Skip main navigation

Psychological Safety

In this step we will explore kindness and compassion in our relationships with other people. To do this, we are going to consider the concept of psychological safety in teams.

In this step we will explore kindness and compassion in our relationships with other people. To do this, we are going to consider the concept of psychological safety in teams.

In this short video, Amy Edmondson (Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School) explains the concept of psychological safety and how, when allied to a commitment for excellence, it can transform health and care work.

Why is Psychological Safety Important?

Google’s Project Aristotle research established that psychological safety is the single most valuable contributor to team performance, because work environments that are ‘safe’ encourage feelings of trust, belonging and inclusion. Leaders who actively nurture a climate of safety and trust between people will release more potential and performance from their teams, but it’s important to say that regardless of our role in the team, we all have a part to play creating conditions of safety and trust in our relationships.

How do you know if psychological safety is present?

Adam Grant’s work on psychological safety identified the key characteristics of organisational cultures that do and don’t have psychological safety in the workplace.

When you have it When you don’t
See mistakes as opportunities to learn See mistakes as threats to your career
Willing to take risks and fail Unwilling to rock the boat
Speaking your mind in meetings Keeping your ideas to yourself
Openly sharing your struggles Only touting your strengths
Trust in your teammates and supervisors Fear of your teammates and supervisors
Sticking your neck out Having it chopped off
Adam Grant, Twitter, 12 February 2021.

When you have watched the video, we would like you to consider the questions below.

  • How psychologically safe is your workplace? How can you tell?
  • What helps you to feel psychologically safe at work among colleagues?
  • What can you do to nurture psychological safety in your team and the relationships around you?
This article is from the free online

An Introduction to Leading with Kindness and Compassion in Health and Social Care

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education