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8th January 2024

10 tips to Foster Psychological Safety at Work

Headshot of Aurelie Salvaire
Author Aurelie Salvaire
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Fostering psychological safety in a team is crucial for creating an environment where team members feel comfortable taking risks, sharing ideas, and expressing themselves without fear of negative consequences. It’s a skill that inclusive leaders are great at, and can transform your company.

How can you promote psychological safety at work?

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Here are 10 ways you can promote psychological safety at work as a leader:

  1. Lead by Example:

Demonstrate vulnerability by admitting mistakes and seeking input from others. When leaders are open about their own challenges, it encourages team members to do the same.

  1. Active Listening:

Practice active listening to show genuine interest in what team members are saying. Reflect on their ideas, ask clarifying questions, and validate their contributions.

  1. Encourage Open Communication:

Establish channels for open communication, such as regular team meetings, feedback sessions, or anonymous suggestion boxes. Make it clear that opinions and concerns are valued.

  1. Acknowledge Efforts and Contributions:

Recognize and celebrate individual and team achievements. Positive reinforcement fosters a sense of accomplishment and encourages team members to continue sharing their ideas.

  1. Clarify Expectations:

Clearly communicate expectations regarding performance, roles, and responsibilities. When team members know what is expected of them, they feel more secure in their positions.

  1. Promote Inclusivity:

Create an inclusive environment where diverse perspectives are not only welcomed but actively sought. Ensure that everyone has a chance to contribute and that all voices are heard.

  1. Provide Constructive Feedback:

Deliver feedback in a constructive and supportive manner. Focus on the behavior or outcome rather than the individual, and offer guidance on improvement.

  1. Empower Decision-Making:

Delegate decision-making authority and involve team members in the decision-making process. Feeling empowered boosts confidence and a sense of ownership.

  1. Create Learning Opportunities:

Encourage continuous learning and skill development. Provide resources for professional growth and create a culture where learning from mistakes is seen as an opportunity for improvement.

  1. Address Conflict Positively:

Address conflicts promptly and constructively. Provide a safe space for resolving issues, emphasizing resolution rather than blame. Demonstrate that conflict can lead to positive outcomes.

By consistently applying these strategies, you can contribute to the development of a psychologically safe environment where team members feel supported, engaged, and motivated to contribute their best work.


Want to learn more?

Here is a list of six books to get started:

“Psychological Safety Playbook: How to Powerfully Transform Your Team, Department, and Organization into a Place of Innovation and Positive Risk-Taking”

This playbook provides practical strategies for creating a psychologically safe environment, fostering innovation, and encouraging positive risk-taking within teams and organizations.

Cover image of the Fearless organization
“The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth”
by Amy C. Edmondson

Amy Edmondson explores the concept of psychological safety and its role in promoting learning, innovation, and growth within organizations, offering actionable insights for creating a fearless workplace.

“The Four Stages of Psychological Safety” by Timothy R. Clark

This book introduces the four stages of psychological safety and provides a roadmap for leaders to create a culture of openness, trust, and collaboration within their teams.

“HBR Guide to Navigating the Toxic Workplace”
by Amy Gallo

Harvard Business Review’s guide offers practical advice and strategies for individuals navigating toxic workplace environments, providing insights on how to cope with difficult situations and protect one’s well-being.

Cover image of the Psychological safety playbook

“The Psychological Safety Handbook: Creating a Safe Environment in the Modern Workplace” by Sharon Pearson

This handbook delves into the importance of psychological safety in the workplace, offering practical tips and tools for leaders to cultivate an environment where individuals feel safe to express themselves and take risks.


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