Leader Inspirations – Creating psychological safety [the Bok way!].

The high of the Springbok win [that’s the SA rugby team!] and what it means for WE [as a collective of Bok team, nation, continent and global supporters], and how effective leadership can be when the human factor remains central to performance.

Related to the concept above, I include this adapted reference to Rassie Erasmus as coach by Siya Kolisi as captain per article in News24.

‘Our coach knows how to pull us together [trust, shared vision, WE as collective].

There is change on and off the field [consistency of leadership in practice for sustained change]

He brought us down to earth [paying attention differently and being genuine].

He said you have to play well first [competence], and then everything else will come [developing competence].

He lets us know that we will make mistakes, but just to keep working as hard as we can [commitment to new behaviours for new results].’

Psychological safety and growth mindset in practice – simple but effective!

‘For knowledge work to flourish, the workplace must be one where people feel able to share their knowledge! This means sharing concerns, questions, mistakes, and half-formed ideas.’ Amy Edmondson, The Fearless Organisation

Ask this ONE question.

‘What can I do differently?’

In questioning, paying attention (differently), unconscious processing [yes our brains work for us even when we think we are not thinking!], doing, and being, ASK this simple and powerful [catalyst] question:

‘What can I do differently as Leader this week?’

Let this tease your thought processes without having to have a clear set of answers immediately. Look, experience, and practice doing things differently, and see what happens.

I am reading and exploring more deeply the concept and science of social and psychological safety, and the interplay with growth mindset – how it links with growth mindset to enable organisations to thrive [think wellbeing for performance]. And most importantly how to both incite and integrate this into different team environments. The Neuroleadership Institute has done some exciting work with Microsoft and other leading companies to shift mindset and leadership. Leadershift by John C. Maxwell [not read yet] appears to speak the same message of Leaders needing to shift [mindset and ways of working].

Such powerful supportive and inspiring research, and I expand on this in current workshops and change conversations with clients.

The book, The Fearless Organisation, with twenty years of research and findings, is well written by Amy C. Emondson and easy to read.

DEFINITION – psychological safety is ‘the belief that the work environment is safe for interpersonal risk taking. The concept refers to the experience of feeling able to speak up with relevant ideas, questions, or concerns.’

So what can we do differently to create a space that is safe for people to speak up?

Establishing a cultural structure for growth mindset – of holding the belief that ‘yes we can get there’, and making mistakes and taking risks is part of ongoing learning to grow and develop and thrive –  can be developed and is a significant way to create the right conditions for psychological safety.

Think new ways of learning, projects for innovating, inviting curiosity, brainstorming and questioning, supportive stretching of new thinking for courageous behaviour, powerful coaching conversations, and what else?

What can you do differently as Leader this week to create psychological safety in your team? 

PS Exploring options in your mind is a good starting point.

Disclaimer: This reference of coach-captain is in isolation to a more broader perspective as I am not a rugby expert nor do I know Rassie or Siya – I am a Bok fan and take inspiration from examples of positive change for performance, and influential leadership!

Image credit: https://rugby365.com/