenge the status quo.
- The Epic Guide to Psychological Safety
- The Psychological Safety Game
- Psychological Safety – a report on how one company uses the concept
- Why Psychological Safety Improves The Effectiveness Of Your Team – What it is and what it isn’t, what the science says, and how high psychological safety probably results in more conflicts
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