4 Ways Leaders Can Create Psychological Safety in the Workplace

leadership Jan 17, 2023
professional woman hiding at work

The pandemic has vastly changed how we work and what we value at work. Employee well-being, safety, trust, flexibility, and transparency are critical to innovation, productivity, and growth. Also, as companies wrestle with creating and implementing DEI initiatives, safety is required to achieve any level of success. All of this boils down to creating psychological safety, one of the most challenging things facing workplaces today.

In my segment on the AMNW Morning Show, I shared the four (4) critical ways leaders can help create psychological safety in the workplace. You can see the entire episode below.

1. What is psychological safety? - It's the belief that all employees feel safe to ask for help, admit mistakes, raise concerns, suggest ideas, give feedback, and challenge ways of working, including challenging those in authority without the fear of reprisal, punishment, or humiliation.

2. Build a positive team climate - It starts by being an example yourself. As a leader, you must demonstrate this by valuing team members' contributions, showing that you care about everyone's well-being, and allowing others to have input into how the team carries out its work. 

3. Model authenticity and vulnerability - Leaders often believe they have to know everything and have all the answers, but a big part of psychological safety not being afraid to make mistakes and owning them. So start changing the definition of failure and mistakes and see them as a learning opportunity. Start normalizing. "I don't know, but we can figure it out." And stop trying to be the type of leader you think you should be and just be you.

4. Create an appreciative culture - Each time you show gratitude and acknowledgment, you create a culture of celebration and appreciation. Make recognition personal by taking the time to understand the individual preferences of your team members.

5. Adapt a supportive leadership style - Get rid of the "do as I say" way of leadership an adapt a way of being that helps shift underlying beliefs, assumptions, and emotions to bring about lasting change within yourself and your team members. This requires increased transparency, self-awareness, and personal introspection through reflection questions and real conversations. 

Also, listen to my podcast, The Midlife Career Rebel, episode #58 to learn more.


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