Oct 16, 2019
I believe trust is an indispensable component of a successful team. In 1999, Amy Edmondson wrote a research paper on learning behavior in work teams and concluded that "building trust may be an essential part of creating a climate of psychological safety." This term, psychological safety, is described as a commonly held belief among the team that a workplace is a safe place for interpersonal risk-taking.
Psychological safety is the kind of safety leadership it takes to lead groups. In a 2016 investigation by PwC, we determined that 55% of Global CEOs studied think a shortage of trust within a company is a threat to their expansion prospects. If you want to create trust and lead with integrity within your team, then here are three tips to develop psychological safety and build trust within your organizational safety training:
Stress and pressure can be a useful thing in the workplace, but too much stress can be harmful to leadership and the psychological safety of your team. It's okay to have slightly pressured conditions, it's just that the correct type of pressure is pivotal. Some analysis covered by UC Berkeley proposes that anxiety can decrease empathy. To build empathy, balance your way of dispensing commands in communication by positing open-ended questions. Promote a dialogue by asking an associate, “What are your thoughts on this?” or “How would you implement this if the budget weren’t a constraint?”
In Steve Rogelberg’s book The Surprising Science of Meetings, he stresses how crucial it is to provide agendas and, more importantly, to expect people to engage -- or they shouldn’t come to the gathering at all. When people do no engage, pull them aside after and, first, let them know that you wanted more sharing from them throughout the meeting. Second, set the expectation for sharing in future meetings.
To help, if you are the meeting organizer or leader, call on people and inquire about their honest beliefs about what you're presenting. Further, try different approaches like having them draft their ideas on paper and share them anonymously. Above all, avoid obstructing an idea or sharing by interrupting or being judgemental.
For example, Gallup has a set of a dozen questions that can help organizations quantify worker psychological safety engagement. Gallup studies showed that "teams at the 99th percentile [of engagement] had four times the odds of success (or above-average performance) compared with those at the first percentile." To start measuring commitment to safety culture, you can measure simple things like workers' views on the organization's purposes and goals.
Your progress at nurturing the growth of your business may rest in part on enhanced psychological safety and trust. As a safety leader, you must build trust within your team. If you implement the three steps -- reducing pressure, consciously building engagement and aligning safety culture -- to help build the elite organizations you desire.
When I was younger, I was obsessed with my favorite basketball team, the Utah Jazz. They were incredible to watch. Throughout the 1990s, they regularly won 50 or more games per season (and won 60 or more three times). From my perspective, they had scoring, defense and passing and were the quintessential team -- yet, they weren’t. Late into their championship-fueled runs, the Utah Jazz ran square into another team: the Chicago Bulls (led by Michael "Air" Jordan).
In the 1996–1997 season, the Utah Jazz led the entire Western Conference league in wins. I was glued to the entire series and watched with frustration as the Bulls got out ahead after two wins in the finals. Then, as if some miracle were at play, the Jazz battled back to take the next two in Chicago. It seemed to be destiny at work. Game 5, which would later be called “the flu game,” was when Jordan brought his team back to life and a series lead. One more, and the championship was theirs. In awe, I watched Game 6 and the infamous moment when Michael Jordan helped hit the game-runner.
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