Why Invest in Psychological Safety?
In his recent book, Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek notes the typical mindset that comes from the pressure most leaders feel to make profits and hit goals, when compared to the work of creating psychological safety : “this stuff is expensive, hard to measure, and often seems ‘soft’ or ‘fluffy'” (p. 27).
In contrast to this myth, psychological safety is the very foundation for organizational effectiveness, and research is increasingly showing that this “soft stuff” is actually quite hard in predicting performance.
“By creating a Circle of Safety around the people in the organization,” Sinek says, “leadership reduces the threats people feel inside the group, which frees them up to focus more time and energy to protect the organization from the constant dangers outside and seize the big opportunities” (p. 22).
Sinek isn't the only one who noticed the importance of Psychological Safety. It was the first item on Google's list of 5 Keys to a Successful Google Team.