Psychological Safety

This feature only applies to episodes with transcripts, which is a small number at this time.

Amy Edmondson on psychological safety and the future of work

...Lisa Gill: I think most listeners will perhaps know you from your book “Teaming” (2012) and your research on psychological safety. It’s been a number of years since you’ve been working with different teams and organisations around this subject so I’m curious to know, what has yo...more
...oodness. Well, I would say that journey is such a good word for it. It’s a journey that started with an accidental finding. I didn’t set out to study psychological safety. I set out to study the learning organisation. I wanted to know what you could do to make organisations better at learning from their experiences. I ...more
...nterpersonal climate, as error climate, all sorts of terms, but ultimately drawing on older literature I decided it was really this phenomenon called psychological safety at work. And the more I thought about learning and learning environments, the more I thought that learning environments are those that are characteri...more
...k. And the more I thought about learning and learning environments, the more I thought that learning environments are those that are characterised by psychological safety. So I wanted to study it in other contexts: in manufacturing, in service, not just healthcare (although I’ve done quite a few studies in healthcare)...more
... a few studies in healthcare). And so the journey was one of stumbling into the phenomenon by accident and then developing a robust survey measure of psychological safety that has since been used in hundreds of studies, in and out of healthcare, and finding that it has all sorts of connections to learning behaviours, b...more
...s of course are really influential in creating that environment, that climate of psychosocial safety, or not. And my sense is that, especially today, psychological safety intellectually makes sense to most people. Nowadays it’s not radical. But in practice, my feeling is it’s more challenging. Perhaps because we’re not...more
...n practice, my feeling is it’s more challenging. Perhaps because we’re not practiced in doing it. So for those managers or leaders who are thinking: “Psychological safety sounds good, but how do I do that?”, what are you finding is most helpful in terms of supporting them in that shift? AE: You know, many managers don...more
...agers, in fact maybe even most at least initially, are sort of blind to that. And there are some things I think that anybody can do to create a more psychologically safe environment. But first I wanna say, you started out by saying managers or leaders and I think being a manager is an official job, someone says: “You’...more
... the opposite direction — abdication, free-for-all, laissez faire. And so this model I find is a very useful way of distinguishing that it’s not just psychological safety as in taking care of people, it’s also really about accountability and really relating to people as adults, as capable… AE: Yeah, in fact it’s the o...more
...you and see, not only what your insights have been from the paper you wrote on self-managing organisations but also how it fits with your work around psychological safety and teaming. What can you share? AE: I love that work with Mike and Mike is continuing to do really interesting work in this domain. I’d say both of...more
...rning organisation in that it’s huge. It’s huge, it’s important, it’s aspirational, it’s what so many of us want. So those are huge aspirations, and psychological safety… that’s just one small, but important, piece of these larger goals. So the idea of the self-managing organisation is something we can readily imagine...more
...anaging organisation is something we can readily imagine — and there are examples of it — existing as a fully fleshed out, real-world phenomenon. And psychological safety is just this sort of psychological, interpersonal experience that I would argue, it’s hard to have a genuinely self-managing organisation or learning...more
... interpersonal experience that I would argue, it’s hard to have a genuinely self-managing organisation or learning organisation without some level of psychological safety. But they’re very different research targets — one has got lots of moving parts, you’ve gotta really think it through, you’ve gotta describe it, and ...more
...conceptions, and the organisations that you include in the paper are on different scales on different aspects of self-management. And as you say, the psychological safety piece for me, is something that’s being talked about less, the less tangible stuff, the interpersonal stuff, the mindset shift or the skills, the hum...more
... the culture like at Harvard Business School?” and there would be a lot of very useful information in that answer. But if you said: “What’s the, say, psychological safety climate at Harvard Business School?”, you couldn’t get a sensible answer, because it is so local. It’s this department and that team and this locatio...more
... couldn’t get a sensible answer, because it is so local. It’s this department and that team and this location over there all have different levels of psychological safety, in part because it’s so greatly influenced by leaders in the middle. And so the climate is something that’s a bit more ephemeral, like the weather. ...more
...ems piece and the human piece are both important, and it’s also the case that it’s not just leaders that are responsible for creating this climate of psychological safety, but it’s also about the non-leaders, if I can use that term, stepping up in a way, a mindset shift to seeing themselves as active players in that ga...more
...ations of the future? AE: You know I think it’s this — I don’t know what the right word is, but the kind of emotional muscle to deal with adversity. Psychological safety fundamentally is all about candour — creating conditions whereby people can be far more candid than is normal or natural, but if we’re gonna be candi...more
...seful, and I really hope that business schools and people who are doing leadership trainings are practising it because I think those two polarities — psychological safety, and motivation and accountability — it’s both those things, not one or the other, that really creates an environment of learning and high performing...more
...e you most excited or curious about in the future? AE: You know, I’m most curious about how do we take these research-based ideas, and that includes psychological safety and teaming and self-managing organisations… and maybe this will sound contradictory, but I really would like to develop more of a playbook. And of c...more

Margaret Heffernan on how to act our way out of the status quo trap

...Lisa Gill: Yes, that's very powerful. This makes me think about leaders in particular. What can we do to help create that kind of climate of psychological safety that is going to make people more likely to take that risk to speak up. Can you share any examples of practices or things that that you've come acros...more
...that you've come across in teams that really make a difference? Margaret Heffernan: First of all, I think one has to be quite careful with the phrase psychological safety. I know this has been much publicised by Amy Edmondson. And I think it's important. But I think it's also a little naive, in so far as - I can do my ...more
... large amount of personal debt - usually in the form of a mortgage - I promise you people won't feel safe. So there's a significant amount to do with psychological safety, that is entirely beyond the control of the organisation. I remember before the financial crisis, thinking that here in England we had people with g...more

Pasteur Byabeza on transitioning to self-management at Davis College

...eral communication skills, active listening skills, critical thinking, you - these skills can become very useful. And then people on the team promote psychological safety - when it is safe to take interpersonal risks as a group - and these risks can, for instance, include speaking up when there is a problem within team...more
...are needed to work in a self managing way - around active listening, and upgrading communication skills in general in order to create this climate of psychological safety. Did you do training in those? Or was that something that you just started to have conversations about? How have people developed those skills? Paste...more

Jorge Silva on horizontal structures and participatory culture at 10Pines

...ly hard on trust and to create trust and to take care of trust because it's like you know... Amy Edmondson, I saw you have a podcast with her. So the psychologically safe environment, I think, is one of the important things that you have to create and take care of, and it's really hard to create that kind of context - ...more

Lisa Gill and Mark Eddleston celebrate 50 episodes of Leadermorphosis

...es over the last few years, and the familiarity with some of these concepts, I think has shifted a lot in the collective consciousness or terms like 'psychological safety' from Amy Edmondson's work - these things are more and more in the common parlance I think. And in terms of the podcast and my thinking and how that...more

Aaron Dignan on being complexity conscious and people positive

... different environment and a different aquarium - suddenly, they start to change. And a true nature starts to reveal itself again - if there's enough psychological safety, if there's enough space, if there's enough reinforcement - so I think that's the people positive side. That's sort of at the root of all the humanis...more