The world has changed.

Effective leadership must change as well.


Leaders are struggling with a lot of workplace issues.

Ineffective communication. Low motivation, morale, and engagement. Slow change and growth. Poor performance. Concerns over mental health and well-being. Lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion (or it’s done, but with superficial results). Conflicts. Trust issues. Lack of creativity and innovation. Second-rate problem-solving. Stress. Leaving potential on the table.

The thread that ties all of these together? They’re all symptoms of a lack of psychological safety. In fact, even a lot of the issues we consider business problems are issues of a lack of psychological safety at their root.

Connect for a free discovery session.


The Research

Research tells us that psychological safety is the single most important factor behind high performing teams.

Research by McKinsey & Co shows that a climate conducive to psychological safety starts at the very top of an organization. Fostering psychological safety at scale begins with companies’ most senior leaders developing and embodying the leadership behaviors they want to see across the organization.

Leadership is hard precisely because it pulls on your emotional bandwidth: the weight of ongoing decision-making and problem-solving, the complexity of leading people, and the energy to remain calm and focused under pressure. That’s why creating psychological safety within you is so important. You create the internal conditions for you to flourish – to stay true to your true self and values and build your mastery as you lead others and the organization as a whole – rather than the numbing out and becoming disconnected that is all too common to leaders.

As a leader, you are a guide – yet you are continually on your own journey of growth and evolution. Your goal as a leader is to become more yourself, not less. In doing so, you become the best version of you as a leader that you can be.


Leadership from the Inside-Out: Psychological Safety Within

Most psychological safety literature talks about creating psychological safety at the organizational level.

There hasn’t been a lot of attention paid to developing psychological safety within individuals and within leaders. Psychological safety from the inside-out.

But if you want more insights, and better decision-making and problem-solving, you have to create the space for that to happen.

The space and conditions for your own mastery may be the single greatest gift you can give yourself, your people, and your organization. After all, as a leader, you can only give what you have.

If you’re envisioning how much business value this can bring to you and your teams, please reach out for a free discovery session.


An Expanded View of Psychological Safety

In the 1960s, Schein and Bennis defined psychological safety as a group phenomenon that reduces interpersonal risk – decreasing “a person’s anxiety about being basically accepted and worthwhile”. 

Today, it’s often defined as the belief that a team is safe for risk taking. That you won’t be seen as ignorant, incompetent, negative, or disruptive, and won’t be humiliated, punished, or socially ousted for asking a question, admitting a mistake, or offering a new idea.


It’s good stuff, but it’s not enough.

In psychological safety PLUS, the belief that a team is safe for risk taking is part of it. But rather than the definition, it’s one of the outcomes. Psychological safety Plus focuses more on activating people’s potential.

Psychological safety PLUS is about creating the conditions where people feel protected from mental or emotional (and physical) danger, risk, or injury. Creating and holding spaces where people feel safe, seen, heard, and respected. Because those are the norms and conditions in which we flourish.

Those are the conditions that support both the unfolding of individual potential and the removal of obstacles to that potential and the boosting of the collective intelligence within a team.

Feeling psychologically safe enables you to be in that space of your best self more and more often. The individual best self and the organizational best self.

Psychological safety PLUS is the ultimate in human-centered leadership. It’s the foundation for authentic leadership and higher performance and the underpinning of turning organizations into learning organizations. It’s also an essential part of the shift from playing-not-to-lose to playing-to-win, from protection mode to exploratory, growth and expansion mode.

Connect for a free discovery session.


Situations Where We Thrive

We’ve all found ourselves in situations where we thrived and others where we didn’t. Psychological Safety PLUS is about understanding the elements or conditions that make us thrive so we can create them more often and at ever deeper levels.

That’s important because research shows that the right conditions raise individual potential and a group’s collective intelligence, while the wrong environments hobble teams and individuals – even when team members are exceptionally bright.

Psychological safety can be seen in how people feel. In high psychological safe conditions, you feel relaxed and energized. You feel a bond and a sense of being part of something greater than yourself. You feel able to be open and honest in communications, able to deal with things that are messy or difficult, and able to dissent without fear of being ostracized.  You feel able to be fully present and not having to leave parts of yourself or your inner life at the door. You feel like you don’t have to separate work life and life life. You’re able to access the gifts you bring to the table at deeper levels because you feel safe to be your full self.


Missing Pieces

Psychological safety PLUS aims to make psychological safety more effective and wide-reaching.

It does this by bringing research from several fields together. It adds in emotions as a central component (after all, psychological safety is about how people feel). It shows why emotional intelligence will never fully create psychological safety and presents a better model. It talks about what’s behind creating  a healthy sense of self in the workplace. It explores how to create communication safety by bringing awareness (and techniques) to what’s going on within each of us when we’re having a conversation and how to better navigate it.

And it adds the essential dimension of psychological safety from the inside out.

If you’re envisioning how much business value this can bring to you and your teams, please reach out for a free discovery session.

Creating leaders among leaders

Helping leaders align with things that connect to their potential, so they spend more time in their genius zone
and can help others spend more time in theirs.

What clients say

“I noticed my mind going back to the usual problems, but not being able to get a charge from them.

That’s it, simple but strong!”

Kathleen Germany

“Phenomenal! I felt fabulous and am feeling the residual feelings of being relaxed and super energetic.”

Debbie Reynolds About Face Image Consulting, Inc.

“Just prior to a major speaking engagement I began to feel very ill physically. It was a real blessing that Catherine was there and that I was able to benefit from her healing gifts. I went from thinking I’d have to cancel to being able to carry on as if nothing had happened. It was remarkable. Since I first met Catherine many years ago, I’ve witnessed her help many people with physical and emotional challenges.”

Monique MacDonald Discover Your Sacred Gifts

“Catherine’s depth of ability and resources are impressive…[she] is an excellent listener – she can pry when needed, make sense of what you’re saying quickly and capture the essence in order to take it where it needs to go. She really made it easy and certainly opened my eyes to potential that I couldn’t see on my own.”

Glenn Duxbury Glenn Duxbury & Associates Building Inspection and Consulting

“Catherine was able to look at my company objectively and see areas where I could improve and dramatically increase my business. She has the ability to see what any owner of a business can’t see for themselves. This is an invaluable resource and asset to growing your business and taking it to the next level quickly. Catherine was bang on and her information extremely valuable.”

Jan Janzen, President Women Empowering Women Inc.

“Her research has hit the nail on the head: the recommendations have made sense for us to adopt and the reports are standing the test of time with enough depth to allow us to grow as we become more sophisticated.”

Roger Bean Metro Vancouver

“One of the most creative people I have ever worked with.”

Harry Parsons Bufo Inc.

“[Catherine] brings a high level of expertise and experience to the table. She was inclusive and accommodating to the diverse nature of our group. We wouldn’t hesitate to retain her services again.”

Mark Johnson Fisheries & Oceans Canada

“Sherlock [Ink] was able to take one of our projects from a vague concept to develop a refreshing new direction that has formed a solid foundation for us moving forward.”

Edwin Hubert, Director Stewardship Centre for BC

“After a session with Catherine I went from being filled with anger and hate for another individual, to understanding the anger, releasing the anger, to being in one of the most Zen like calming states that I have ever felt. And the best part is, the effects are permanent! I no longer hold that anger and hate for that individual.

Thank you so much Catherine for all your help, I could not have done it without you.”

Tyler D

“The most powerful elements of the workshop were the exercises that revealed the culture of our organization -both negative and positive, strengths and weaknesses, what we have to offer that is unique.

It really expanded many of my narrow perspectives around branding, supporters, and marketing. These exercises revealed things we assume, take for granted or don’t see. Hearing from others on topics that I have an engrained perspective about was very revealing.”

Misty McDuffee Raincoast Conservation Foundation

“Catherine is a strong communicator – both clear and concise. ..[She] also opened up my view by giving me new ways to think of ideas and concepts.”

Christine Kutzner CK Counselling

“[Catherine’s] presentation style and well-researched content left me with a much greater awareness.”

Jane Porter Metro Vancouver