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6 things you can do to create psychological safety in your business as a leader

Last week I wrote about how to discover if your people feel psychologically safe in your business. Here are 6 ways to increase psychological safety in your business. You can use these to coach your team leaders to success.

Creating psychological safety enables creativity and productivity. High performing teams demonstrate high levels of psychological safety Therefore implementing these following ideas as a leader will certainly improve the quality of output, creativity and happiness in your business.

Have a regular “no secrets meeting” off site.

This is an open space, outside of the workplace where people can talk about and ask each other ANYTHING! Including you as their leader. It is an open forum and chase for people to talk without blame. An overview of an offsite meeting is here from the Harvard Business Review

Ask open questions to start team meetings

For example:

  • What do you think I need to know?

  • Where are you struggling?

  • What are you proud of?

Focus on the learning

If a mistake has been made, focus on the learning and what can be done next time to make things right. Do not blame. Focus on the future and what can be done. Encourage your team to put in place new processes to ensure success.

Ask permission and make this a rule

Permissioning throughout makes meetings and conversations a safer place. Questions which can be reframed:

  • May I say something to you?

  • May I tell you something?

  • May I give you some coaching?

  • May I push back a bit on what you are saying?

As a leader demonstrate fallibility and humility

Amy Edmondson is a leader in researching psychological safety. No one is perfect and yet this is what many strive to gain. Showing that you are fallible, that you have a willingness to help, encourages openness, communication and helps your team feel safe.

Notice ALL members of your team, how they interact and be inclusive

Are your meetings a safe place for ALL members of your team to speak? Does everyone have a chance to take the floor? If not ensure that there is inclusivity with everyone. Some companies ensure everyone sets an agenda item. Another allows people to write a topic for conversation on a card and ALL are included. Notice those quieter members of the team and help them build their confidence.

Take all of the above actions and start to build your high performing, creative and happier team today!

Caroline Langston is the Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an Executive, Personal and Career Development Coaching company in Hong Kong and New York. She is also the Founder of a nonprofit providing free information and coaching to people who are unemployed. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for success and happiness in their careers and lives. She is degree qualified with a Certificate in Professional Coaching Mastery from the ICF, Certificate in Team Coaching from the EMCC. Also further certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach level.


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