Psychological Safety and Team Performance

Harvard Business Review had a great article discussing about psychological safety, a common element in highest-performing teams. The article intrigued us to do a retrospect on a variety of teams we had worked with before. Indeed, the psychological safety aligns with human nature both from physiological and psychological perspectives. Without further ado, we quoted the summary of this article in the next paragraph, and highly encourage everyone to read it for a new perspective. Happy reading!

High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It

The highest-performing teams have one thing in common: psychological safety — the belief that you won’t be punished when you make a mistake. Studies show that psychological safety allows for moderate risk-taking, speaking your mind, creativity, and sticking your neck out without fear of having it cut off — just the types of behavior that lead to market breakthroughs. So how can you increase psychological safety on your own team? First, approach conflict as a collaborator, not an adversary. When conflicts come up, avoid triggering a fight-or-flight reaction by asking, “How could we achieve a mutually desirable outcome?” Speak human-to-human, but anticipate reactions, plan countermoves, and adopt a learning mindset, where you’re truly curious to hear the other person’s point of view. Ask for feedback to illuminate your own blind spots. If you create this sense of psychological safety on your own team starting now, you can expect to see higher levels of engagement, increased motivation to tackle difficult problems, more learning and development opportunities, and better performance.

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