How Psychological Safety Can Improve Your Team’s Performance

By Jessy Satti
Pakmen Volleyball Club
u18 Men’s Head Coach

I recently came across an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review entitled High-Performance Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It, by Laura Delizonna PhD. In this article the author talks about psychological safety and how high performing teams need it to be successful.  What is psychological safety?  It is the belief that you will not be punished when you make a mistake. Often times where fear is present, the athlete’s brain tends to ignite a fight or flight response where it can handicap strategical thinking and breakdown analytical reasoning.

Psychological safety allows the brain to use the broaden and build mode instead of fight or flight. Broaden and build allows players to solve complex problems and helps them use positive emotions to become more resilient, motivated and persistent. Here are some tips they give to increase psychological safety on your own team that help create positive emotions like trust, curiosity, confidence, and inspiration:

  • Approach conflict as a collaborator, not an adversary
  • Speak human to human
  • Anticipate reactions and plan countermoves
  • Replace blame with curiosity
  • Ask for feedback on delivery
  • Measure psychological safely

To read the full article, click here.