Issue 15 of The Psychological Safety of Teams
We’ve come to the last lesson of the course. Let’s recap what we’ve learned.
Google’s People Analytics team data-driven investigation of what makes a team effective reached one important conclusion: above all, the best teams were the ones that had a high level of psychological safety.
Psychological safety refers to “taken-for-granted beliefs about how others will respond when one puts oneself on the line, such as by asking a question, seeking feedback, reporting a mistake, or proposing a new idea,” according to Professor Amy Edmonson of Harvard Business School.
Google’s research found that psychological safety increases retention and team effectiveness, bumps up revenue and encourages creativity and innovation.
There are a number of ways for managers to foster and model a safe environment in their teams by making it easy to speak up, acknowledging their own fallibility and actively promoting learning. Being accessible, engaged and inclusive are also behaviors that team leaders have to actively display for the team to feel safe.
Here are a few resources on the topic, if you want to go in-depth
Psychological Safety: The History, Renaissance, and Future of an Interpersonal Construct by Amy Edmonson and Zhike Lei, published on Annual Review Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 2014.
Managing the risk of learning: Psychological safety in work teams by Amy C. Edmondson in International Handbook of Organizational Teamwork, London: Blackwell, 2003
Psychological safety and learning behavior in work teams by Amy Edmonson, published in Administrative Science Quarterly, June 1999
Diversity at Work by Elizabeth Mannix and Margaret A. Neale, published in Scientific American Mind, August/September, 2006