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Leading Psychological Safety

I’m feeling really energised after our webinar conversation about leading psychological safety in the workplace! Listening to Alice Lundsten, Acting Head of Demand & Capacity Programme, and Leigh Forsyth, Acting Senior Improvement Manager in Emergency Care Improvement, both at NHS England and NHS Improvement share their insights was inspiring and practical. And the conversation/ Q&A that followed helped to bring the topic to life for individuals as they considered the messages in relation to their own experience.


In our first webinar introducing psychological safety in the workplace for managers and leaders, Roy Magara and I explored what we mean by the term,  what it looks like for them and some of the practices for working towards achieving it. It is essential to actively create the work culture you want, as it directly impacts wellbeing, performance and your company reputation.


Brewdog is a great example of a company that hasn’t prioritised psychological safety and has faced the consequences in a widely-shared, scathing, open letter that has really put their company into focus for the wrong reasons. To say that ignoring their culture and absence of psychological safety has impacted on their reputation, is an understatement.


Not only does ignorance, denial or simply the attitude that it’s not important have the potential to affect the likelihood of current employees sticking around, but it’s likely to affect future recruitment and ultimately sales and share prices. And that doesn’t touch the elephant in the room; the mental wellbeing of employees who are experiencing emotional challenges due to their work experience. We have a moral, legal and ethical obligation to get this right.


Psychological safety isn’t something that is definitive – it is personal and it evolves. It is a continuous process that people need to be conscious of – in terms of what they want their work experience to feel like, and how to achieve it. It is a journey rather than a text book model and that is why it’s important to make space to plan, share, reflect, ask questions and involve your workforce in the development of your culture, including how to hold each other accountable.


Alice and Leigh have been successful in creating high performing teams who feel good about themselves, their work and each other.


Hearing what they have shared is a healthy challenge to those people who believe that psychological safety is ‘pie in the sky’ ideology. It can be realised – even if not company wide yet. You can make a real difference for your own team. And if the experience isn’t right for you from those in more senior positions who continue to under-value psychological safety, you have feet… use them.


Check out the recording (there are no slides so why not get away from your computer and listen in a way that feels most engaging) and then drop me a line or continue the chat on the LinkedIn post to share what resonates and to ask your questions.


We must keep the conversation alive about the need to prioritise psychological safety and the reality of achieving it in a world that is far from ideal.