Cause & Effect – Cart Before Horse
The relationship between behavior and psychological safety is complex, and it can be challenging to establish a clear cause-and-effect relationship. However, experts generally agree that behavior is crucial in creating and maintaining a psychologically safe environment.
The following is the sort of standard hyperbolae that most psychology experts would agree on:
“By creating a culture of psychological safety, team members may feel more comfortable taking interpersonal risks, which can lead to greater innovation, creativity, and productivity.”
However, I think the same experts may have confused the cause and effect, and we could rewrite the statement as such:
“By behaving ‘well’ when resolving our differences, we can feel more comfortable taking interpersonal risks, which creates a culture of psychological safety, leading to greater innovation, creativity, and productivity.”
If this stands, it would mean that psychological safety is not the solution that everyone seems to be making it out to be, but the result of behaving “well” during disagreements.
It may be possible that we could achieve the solution to psychological safety by providing “sufficient protection” for team members to “behave well” during disagreements, as first posited by Shien and Bennis in 1965:
“Psychological safety is an atmosphere
one *[two or more] can take chances…without fear & with sufficient protection.”
Edgar Schein and Warren Bennis in 1965 – Psychological Safety – Wikipedia *my addition
By providing a well designed and simple intervention such as the SpatzAI platform and toolkit, we may be able to provide this protection for team members to speak up and thus achieve this atmosphere of psychological safety.
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