By Scott Winter
One of the critical practices in leading a Conscious Company is the ability to create a space where individuals feel safe to express themselves in the team authentically. By promoting a climate that allows individuals to open up and share their perspectives without fear is essential in building collaborative cultures.
In her research on high performing teams, Harvard professor, Amy Edmondson found that groups who performed best had created a climate where people felt psychologically safe. Professor Edmondson defined psychological safety as:
“[T]he extent to which a team views the social climate as conducive to interpersonal risk; it is a measure of people’s willingness to trust others not to attempt to gain personal advantage at their expense.”
On the flip side, not having psychological safety in groups is one of the leading causes of stress in the workplace. The inability to speak up and be heard can create a sense of helplessness for those unable or unwilling to express themselves because of fear. Research suggests that the feeling of helplessness is one of the most significant contributing factor in producing hypertension and stress in the body.
What happens when someone feels stressed in a group? They often go limbic and revert to coping strategies that keep them from sharing their true feelings or good ideas. As a result, individuals do not bring their best thinking to work problems, which reduces innovation and engagement.
How safe do people feel to express themselves in the groups you facilitate or lead?
Scott Winter is the co-founder and Chief Facilitation Officer at Brain-Friendly Dynamics. He has over 30 years experience designing and delivering brain-friendly training programs and strategic initiatives for corporations, governments, communities, non-profits, and schools. Scott has led, trained, and directed leadership programs for organizations throughout Russia, Taiwan, Portugal, Japan, Australia, and the U.S. Scott’s clients also include organizations in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, agribusiness, telecom, food and beverage, manufacturing, sports, and technology industries.
The Conscious Business Collaboratory
A Two-Day Workshop with Celeste Blackman, Yosef Funke, Kristi Lee Schatz, and Scott Winter
Wednesday – Thursday, September 25 – September 26, 2019, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
To learn more and register, click here.