One of the best ways to promote psychological safety and build a radically candid culture is by creating an environment where people feel comfortable speaking truth to power – that is, getting feedback, giving it, and encouraging it.
According to Amy Edmondson, a leading Harvard Business School researcher on the topic, psychological safety “describes perceptions of the consequences of taking interpersonal risks in a particular context such as a workplace.”
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Edmondson has identified the importance of psychological safety in the areas of workplace collaboration and teamwork. Psychologically safe team members “feel confident that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea.”
7 Practices to Promote Psychological Safety
At Supercharge Lab, we endeavor to create a team culture that is radically candid, and psychologically safe. Here are some of the things we have done:
1. Raise the bar
We believe in raising the bar – not marginally but to the best that it can be, and then testing the limits of how much further we can take it. We believe in efficiency and effectiveness – to do more and do better per unit of time and per unit of cost.
We define, measure, and analyze each input metric to determine the parameters of excellence, before we improve and control each metric of excellence.
2. Ask questions
Superchargers communicate with honesty, efficiency, and authenticity. They question not only what is communicated but what is not, and how things are communicated.
3. Bring your best self to the table, every day
Superchargers bring their best energy to the work they do – improving efficiency and effectiveness of outcomes per unit of time, effort and money. They embody the values of what it means to be a Supercharger and work with rigor and excellence in every detail, task, and process. Superchargers practice empathy and prioritize honesty and candor; and are always present with their stakeholders.
Superchargers are single-minded and focused on the task at hand, understanding the long-term impact of their immediate objectives, and the short-term alignment that must be achieved with each longer-term goal.
4. Avoid blame – deal with issues as opportunities for growth instead of character flaws
Superchargers must always be curious and open to challenging not only the status quo but their worldview constantly. Superchargers assume they are wrong and work to challenge their beliefs. Superchargers work to earn trust and are respectful in their dealings with everyone. Superchargers are almost self-deprecating, and value giving and getting timely and constructive feedback.
5. Be self-aware – and ask for feedback all the time
Superchargers must be intellectually curious, creative and imaginative, with a strong bias for action. Superchargers constantly work towards achieving superior self-awareness and awareness about the environment and changing circumstance around them, are adaptable and constantly innovating.
6. Embrace discomfort
Superchargers are in it for the long run – they believe in working towards a better and brighter future for our stakeholders and society at large. As much as we invest in Superchargers and their long-term goals, Superchargers invest back into the long-term sustainability of the company and this produces the virtuous cycle of one of our goals to be here for good.
Superchargers exhibit a deep sense of humility – understanding that our work is but a small part of a greater piece of history and are driven by a sense of legacy for their fellow peers. Superchargers do not lay bricks, nor build churches. Superchargers build a testament of time.
At Supercharge Lab we care about the work we do and the people around us. We take careful steps to ensure that what we do makes an impact and that we operate at the highest levels of integrity.
We solve the problems of our clients and we listen intently to what they say and do not say to us, through understanding human behavior. We put people before profits, and purpose must drive our every action.
We take care of our employees and will not tolerate any abuse. We resolve conflict impartially and without bias. We believe in long-term thinking, and in developing and growing the high-performance behaviors of our colleagues.
We would love to hear from you about how you create an environment of psychological safety for your organization. Leave your notes in the comments!