How to develop trusting and fearless team?
When under stress, feeling anxious, unable to express their concerns, employees can spiral down, leading to serious mental (and physical) distress.
As I explain in this video, companies, and managers have the ability to reduce these feelings by providing a safe workplace, protecting employees’ mental well-being.
In my previous video, I detailed how the Stockdale Paradox, namely acknowledging the difficulty of the current situation, while firmly knowing that you will prevail in the longer term, can offer some emotional support to employees – especially during uncertain times.
Dr. Amy Edmondson, Professor of Leadership and Management at the Havard Business School, has developed the notion of psychological safety at work.
Psychological safety includes providing the ability to share, discuss, and exchange about difficulties, concerns, issues, and it can be liberating for employees, foster their creativity and generate innovative solutions.
Nonetheless, there are pre-requisites for such a system to be working sustainably. Managers must ensure that they set up a time and a place where it is safe for employees to express themselves – so they don’t fear they will be judged, mocked, or worse, humiliated.
The flow must be agreed between the participants and it is more than acceptable for managers to let go, not to control the discussion and let their colleagues exchange with each other. There is no need to bounce back on every topic and try to find a solution on the spot. Instead, managers have to demonstrate they are listening to the complaints, they are acknowledging the issues, they are caring for their team well-being. They might have to step up at times, but they should, as much as possible, trust and empower their employees to come up with their own solutions – which will ensure a much higher and quicker adoption rate.
More about Psychological Safety from Dr. Amy Edmondson
If you want to learn more about Psychological Safety, I recommend reading “The Fearless Organization” by Dr. Amy Edmondson.
Over her extensive academic career, not only was she capable to develop and test her concepts of psychological safety and teaming – she collected real-life cases to exemplify these core notions.
Nowadays hiring talented individuals is not enough, you need to be able to make these individual them work together, as a cohesive team, and if the company doesn’t set a culture where it is not only acceptable but encouraged to speak up, where people do not fear to be judged for their ideas, teamwork will not happen and performances will degrade.
The last part of the book focuses on how to create a fearless organization, providing a leader’s tool kit for building psychological safety.
If you want to know more about this book: “The Fearless Organization”, use this link: https://amzn.to/2YqNuOu