Psychological safety

Enabling psychological safety for diversity, inclusion, and belonging

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This text first appeared in my newsletter. It was some weeks ago when I found this tweet (and article on Psychology Today) from Amy Edmondson, Ph.D., HBS professor, and book author of The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth.

My 120 character tweet summary just highlighted some of the points shared inside: “Leaders who care about diversity must care about psychological safety, just as those who care about psychological safety must also care about diversity, inclusion, and belonging”.

In the article, Amy shares that “although diversity can be created through deliberate hiring practices, inclusion does not automatically follow”. That makes sense, and I think it is very important to remember. So, following the article, the goal is to “build an inclusive organization that realizes the benefits of diversity through greater inclusion and belonging”.

Also, I never saw DIB as an acronym standing for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.

Psychological safety isn’t about being nice, but enabling candor

Psychological safety is a very interesting and important topic. As you may read also in the article: “psychological safety is about enabling candor”, linking to another article that referred to Kim Scott’s book Radical Candor. In her book (only in the Revised Edition!), Kim quotes Amy’s definition of psychological safety as “a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking” when talking about feedback. Kim also shared there that Google’s People Operations found it one of the 5 key dynamics for successful teams. And maybe the most important.

Cartoon by Dilbert

Amy Edmondson is said to be the first who identified the concept of psychological safety in work teams. She defends that it “isn’t about being nice. It’s about giving candid feedback, openly admitting mistakes, and learning from each other”. Also, argues about the increasing importance of organizational culture, not only in companies but thinking in the modern economy.

This topic worth a complete newsletter or blog post series. Before leaving this topic, I want to share with you a TEDx video about “Building a psychologically safe workplace” with Amy Edmonson. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Also, there’s an interview from the HBR Ideacast podcast with the same author that you may find interesting.

I hope you found the topic interesting and you liked it. If so, please share it! Do not hesitate to add your comments. And, if you want to stay up to date, don’t miss my free newsletter.

Thanks for reading.


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Also published on Medium.

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