Psychological Safety in Teams

"Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.

Prof. Amy C. Edmondson

Team Meeting

Why PS matters?

Multiple research has shown that the most effective teams score high in psychological safety.

One of them was Google’s Project Aristotle, which studied team effectiveness for 2 years among 180 teams. Psychological Safety turned out to be the number one factor differentiating their highest performing teams, where results showed in:

  • revenue about 50% up

  • rated as effective x2 by executives

  • less likely to leave  

(Read more about Project Aristotle in The New York Times Magazine)

Source: Rozovsky, J. (2015) The five keys to a successful Google team. Rework. Retrieved from https://rework.withgoogle.com/blog/five-keys-to-a-successful-google-team/

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How to measure PS in teams?

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In cooperation with Fearless Organization we are able to measure levels of psychological safety across teams and co-design approaches to improve situation where it is needed. 

Fearless Organization Scan measures the level of psychological safety for your organization, department or team using the seven statement survey. As a result you receive an anonymous PSI (Psychological Safety Index) report that shows how your team or organization stacks up against the global benchmark data.

The teams are being assessed across 4 key dimensions that are reflected in the scan report: 

  • attitude to risk and failure,

  • willingness to help,

  • open conversation, 

  • inclusivity and diversity.

PSI Report includes:

1. Anonymous Team Report

2. Individual Report for each Team Member

Here is an example of the report on one of the dimensions:

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What happens after the PSI Report?

Team Meeting

Fearless Organization Scan Debrief

After the PSI of your team is measured you will be provided with PSI results debrief with a certified Psychological Safety Practitioner.

 

This offering is an opportunity for you and your team to grow. Sometimes you need to slow down to go faster. 

In addition to a team report and individual reports for each team member, this package contains:

  1. Intake with team lead - a certified Practitioner will contact the team lead to obtain context and background, so the team can get the maximum leverage out of the debrief session.

  2. Fearless Organization Scan Debrief - typically a two and a half to four hour session that consists of an introduction to psychological safety, the debrief of the results and a guided dialogue in the team about impact and coming away with actionable insights.

When you use the actual team instrument, all team members receive their personal report with comparison data from team members. This naturally triggers interest in participants who wonder why they scored this way, in comparison to other team members.

This leads to an ensuing dialogue, where often the score on one the four domains:

  1. Open conversation

  2. Willingness to help

  3. Inclusion & diversity

  4. Attitude to risk & failure

reveal differences in perceived psychological safety and the underlying dysfunctional patterns in team dynamics. These can then be explored productively, so the team can start to shift its game.

The whole process is led by certified Fearless Organization Practitioner Olga Zimmermann