Teams are most effective when team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable with one another. Without psychological safety, leaders are unable to foster impact, meaning, structure, and dependability on their teams. Without psychological safety, these other traits of high performing teams simply aren’t relevant.
The people on your team must first feel they can express themselves, speak openly, and make mistakes without fear of retribution before they can contribute at a high level.
Fostering psychological safety on your team begins with viewing mistakes as learning opportunities. The best way to implement this mindset is for you as a leader to set an example. Sharing your own mistakes and how you overcame them demonstrates to your team that you aren’t perfect. While you strive for excellence, you understand people are human and mistakes are opportunities for everyone to learn and improve.
With this mindset in place, feedback becomes a powerful tool. Rather than punitive, critical feedback is seen as showing you care and want to invest time in helping team members develop into the best version of themselves.