Amy Edmondson is Professor of Leadership at Harvard Business School. She is the author of The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation and Growth (Wiley, 2018). Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.
Psychological safety is important for a climate of openness in order to promote a culture of learning and innovation especially in workplace contexts where there is uncertainty and interdependence. This makes psychological safety crucial in the development of high-performance teams that are continually committed to high performance.
In Prof Edmondson’s TEDx talk above, she shared workplace stories where mistakes could have been avoided if people had psychological safety to speak up and suggested three ways leaders can build a psychologically safe workplace:
- Frame the work as learning to create the rationale for speaking up
- Acknowledge your own fallibility to create more safety for speaking up
- Model curiosity which creates a necessity for people to speak up
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