Creating Psychologically Safe Teams.

“A shared belief held by members of the team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.” – Amy Edmonson

Psychological Safety

The key differentiator for high performing teams.

In 2012 Google decided to analyse their teams to discover what makes an effective team, why some teams are so successful, and some less so. They named this work “Project Aristotle” in homage to his quote “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. What did they discover? Amongst other things, they discovered that psychological safety is the key differentiator for high performing teams. Furthermore, they learned that while other factors help make teams great, these factors make little difference to a team’s performance if it is not already psychologically safe.

Creating Psychologically Safety

We work with clients to help them create psychologially safe teams. We do this through providing a combination of assessment, training and coaching.

  • Our programmes typically start with a “psychological safety scan”, which is a quick questionnaire that all members of a team complete. This scan provides a clear picture of the current level of psychological safety in a team. It also identifies specific areas of a team’s dynamics that it would be good to prioritize for improvement to help improve the teams overall experience of psychological safety.
  • Once we’ve understood how the team is currently experiencing psychological safety, we work with team members and leaders to improve the levels of psychological safety in the team. We do this with a mixture of training for everyone, workshops for leaders, facilitated team working sessions and, sometimes, coaching for leaders.
  • A typically initial programme would consist of a scan, a series of seminars for everyone in the organization, a series of workshops for leaders and then a planning and design session with leadership to help them design and plan the next steps of the journey towards psychologically safety that they would implement over the coming six to 12 months.

Is this the programme for you?

If you think your team or organization could be higher performing, and you feel that your team members are not using their voices and knowledge as much as they could to improve your organization, then this programme is for you.
The teams and organizations that benefit the most from this programme:
  • Are clear that they really want to understand how things feel in their teams,
  • Are willing to take some of the difficult steps needed to change and create psychological safety,
  • Have sponsorship from senior leaders who will not just “talk the talk”, but also “walk the walk” of change, and
  • Set aside time to work on their team dynamics outside of the programme sessions.

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