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Is a Lack of Psychological Safety Crippling your Business?

Is a lack of psychological safety crippling your business?

One of the hottest topics in business today, for very good reason, is the idea of psychological safety. Psychological safety happens when a positive workplace culture is created. When the culture is healthy, the organisation gives people permission to speak up, contribute, feel included, and challenge the status quo without fear of backlash.

When psychological safety is NOT present, people can feel stressed and uncertain, and those feelings can lead people to make assumptions, focus on problems, and behave reactively. In this environment, effective communication is nearly impossible. At the most, you might get independent monologues occurring in the same space and time, disguised as communication.

When we do see a high level of psychological safety embedded into a culture, people feel valued, cared for, and empowered. This can lead to engagement, innovation, and a focus on solutions. In this rewarding state, employees tend to be more open-minded, connected, and trusting.

Here's how to increase psychological safety in your workplace.

First, measure your organisation’s current culture and perceived level of psychological safety so you know where you are starting from. (I can help you do that. Hang with me to the end of this article.)

Then, set the tone.

  • Leaders must go first.

  • Communicate more.

  • Welcome dissent.

  • Communicate more.

  • Ask for feedback - and actually listen to it!

  • Communicate more.

  • Be vulnerable.

  • Communicate more.

  • Be accessible.

  • Communicate more.

  • Respond faster.

The best leaders aren't the ones who pretend to always have their sh*t together. That's not trustworthy because we know it's not real. The best leaders will create a safe space where everyone is allowed to fail and grow together - even themselves.

Here are some more ideas to promote psychological safety.

  • Laugh together.

  • Share your stress.

  • Ask genuine questions about the other person's life.

  • Talk about your hobbies.

  • Have photos visible (on your desk, screensaver, wherever) of you being YOU, with the people/pet you love or doing a thing you love.

Talk more about your business’s values, vision, and direction. Don't just tell people that their input is meaningful, involve them so they can see it and OWN it! When people feel heard and valued, they take more ownership over their role and are more likely to engage with and support the business.

Back to the first point. Do you have a robust and simple way, that you are actively using, to measure your organisation’s current culture and perceived level of psychological safety? If you don’t, you might be missing critical data about productivity and the wellbeing of the people in your business.

I can help you by taking a ‘snapshot’ of your culture and showing you how your people are currently feeling. It’s FREE, results can be gathered in real-time, it’s completely anonymous, and no pressure. If you are interested to learn more, please let me know through the Contact Me tab or email me directly at and let's have a chat about the psychological safety and culture in your workplace.

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