Resonates With Me | By Mattias Ahlström

A freshen up on psychological safety

Many moons have passed since I was introduced to the term psychologically safety and I realized that a freshen up was needed, clarity on what we mean when talking about building a psychologically safe workplace.

Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes. - Amy Edmondson

I found this great TedX talk by Professor Amy Edmondson that coined the term back in 1999.

My main takeaways on building psychological safety are:

  1. Frame the work as a learning problem, not an execution problem. We have never been in this situation before, or for long, and we need everyone’s brains and voices in the game.
  2. Acknowledge your own fallibility. Say simple things like “I might miss something, I need to hear from you…“.
  3. Model curiosity. Ask a lot of questions.