According to the Center for Creative Leadership, psychological safety at work is “a shared belief held by members of a team that others on the team will not embarrass, reject, or punish them for speaking.” The need for and importance of creating a psychologically safe workplace has only increased in recent years as we have lived through a pandemic, experienced a wrought political and social climate, and for many, transitioned from being together in-person to working remotely or in a hybrid model. As managers, we have the opportunity and responsibility to help our team members feel happier and healthier at work. Here are four strategies to do so…
#1 First, recognize that we are all coming to the table with differing perspectives, life experiences, and ways of communicating.
- How we do our work, interact with and perceive others, and form opinions is naturally impacted by our unique experiences. And a team is better for it! Recognizing and embracing these differences strengthens your team’s culture – and effectiveness.
- At the same time, these life experiences can at times impact our ability to do our work. As a manager, you can model vulnerability. Be honest when your ability to do your job is being impacted by your life and events outside of work. Doing so will help encourage your team to bring their full selves to work – and provide them with a safe space to speak up when they’re also encountering difficulties.
- Keep in mind these differing perspectives and experiences, too, when interacting with your staff. Be aware of your tone and any assumptions you may be making. What may feel like an innocuous or off-hand comment to you may not be interpreted that way. Being thoughtful and intentional with communication is key to fostering feelings of acceptance and safety.