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Psychological Safety in Teams

[Image Description]: Square tile in peach showing Adam Grant’s Instagram post with dark blue lettering which states ‘Blaming and shaming doesn’t stop people from making mistakes. It stops them from admitting mistakes. If people can’t share their blunders, they can’t learn from them – and neither can the rest of us. The best way to prevent errors is to make it safe for people to discuss them.’

Psychological Safety and Belonging is where we start when we are delivering the program for Dare to Lead™. We talk about what will help participants show up and be present in the room with their colleagues, leaders and peers.

Psychological safety refers to the belief that one can speak up, take risks, and make mistakes without fear of negative consequences. When employees feel psychologically safe in the workplace, they are more likely to share ideas, ask for help, and collaborate with their colleagues, which can lead to better problem-solving and innovation. 

What we are looking at in the first 15 mins of the program is permission from each other and ourselves. It could be permission to disconnect from our work commitments or the option not to share a story when asked. We discuss what it looks like to truly belong in an organisation and to have our stories be heard without fear that it will have a negative impact to our existence within that workplace. 

Building a container at the start of the program helps participants connect before they start to unpack their personal workplace experiences and learn the new skills of being a Daring Leader. The whole group then knows what a successful experience can look like and what support individuals within the group made need.

The opportunity is participants can also take this process back to their teams. Creating a psychologically safe workplace has been shown to have a positive impact on employee engagement, creativity, innovation, and productivity, which in turn can lead to increased profits for an organization.

Research by Google found that psychological safety was the most important factor in high-performing teams.

They found that teams with high psychological safety had better communication, made more progress, and had higher levels of engagement than teams with low psychological safety (Edmondson, 2018).

Another study by Amy C. Edmondson found that creating a psychologically safe work environment is essential for promoting innovation and learning within an organization. The study found that teams that felt safe to speak up and share ideas were more likely to generate creative solutions and improve their performance over time (Edmondson, 1999).

Furthermore, a study by Gallup found that engaged employees are more productive and less likely to leave their jobs. Engaged employees are also more likely to recommend their company to others, which can lead to increased profits through positive word-of-mouth marketing (Harvard Business Review, 2013).

Psychological Safety is a great place to start with teams who are newly formed or worked together for years. When you build from this as a foundation for discussion you are then able to delve further into the tougher conversations to find out what the team needs to work on or change. This can give great insights to all the participants but especially the leaders of each team who may not have heard these conversations before. 

This in addition to the international regulatory requirements for Psychological Health and Safety (ISO: 45003) legislation introduced in 2022 which is effective Australia-wide from 1st April 2023. Each state in Australia has a Code of Practice and this legilsation refers predominantly to the systems used at work along with the associated risk mitgiation.

The full Dare to Lead™ program is currently run over 3 days. The course dates can be split in order to create space in your working week but also enable relfection and implementation of the skills learnt during our time together. 

Your team can participate in this transformative leadership development program by connecting with me here.


Edmondson, A. (1999). Psychological safety and learning behavior in work teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(2), 350-383.

Edmondson, A. (2018). The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth. Wiley.

Harvard Business Review. (2013). The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance. Retrieved from

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