It seems that everyone is talking about Psychological Safety nowadays. Still, no one seems to be talking so much about the basic protections needed to create such an environment.
“Safety” seems to be more the state of mind we are aspiring for, and “protections” appear to be actual steps taken to achieve safety.
The protections to create Psychological Safety will need to be simple to apply and set up to protect the most vulnerable. Proponents of Psychological Safety seem to focus on educating potential bullies on how they should behave, but this DOES NOT offer real protection for the victim, in my view. Abuse will still occur at times, and team members will still need real protection before becoming victims of it. No one, in my view, is going to feel really safe until organizations have adapted real-world protections into the company’s charter to tackle our biases and misbehaviors.
Here are the protections that I believe need to be instituted into every organization to achieve Psychological Safety.
- All disagreements are deemed thoughtful until they devolve into a dispute as one or more participants play the man and not the ball. It becomes personal.
- We disagree with the content of the discussion but object to any misbehavior detected, in real-time, when someone plays the man.
- When we object, we do it in 3 phases or steps, escalating the objection, if needed from a 1.Caution, to an official 2.Objection, to a 3.Stop, with a different level of response to each objection stage.
- At the third step of objection, the still unresolved dispute is posted on the independent Disputz Network to be reviewed by our peers. If necessary, a vote is taken and a recommendation made.
*No HR or management is needed to resolve these still minor disputes, as this is an independent and self-organizing dispute resolution system, saving trillions of dollars globally!