We hear a lot about psychological safety these days. But what does it mean?
Psychological safety received a lot of attention because of Google’s team study. Researchers at Google examined a range of teams within their company to see what makes them effective. To their surprise, they discovered that the most important ingredient in successful teams is—you guessed it—psychological safety.
When a team works well together, great things can happen. Just ask Greece. In 2004 Greece stunned the world when their national soccer team won the European Cup. Going into the tournament, the team had low expectations.
A mentor once taught me the value of team spirit and how with the right culture and an exciting vision, a team of "average" skill can achieve exceptional results. He showed me the importance of having regular conversations with team members to build a culture of trust, create accountability, and encourage risk-taking. To this day, I strive to always be the kind of leader who brings out the best in my team.
There was a time in my corporate career when I felt uncomfortable about giving “negative” feedback. I had believed that for feedback to be effective, it had to be uplifting and encouraging. I had assumed that no one would like to be given feedback that would make them feel less of themselves and be demotivated.
“I hired the best people, but they don’t get along. Nearly all their delays and mistakes could have been avoided if they just communicated or coordinated better. I don’t know if they’re just stubborn or if they really don’t like each other. Either way, it’s frustrating! Since they can’t work well together, I have to constantly troubleshoot and act like a bridge. I have more important things to do!”
What would you do if one of your best employees told you today: “I’m resigning.” They’re talented, and thanks to you, they’re now more experienced. Unfortunately, they’re now taking that competitive advantage elsewhere.
Leadership is now a team sport. According toDeloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends Report, more companies are organizing themselves around highly empowered “networks of teams” who can respond quickly and drive innovation. Only 26% of large companies (over 5,000 employees) are functionally organized, and only 14% of executives still believe that hierarchical job levels are effective.
Digital isn’t just changing the way we work, it should change how we approach work. Emails, telecommuting, and data-driven reporting are just tools. If you still think, communicate, create and lead the way we did 20 years ago, then you’ll be just as irrelevant in the modern workplace as a typewriter.
The workplace is changing, and you should too. New technologies have made some skills (and even entire positions) irrelevant. Industry disruptions have forced even veterans to rethink their strategies.
Eighty percent of companies - and 76% of conglomerates with over 50,000 employees - are restructuring their organization around smaller, leaner, and faster teams, says this Deloitte survey. Instead of being pigeonholed into a department under a hierarchy of managers, people are assigned to projects or products and rallied by a team leader.
Hiring a diverse team is just the first (and some would say, the easiest) step. The real challenge is inclusion -- creating a culture where differences are respected, and a work structure that actively engages everyone’s ideas, knowledge and approaches.
There is a problem with focusing on results and seeing your remote workers from the micro-lens of tasks met and projects completed. Psychologists have discovered that while flexibility can increase satisfaction, it can also lead to untreated burnout and depression.