Psychological safety is the latest buzzphrase in organizational research. As I interpret it, it simply means feeling safe to speak up. It may well turn out to help create the holy grail of safety in teams, but at the moment, much more research needs to be done.
On the contrary, I believe we should focus more on what makes us feel psychologically unsafe and tackle this. And when you think about it, this question is pretty simple to answer.
Personal biases rule our lives; it’s what we use when we need to think fast (Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman). And it allows us to function in this fast passed world when we need to make quick decisions. But our fast thinking and biases have a downside and can cause others and ourselves pain and offense when our biased behavior is left unchecked.
We all know one person we work with who we feel UNSAFE to share serious suggestions with, right? Afraid they may not only disagree with us but chew our head off for daring to disagree with them. To me, this person’s biased behavior creates psychological unsafety.
A POSSIBLE SOLUTION
But what if we agreed that we could counter each other’s biased behavior in a controlled and objective intervention. And if, after 3 attempts, we were unsuccessful, we could involve some of our professional peers to assist us in this intervention? And what if this was done using an online network service, Software as a Service SaaS, as it were.
We basically do this now using personal conversations in a roundabout way, making sure our biases are not running unchecked. However, many of these conversations involve gossiping and backbiting, which only reinforces our biases, creates a toxic environment and contributes to our psychological unsafety.
Our SaaS network comes in handy as a responsible and transparent deterrent. When used as a last-ditched-effort to resolve an ongoing dispute exposed by our one-on-one intervention, it becomes a more effective solution than using malicious gossip and back stabbing. Disputz Network…. we’ve got your back!