One condition of work to generate results is emotional stability, does it exist in your work culture?
It is common to hear or read about its importance. Psychological protection at work. Organizations that want to be recognized by their partners as great places to take care of this aspect. An important piece for this position is the action of its leaders.
Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership and management at Harvard Business School, describes the perceptions of members of the psychological safety team about the consequences of taking interpersonal risks in a particular context, such as the workplace.
When a person is in a place where they feel psychologically safe, they Feel free to talk about any thoughts, concerns or questions or mistakes made by them.
Why is that freedom important? Because in such a place, the bond of trust is nurtured between a leader and his allies, and between the allies themselves. And the group will be more ready to establish, innovate, experiment and challenge in this safe space.
Do you feel that freedom today in your workplace? And more importantly, do you believe that you are a leader who creates working conditions so that your colleagues feel this freedom?
I invite you to think about the most recent project or initiative that you and your team of colleagues have handled:
Think about the biggest problem so far…
- Did they talk about the subject with opportunity?
- Did they talk about opening the topic?
- What were the conditions that allowed this or not?
- In what way was the problem discussed with opportunity and openness?
One of the reasons we do not talk issues with openness and opportunity is that we feel a risk. And what is it that threatens us? Thinking that we can be viewed by others as ignorant, incompetent, unfair or negative.
Some assumptions that may exist:
“If I ask something that others already know, they will see me as stupid or ignorant”
Do you think you should know everything? Could it be that another possibility is that you will be seen as someone who is eager or willing?
“I caused the problem and I should solve it”
If someone else has already faced a similar situation, wouldn’t you like to know how they solved it? Why limit that someone else can support you?
“If I try to do something different and make a mistake, it’s because I’m not capable enough for this job”
Does seeing a mistake as something negative help you to try new things? What do you think you should not be wrong about when you try to do something different?
“If I speak at this moment of identified error in the project, it can be considered negative”
What if by talking about that error you prevent things from getting more complicated?
These beliefs originate in places where we learned that talking about our thoughts, concerns, doubts or need for support represents a risk.
As a leader, you are not responsible for the personal history of each of your colleagues, but at the present time it is your responsibility to create an environment of psychological safety where they have the opportunity to live a different experience based on trust.
What to do?
- Talk to your colleagues about the importance of listening to their opinions, concerns and opinions. And be sure to listen actively and without judgment when they are doing so.
- Identify a personal style. Perhaps not all of your colleagues are comfortable expressing their thoughts verbally in the meeting. Look for mechanisms that open up opportunities for everyone while respecting their personal style.
- As showable to oneself. Share with your colleagues experiences in which you made a mistake. Talk to them about how you have solved them and how those experiences have strengthened you. When you do, they are more likely to feel confident talking about their own concerns and mistakes.
- Avoid punitive mistakes. When an error is identified, it is to focus and then identify the learning that leaves the experience.
- Be aware of the impact of your actions. Remember that all the time you are becoming a role model for your colleagues. If you respect your colleagues, it is more likely that they will repeat that behavior among themselves.
- If you detect a task that is undermining the psychological safety of the group, then act with opportunity and persistence, clarifying what kind of behavior is not welcome and the reasons for it.