Blog Categorieën

05/06/20 13:23:00 |

Psychological Safety: an introduction

What exactly is meant by the term Psychological Safety? In this blog a first exploration.

Psychological safety is a term you increasingly hear about. It is discussed at (online) conferences, workshops and seminars. Trainers, coaches and advisers see it as a new field of work. The figure above also shows there is an increasing search worldwide for the subject of psychological safety.

What exactly is meant by this term? Harvard professor Amy Edmondson, one of the leading researchers in the field, describes psychological safety as a climate in which people dare to take interpersonal risks. Psychological safety, she says, is more than a subjective feeling. The term refers to a property of a group. It is a climate or culture in which people feel free and safe to ask questions, dare to speak up, have the ability to speak to others, to report and talk about mistakes, to raise concerns or to find new ones unsolicited. To contribute ideas.

Psychological safety translates into having a feeling of home: you feel closely connected with other housemates. You don't have to put on a mask or act. You are accepted one hundred percent as you are. Psychological safety provides a safe zone like home where you - if all is well - can express yourself freely and from which you can discover and test new worlds with impunity. It offers a foundation of connection and trust, of boldness and authenticity.

"Psychological safety translates into feeling at home"

Strangely enough, these preconditions that we take for granted at home are all too often lacking at work. There we let ourselves be guided by many fears. The fear of losing face, of job insecurity, of being a target of aggressiveness and harassment, of not being heard. The fear of standing out above ground level, of telling the boss or a colleague what it is like. The fear of being punished for mistakes made, of losing the promised bonus or of not being fully deployable. And perhaps the ultimate fear: getting the message that you are redundant or redundant.
Psychological safety is intended to protect you from fears of everyday work life and, if possible, to turn them in a positive direction. Negative energy is then converted into positive energy. This ensures that you can participate fully and boldly at work, participate in decisions and take part.

PluutjesTo reflect on

What are your associations with the term "psychological safety?"
To what extent is there a feeling of home at work? How would you describe that feeling?
To what extent do feelings of fear play a role at work? Does it ever happen to you that you are silent about things when you just wanted to say something? What kept you from that?

Hans van der Loo & Joriene Beks
Authors "Psychological Safety, Cultivating Candid Teams"