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How Safe Do You Feel at Work with Scott Chambers
Episode 709th March 2021 • You Are Not A Frog • Dr Rachel Morris
00:00:00 00:48:22

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This week, Scott Chambers joins us to talk about psychological safety in teams.

Episode Highlights

[11:29] What Does Low Psychological Safety Look Like?

  • Difficulty collaborating is because of low psychological safety.
  • People in low safety environments can exhibit unresponsiveness.
  • We always want to be heard, but we don’t always listen.

[14:52] How to Improve Team Dynamics

  • We need to create a space that acknowledges the instinct to be defensive.
  • Then, help people go beyond this initial reaction.
  • At the heart of a safe environment is the assumption of positive intent.

[16:38] Assume Positive Intent

  • Our body naturally identifies threats, but it can misidentify helpful things.
  • Practice seeing positive intent in others.
  • It helps if teams work as a group to resolve disputes.

[22:10] Trust and Psychological Safety

  • Trust exists between two entities based on individual relationships. 
  • Psychological safety, on the other hand, is a systematic relationship.  

[28:44] What to Do as a Leader

  • If you feel you’re surrounded by yes-men, step back and invite ideas.
  • As a leader, your job is to ask good questions and genuinely listen.
  • Develop your listening skills by summarising what you hear.

[32:41] What to Do as a Team Member

  • If you’re a team member, you can change the culture with vulnerability.
  • Vulnerability means admitting your mistakes to solve them.

[37:05] Change the Culture

  • The more people can freely admit and laugh at their mistakes, the better your team performance will be.
  • Change the culture and make vulnerability a habit.

[40:41] Does Safety Decrease with Hierarchy?

  • Seniors and bosses hold power even if they don’t realise it.
  • Leaders need to be more welcoming of people and their feelings.

[42:56] Safety Is Not Comfort

  • Psychological safety is not comfort.
  • What you want is a safe and uncomfortable environment.
  • It’s only while we’re uncomfortable when we can trigger the vulnerability.

[44:36] Scott’s Top Tips

  • Catch yourself whenever you feel defensive or afraid to speak up. 
  • Lead with vulnerability. 
  • Seek positive intent.

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