Is Psychological Safety a Myth?

If someone claimed that a particular startup team or organization has a high level of Psychological Safety, you would expect that the team members would be able to answer a series of psych. safety questions in unison, right?

Taking this test should be an accurate and objective way to prove one way or the other this claim, no?
So, now all I have to do is find an organization making this claim and ask a couple of members my series of safety questions.

Unfortunately, I cannot go to the Psychological Safety Wikipedia page to find any organizations successfully applying Psychological Safety listed there; strange that!

Anyway, I am ready to test any organization making this claim. If you know of any please let me know.

Here are the eight questions that I would ask any two team members from a supposedly Psychological Safe team:

  1. What do you do when you feel offended by what a team member said during a discussion?
  2. Are you safe to speak up, or do you have to report to the manager later, that is if you have one?
  3. What if your offender is a supervisor or the manager or CEO even?
  4. If you do speak up to the offender, how do you approach her?
  5. What if she did not acknowledge her offense when you approached her?
  6. Or what if she is offended by your approach and how should she respond?
  7. What if she came to you about your poor approach and you did not acknowledge your offense?
  8. What if you and she are at loggerheads after, and you cannot resolve your dispute with her, (remembering she could be the manager or CEO)?

Unless everyone on the team can successfully answer the above eight questions in unison, i.e., singing from the same hymn book, I don’t believe a team can ever safely claim to feel psychologically safe. And if no two team members can answer these questions the same, then maybe it is true, and Psychological Safety is just a myth.

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