In 2012, Google embarked on Project Aristotle a five-year study to work out why some of their teams stumbled while others thrived. They looked at what qualities needed to be present for teams to be engaged and function productively. One of the key findings was that team members said they needed to feel safe enough in their work environment to be vulnerable and take risks in front of team mates.
This dynamic is called ‘psychological safety’ and it’s a term that you’ll find popping up everywhere. A psychologically safe environment is one that is inclusive and in which people feel safe to share their concerns and challenges with their colleagues.
It’s not surprising that when we feel safe, our brains more easily come up with creative, resourceful and analytical ideas.
A recent article that appeared in Bizcommunity features a quiz to assess how psychologically safe an individual feels in their workplace. While it’s helpful to take the
quiz yourself, you can also use some of the questions to assess whether you are doing everything possible to create a psychologically safe work environment for your team.
By creating teams where everyone feels safe, we can develop their skills and talents and increase innovation and productivity.