The term “psychological safety” is believed to have been first employed and explored by organizational researchers Edgar Schein and Warren Bennis in 1965, defining it as “an atmosphere where one can take chances (which experimentalism implies) without fear and with sufficient protection.” (Schein and Bennis, 1965, p. 44)”From Wikipedia:
Some 57 years later, and although we are still talking about psychological safety in the workplace, most seem to be leaving out the provision for “sufficient protections.” Without these protections in place, in my opinion everything else offered by the so-called experts ends up as just cliches and platitudes.
So, what tangible protections can we offer that will provide a safe environment for team members to speak up without fear of being talked down to or spoken about behind our backs? Good question. Let’s ask this question of every author writing about psychology safety. If they are not offering any actual protections, then beware. Maybe they are snake oil salespeople pushing their own agenda.
Here are the tangible protections I am proposing.
First: Provide a documented standard procedure (see below) to protect every team member. All agreeing to use it when one feels threatened, offended, or uncomfortable by another team member or manager’s behavior.
Second: Provide a review network to resolve any unresolved conflict that may arise when using the protection procedure. “Sunshine is the best disinfectant” and protection.
Third: Use the anonymous data through the SpatzAI, detailing the team’s resolved and unresolved spats, disputes and conflicts. Allowing organizations, and investors to protect their investments, predicting the success or failure of a team by correlating the data with teams’ performance.