Three Strategies for Leaders to Improve Psychological Safety of the Team

Three Strategies for Leaders to Improve Psychological Safety of the Team

In every organization, the best performing and most consistent teams are expected to be psychologically safe. Most professionals have an irrational fear of being judged and ridiculed, and as a result, they tend to keep quiet about many ideas that they consider to be too absurd to share.

Psychological safety is frequently mentioned in the business press these days, and its relevance appears to be recognized across industries ranging from healthcare to technology to financial services. Psychological safety, which was already a prominent topic before the pandemic, has become even more so as a result of its importance to agility, diversity and inclusion, and remote working.

Of course, relating a workplace to a house is a lofty goal. To live up to it, organizations should provide a secure environment in which employees can be themselves without fear of being punished or humiliated for expressing their opinions, raising concerns, or making mistakes.

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Here are a few pointers for business leaders on how to keep their employees psychologically safe.

Make room for transparency

Psychological safety begins with a sense of belonging, which is one of the most basic human needs. People will struggle to feel like they are part of a shared story if they don’t have access to the most essential discussions and decision-making processes in their company.

To counter this, company leaders should communicate as much information as possible as soon as possible, even if they don’t have time to do so. They should also collaborate to develop processes that improve transparency throughout the organization. Both take a lot of time, but they are always worthwhile. Leaders should hold weekly meetings with their teams and actively use and invite others to use the methods they have created to improve information flow.

Employees can examine all client projects, team setups, business predictions, and current staffing situations, as well as order books, on some of the most basic platforms. Others are more complex, such as assisting users in searching their shared calendars for digital traces and identifying the most knowledgeable resource for specific topics.

Learn to appreciate or at the very least accept criticism

Learning to value negative feedback and opposing viewpoints is one of the greatest challenges a leader encounters. When faced with criticism, many people become defensive or try to justify why they are correct. To create a psychologically secure atmosphere, however, leaders should learn to value all contributions, even if they are not what is expected, or contradict established viewpoints.

Beginning with a genuine “thank you,” business leaders will have more time to breathe and resist the instinctive emotional reaction to criticism. It’s also fine to politely let them know if business leaders are having trouble adopting their point of view and need to come back to it later.

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Be brave enough to step in and help

Last but not least and maybe most importantly, having the strength to speak up when someone acts inappropriately, regardless of their position in the organizational hierarchy.

People don’t seem to notice when someone makes an unpleasant joke or comment in a meeting. True leadership is put to the test in these situations because it provides an opportunity to intervene and help the offending employees understand that they are breaking the rules. This is critical because silence will be seen as approval, and any culture that condones or accepts prejudice will never be psychologically safe.

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Umme Sutarwala is a Global News Correspondent with OnDot Media. She is a media graduate with 2+ years of experience in content creation and management. Previously, she has worked with MNCs in the E-commerce and Finance domain