More Team Creativity? First, Look at Safety

Why do people hold back from sharing their thoughts and ideas in a team meeting?

Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson would say the team lacks psychological safety. Psychological safety is a belief that you will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.

Do you have psychological safety on your team? Here are a few symptoms that indicate that you may NOT:
  • People don’t speak up in meetings
  • People don’t admit their mistakes
  • People don’t challenge each other’s ideas
  • People don’t ask for help
  • People DO go along with whatever the leader says

Psychological safety is essential because a lack of it can lead to mediocrity, anxiety, stress, and boredom. The team consequence is a lack of risk-taking and refinement of ideas. Recently, our TH!NK Team led a department through a SWOT analysis. The manager was confident that no one would speak up; we assured her that the right environment allows an abundance of ideas to flow.

These are a few of the heavy-hitting ideas the team generated:
  • Rebranding the team internally
  • Need for revamped processes and procedures
  • Unique IT solutions for customers
We used these four tips to create psychological safety in this meeting:

Tip #1: Help your team get to know each other with a quick icebreaker before each meeting. It can be as simple as, “What are you grateful for today?”

Tip #2: Ask more questions. Create an agreed upon list of questions to process decisions. “How could this go wrong?” or “How does this align with our values?”

READ  Hyperlink InfoSystem The Most Popular App Development Companies

Tip #3: When teaming virtually, don’t assume that everyone is tech savvy. Provide tutorial sessions for your meeting platforms before your session.

Tip #4: Time. Give participants ample time to prepare. Provide an agenda or pre-work as an onramp to the meeting.


TH!NK logo

(808) 224-6694


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.