Teams where psychological safety is missing exhibit clear symptoms – lack of opinions, lack of ideas, missing constructive conflict. And all of that will lead to suboptimal performance, mistakes and failures.
How Does It Look for Leader in Teams Missing Psychological Safety?
In the third challenge of Time Travelling Leader (find out more here), Tom faces team without opinion, ideas, seemingly unwilling to talk to him openly and honestly.
When Dealing with Team Spirit and Belonging, Taking Obvious Steps Consciously Will Help
After reading the case study of the Time Travelling Leader, we analyse the situation below. Although some points might seem obvious, many leaders do not take them. If you find yourself as a leader in a similar situation – or support such a team from an HR position – don’t underestimate the power of simple solutions.
Burning Issue: Missing Psychological Safety
Psychological safety is the belief that the environment is safe to take risks. It is high when employees feel free to express themselves in the team without fear of failure or retribution. But it is like a Jenga-tower: difficult to build, but you can destroy it with one move, even unconsciously. This is obviously missing in this Tom’s case study.
Leadership Recommendation: Admit The Issue And Open the Discussion
The first step the leader in a similar situation must do is to recognize the problem – the communication is less open, team members are more self-contained and hesitant to address issues. And then he or she must go about engaging an open discussion themselves – become vulnerable, admit mistakes and admit own limits. They need to learn how to build psychological safety.
Recommendation for HR: Foster The Important Dialogue About Psychological Safety
Critical in the situation is that people come together and openly discuss their opinion or mistakes without blaming, punishing or humiliating anyone. To achieve that on an organisational level, HR should initiate the set of suitable practices and help build them into routines: Focused Event Analysis (FDA),
Best Practise Sharing Meetings, Focus Groups, Near Miss Meetings are just some options. HR doesn’t have to be the facilitator of all, but shall evangelise and prepare managers to be able to lead them efficiently – whether using their own capacity or involving skilled partners.
How to Go About Managing Performance In Hybrid and Remote Teams?
The next challenge of the leaders often discussed in the 2021 is how to manage the performance in an environment with full or partial remote work. Whether the hybrid setup or full remote is your case, you will definitely find some similarities with the fourth case study in the Time Traveller series.
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If you currently face similar challenges in your teams and organization, tell us more in the contact at bottom of the same site.
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