Psychological safety: Making It Safe to Team

Psychological safety describes individuals’ perceptions regarding the consequences of interpersonal risks in their work environment. Four specific image risks that people face at work are being seen as ignorant, incompetent, negative, or disruptive. In psychologically safe environments, characterized by both trust and respect, people believe that if they make a mistake or ask for help, others will not penalize them.

Because psychological safety encourages self-expression and productive discussion, it’s essential to teaming and organizational learning. Psychological safety is not about being nice or about lowering performance standards. Instead, psychological safety allows groups to set high goals and work toward them through collaboration and collective learning.

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