You can quote me on this. I’ve been using the phrase and the idea behind it for years to explain that people feel more comfortable contributing new thinking, knowing their ideas will be well received; that psychological safety exists.
Let’s face it, over 15,000 scientists worldwide agree we need to shift away from ‘business as usual’ toward a more environmentally sustainable way of acting, living. With that big ask, comes opportunities to use imagination, to free thinking to create new futures.
Environments with psychological safety give new ideas a soft place to land. Not necessarily adopted, as put into action, heard and considered.
Psychologically safe environments let people risk new ways of thinking and understanding challenges, and stretch beyond ‘normal’ to consider alternative methods, outcomes, and activities without feeling threatened, insecure or embarrassed. In other words, out of the box thinking is welcomed; people walk the talk, they encourage using curiosity and exploration.
I recently read Inc magazine’s recently published article The Results of Google’s Team Effectiveness Research Will Make You Rethink How You Build Teams. It cited the importance of psychological safety as a determinant of effective teams. Other qualities are dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact.
What if, in the lead up to World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, you planned to enable psychological safety in your environment?
Innovation is about people after all. New ideas need a soft place to land. See what you can do to be open and receptive to new thinking – yours and others’.
WCID founder Marci Segal outside the UN April 20, 2017.