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Creating a safe harbour: The crucial role of psychological safety in team success

25 April 2024

Discover the importance of fostering psychological safety in today's world of work and high performing teams.

In today's world of work marked by remote work, diverse team compositions, and rapid changes, ensuring psychological safety within teams has become more critical than ever.  


Psychological safety refers to the shared belief that team members can express themselves freely without fear of negative consequences. It creates an environment where individuals feel comfortable taking risks, sharing ideas, and admitting mistakes. When psychological safety exists, team members trust each other and believe their contributions are valued. 


Why Does It Matter? 

  1. Enhanced Performance: Teams with high psychological safety perform better. When people feel safe, they collaborate more effectively, innovate, and take calculated risks. This leads to improved productivity and outcomes. 

  1. Innovation and Creativity: Psychological safety encourages creativity. Team members feel empowered to propose novel solutions, challenge the status quo, and experiment. In such an environment, breakthrough ideas emerge. 

  1. Open Communication: When people feel safe, they communicate openly. Honest discussions lead to better problem-solving, conflict resolution, and alignment. Teams thrive when everyone’s voice is heard. 

  1. Learning and Growth: Psychological safety allows for learning from failures. When mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth, individuals develop resilience and adaptability. 


Building Psychological Safety 

Here are a few practical steps to foster psychological safety within your team: 

  1. Embrace Imperfection: Avoid striving for a “perfect” team. Perfectionism can hinder trust and creates a blame culture. Instead, allow room for mistakes, encourage learning, and recognise individual efforts. 

  1. Advocate for Diversity and Inclusion: Understand the power of diverse perspectives. Recognise biases and actively promote inclusivity. Cultural competence helps you lead diverse teams effectively. 

  1. Communicate with Empathy: Be vulnerable and open about your own struggles. Encourage team members to do the same. Use language that affirms and supports rather than alienates. 



Psychological safety is the bedrock of high-performing teams. As a leader, it will be well worth your while to prioritise the creation of an environment where authenticity, trust, and collaboration flourish.  





  1. A Guide to Building Psychological Safety on Your Team ( 

  1. What Is Psychological Safety? ( 

  1. The Role of Psychological Safety in Creating High Performing Teams | myHRfuture 



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