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The Ripple Effect of Psychological Safety

Updated: Oct 26

For those that are new to my newsletters and content posts, welcome. To those that may be unaware of one of my topics of interest, I'm going to reintroduce psychological safety as it has been gaining tons of momentum, and for good reason. It's the key to creating a workplace where people feel comfortable taking risks, sharing their ideas, and being creative. The ripple effect of psychological safety goes far beyond just boosting individual employee performance; it can transform entire organizations.

Let's take a look at some current examples of large corporations that have made effective change by growing psychological safety.

Google, one of the most innovative companies in the world, has been an advocate for psychological safety for years. They conducted a study called Project Aristotle to examine what makes teams successful.

The results showed that the most successful teams were those where members felt safe to share their ideas and opinions without fear of judgment. Seems obvious, doesn't it? It might, but this realization led to a shift in Google's management philosophy and a renewed emphasis on creating a culture of psychological safety.

Similarly, General Electric has also embraced the importance of psychological safety. They've implemented a program called "Spirit & Letter" that encourages employees to speak up when they see something that could be improved, even if it's against the norm. This has led to a more innovative and inclusive work environment.

So, how can you integrate psychological safety into your own organization?

Here are three tips to get started:

1. Lead by example. Managers and leaders must be willing to model vulnerability and openness. When they demonstrate a willingness to listen and take feedback, it sets the tone for the rest of the team. Be the role model.

2. Encourage constructive feedback. Create a culture where feedback is welcomed and encouraged, but always in a constructive manner. Encourage team members to be specific and offer suggestions for improvement.

3. Celebrate mistakes. When someone makes a mistake, focus on what can be learned from the situation rather than placing blame. This encourages people to take risks and learn from their mistakes, ultimately leading to a more innovative and agile workplace.

To wrap up, the ripple effect of psychological safety cannot be overstated. It can transform entire organizations, leading to more innovation, creativity, and inclusivity. By leading by example, encouraging constructive feedback, and celebrating mistakes, you can integrate psychological safety into your own organization and make a positive impact.

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