As many of you know, I am a Certified Life Coach specializing in work relationships. All relationships are important but I chose to focus on the interactions between supervisors, peers and subordinates because they impact one’s livelihood. I’ve had a great deal of experience navigating through a variety of office situations and overcoming obstacles while helping others Although retired, I am committed to helping leaders remove blind spots that strain relationships and diminish productivity. There are so many people who dread going to work because they don’t feel psychologically safe. 

I ran across the term (psychological safety) will surfing LinkedIn. A meme shared by Adam Grant (Think Again) outlined how comfortable and productive people are when they feel safe versus when they don’t. 

I’ve listed the behaviors exhibited by employees in organization where they don’t feel psychologically safe and then a list of the behaviors where they do. 

Psychologically Unsafe: 

  • Don’t trust supervisor and teammates  
  • Sees mistakes as threats to career
  • Unwilling to rock the boat 
  • Doesn’t share ideas
  • Only mentions strengths
  • Afraid to take risks

Psychologically Safe: 

  • Trusts supervisor and teammates
  • Sees mistakes as opportunities to learn 
  • Speaks up at meetings
  • Openly shares struggles 
  • Willing to take risks

Which list best describes your organization? Depending on your assessment, determine what’s appropriate for your organization. If employees feel psychologically safe, stay the course. If they don’t, choose another approach to enhance productive work and positive relationships. Change your thoughts, change your destiny!