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The Importance of Psychological Safety in Building Highly Effective Teams

By | Caroline Styr |

Last week Insight222 held its fourth annual Global Executive Retreat in partnership with our friends at TI-People. Close to 100 CHROs, VPs of HR and Global Heads of People Analytics joined the Retreat across two days of talks and peer discussions, focused on the theme of leadership in a hybrid organisation. We were delighted to be joined by Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School and author of The Fearless Organisation

Across the two days, we heard Amy’s views on why leaders must think like scientists, why employee engagement is vital for delivering business value and why psychological safety matters now more than ever. It was great to build on the conversation we started last year with Amy on the Digital HR Leaders podcast.

In this blog, we’re going to share a few of the lessons learned from Amy’s work. In particular:

·      The definition of psychological safety

·      The relationship between psychological safety and performance standards

·      The role of leaders and HR in creating psychological safety and the link between psychological safety and culture, learning, and innovation

The definition of psychological safety

In her must-read book, The Fearless Organisation, Amy busts a few myths about what psychological safety is not. Psychological safety is not:

·      About being nice

·      A personality factor, e.g., extroversion

·      Just another word for trust

In Amy’s words, psychological safety is:

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