Defining Psychological Safety

Psychological safety is defined as being able to show and employ oneself without fear of negative consequences to self-image, status or career. It’s the idea of a workplace is a safe place for interpersonal risk taking.

What does that really mean?

It means people feel a sense of emotional safety. They feel internally relaxed.

It’s sometimes easier to understand in thinking about partners, marriages or friendships.

Emotional safety is the feeling of being able to trust your partner with your emotional well-being. You each care about the other’s emotional experience.

Psychological safety means that there isn’t anything you have to avoid saying. You don’t have to worry about how something might ‘land.’ Or walk on eggshells.

You can leave any impression managing at the door. There’s no worry over being misinterpreted so you don’t have to spend time and effort trying to avoid it.

You may still choose words and actions to fit the person or group, but you do so out of consideration and care rather than out of fear.

People feel comfortable with one another. They share a sense of camaraderie, shared history, and complicity.

In psychologically safe relationships, conflicts, opinions, and arguments are decoupled from the people expressing them. People don’t attack others’ competence, knowledge, motivation, personality, performance, or character.

Conflict is handled in healthy ways. People aren’t afraid of conflict and dissent and don’t dramatize it. They’re open to debate, welcoming it as a natural part of growth and getting to the best solutions.

You don’t have to worry about belonging because you’re already accepted.

#Human-CenteredLeadership #LeadershipDevelopment #EmotionalIntelligence #MentalHealth #TeamBuilding

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