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ADPList BeMore Festival - The 3As of Psychological Safety

Magda Miu
September 21, 2022

ADPList BeMore Festival - The 3As of Psychological Safety

Psychological Safety is an increasingly present concept in the management of high-performing teams. Having psychological safety represents an essential condition to be able to have more engaged and productive teams.

Starting from a concrete challenge from two of my teams and applying the knowledge I got from the specialists,  Amy Edmondson and Timothy Clark, I have to build a workshop about psychological safety. Later on, by wanting to scale this workshop to other teams, it became the foundation for a very easy-to-apply framework that I called “The 3As of Psychological Safety”.

Join me to learn more about it!

The recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCp-Fx1_cJQ

Magda Miu

September 21, 2022

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  1. @magdamiu The 3As of Psychological Safety Magda Miu | Engineering

    Manager @Adobe
  2. @magdamiu Agenda • WHY => Research & Define the concept

    [15’] • HOW => Apply the 3As of Psychological Safety [15’] • WHAT => Concrete actions to do from today [5’] WHY HOW WHAT
  3. WHY Research & Define the concept

  4. @magdamiu Psychological Safety is a belief that one will not

    be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes. Harvard professor Dr. Amy Edmondson
  5. @magdamiu f(Psychological Safety ) = Trust + Permission + Respect

  6. @magdamiu YAY This is Psychological Safety NAY This is NOT

    Psychological Safety Freedom to share thoughts Saying anything you want Expressing concerns Letting your emotions go as you please Allocating tasks and coaching when needed Leadership taking a laissez-faire approach A space where people feel a sense of ease and support A space free of any inner discomfort Taking measured risks after considering possible scenarios Taking risks and hoping for the best Everything is considered Everything is tolerated
  7. @magdamiu What happens behind the scenes We seek to avoid,

    not always in a conscious way, the interpersonal risks: • We don’t want to appear ignorant, so we don’t ask questions • We don’t want to look incompetent, so we don’t admit mistakes • We don’t want to be intrusive, so we don’t offer ideas • We don’t want to seem negative, so we don’t question the status quo We tend to discount the future in favour of today. This is also called the present bias, and explains why we shut down and disengage.
  8. @magdamiu Psychological safety was by far the most important of

    the five key dynamics we found. It's the underpinning of the other four. Julia Rozovsky “The five keys to a successful Google team”
  9. @magdamiu Why it matters A 2017 Gallup poll found that

    only 3 in 10 employees strongly agree with the statement that their opinions count at work. By moving the ratio to 6 in 10 employees it results: – 27% reduction in turnover – 40% reduction in safety incidents – 12% increase in productivity Researchers around the world have found that psychological safety offers benefits for learning, engagement, innovation, and performance in a wide range of organizations. 50% of employees are more PRODUCTIVE in a psych safety teams 76% of employees are more ENGAGED in a psych safety teams 50% of employees are more LIKELY TO STAY in a psych safety teams
  10. @magdamiu The Performance Quadrant COMFORT zone People are open and

    collegial but not challenged. They will not reach their potential for performance. This team may be long lasting, because there is low incentive to change, and will achieve at least some of their goals. 😌 LEARNING zone People collaborate and learn in the service of high performance, getting complex and innovative work done. The team demonstrates a strong drive to deliver results. This zone is also called “High Performance Zone”. 🤩 APATHY zone People show up at work with their hearts and minds elsewhere. This team will not achieve anything meaningful, and may demonstrate a relatively high turnover of team members. 🥱 ANXIETY zone People are reluctant to offer ideas, try new things, or ask for help, putting the work at risk. These teams are often characterised by high turnover of team members, high burnout, high stress levels and conflict. 🥺 PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS low low high high The good teams, I suddenly thought, don't make more mistakes; they report more.
  11. HOW Apply the 3As of Psychological Safety

  12. @magdamiu The challenge… ⭐ Situation: the team members are afraid

    to speak up and to share half-ideas Task: to improve the psychological safety inside of my teams Action: plan, do, check Result: improved engagement and collaboration
  13. @magdamiu The 3As of Psychological Safety From idea to a

    scaled concept Address the results Assess the context Advertise the concept
  14. The Framework: The 3As of Psychological Safety

  15. The Workshop

  16. WHAT Concrete actions to do from today

  17. 3 Ideas & Practices for IC and not only 1.

    Have a common understanding/language ◦ “Black Hole Words” and the power of asking stupid questions (inspired by Molly Graham) ◦ Samples: feedback, mistakes 2. Model and practice curiosity ◦ Avoid “why” questions ◦ Don’t mistake silence for agreement ◦ Share your perspective and invite your colleagues to share also theirs: ▪ What are we missing? ▪ What other options might we consider? ▪ Who has a different point of view? ▪ Do you have experiences with things like that? 3. Be inclusive in decision making ◦ Solicit input, opinions, and feedback from your colleagues ◦ Don’t interrupt or allow interruptions (e.g., step in when someone is interrupted and ensure his/her idea is heard) ◦ Acknowledge input from others (e.g., highlight when your colleagues were contributors to a success or decision)
  18. 3 Ideas & Practices for Leaders and not only 1.

    Run effective 1:1s ◦ Main topics: issues and concerns, give and receive feedback, career conversations ◦ Listen to understand ◦ When you receive bad news from your team members ▪ “Thank you for letting me know” ▪ “What could be done?” (look forward) 2. Frame the work to handle ambiguity ◦ Frame the work as a learning problem(we run experiments), not an execution problem ◦ Define together with your team processes, frameworks, plans and review them periodically ◦ Recognize that new projects/initiatives have uncertainty and risk ◦ Acknowledge your own failures, and the lessons learned 3. A team with purpose is engaged, inspired, and psychologically safe ◦ Define with your team the values, mission and team alliance
  19. @magdamiu Speaking up is only the first step. The true

    test is how leaders respond when people actually speak up. Harvard professor Dr. Amy Edmondson
  20. @magdamiu Learn about the concept: • [video] What is Psychological

    Safety? by Timothy Clark • [video] What Psychological Safety Is Not: How Organizations Miss the Mark by Timothy Clark • [audio] Spotify playlist about Psychological Safety • [research] Psychological safety and the critical role of leadership development • [article] How to Get Your Team to Challenge Your Ideas • [research] The five keys to a successful Google team • [research] New Data Highlights Value of Psychological Safety in the Workplace - Ecsell Institute Shares Empirical Evidence on How Managers Can Improve (Jan 2022) • [article] 10 Red Flags That Psychological Safety Is Lacking In Your Workplace • [article] Why psychological safety is the key to creativity and innovation in the workplace Resources to share with your colleagues: • [video - 12 min] Building a psychologically safe workplace | Amy Edmondson | TEDxHGSE • [article - 5 min] High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here's How to Create It • [article - 7 min] Research: To Excel, Diverse Teams Need Psychological Safety • [article - 5 min] Make Your Meetings a Safe Space for Honest Conversation • [article - 5 min] What is Psychological Safety? (FAQ with Management Experts) Resources
  21. Extra Details about The Framework

  22. @magdamiu Advertise the concept Clarify for yourself the concept of

    Psychological Safety and share the knowledge with your colleagues: • Step 1: Learn about Psychological Safety • Step 2: Advertise and talk about this concept with your colleagues • Step 3: Share resources to help them learn more about it
  23. @magdamiu Assess the context Measure the current level of Psychological

    Safety: • Step 1: Evaluate the level of Psychological Safety between each team member and the leader (survey with free form questions) • Step 2: Evaluate the level of Psychological Safety between all the team members (survey with single option questions) • Step 3: Self-evaluation, especially if you are a leader These 2 surveys help you to measure the current level of Psychological Safety. Based on the results you could decide if it is the case to move to the 3rd A, but also it helps to measure the impact if you already organised the workshop.
  24. @magdamiu Team Member & Leader Good questions also for 1:1s

    😉 1. What’s the thing you see me doing that’s helping me best contribute to the team? 2. What’s the thing I do that’s detracting from our success? 3. What’s one thing I need to know about you that will improve our relationship? 4. What’s one thing you need from me that will enable you to be successful? 5. What’s one gift, skill or talent you have that I’ve overlooked, undervalued or underutilized? 6. What motivates you and how can we bring more of that to your work?
  25. @magdamiu All Team Members Max score 28p (7x4) [strongly disagree

    (1) / disagree (2) / agree (3) / strongly agree (4)] 1. If you make a mistake on this team, it is NOT held against you. 2. Members of this team are able to bring up problems and tough issues. 3. People on this team NEVER reject others for being different. 4. It is safe to take a risk on this team. 5. It is EASY to ask other members of this team for help. 6. No one on this team would deliberately act in a way that undermines my efforts. 7. Working with members of this team, my unique skills and talents are valued and utilized.
  26. @magdamiu Assess your personal impact 7 questions/areas to assess your

    personal impact on Psychological Safety by Timothy R. Clark 1. Presence: Does your presence has an impact on the tone and tenor of a meeting? 2. Collaboration: How do you influence the decisions? 3. Feedback: Fear breaks the feedback loop. Does your influence increase or restrict the flow of feedback? 4. Inquiry: Does your influence draw people out or shut them down? 5. Dissent: It is critical to making good decisions. Do you encourage and reward dissent or discourage and punish dissent? 6. Mistakes: They are clinical material for learning and progress. Do you celebrate mistakes & the lessons learned or overreact & marginalize those who make them? 7. Unvarnished Truth: Can people tell you what you don’t want to hear when you don’t want to hear it?
  27. @magdamiu Address the results Schedule and run the workshop: •

    Step 1: Run the workshop to have a common understanding about what Psychological Safety is (increase awareness and identify the quadrant area for your team) • Step 2: Define action items - each team member selects from “Behaviours from Learning Zone” concrete behaviours to work on for the next 6 months • Step 3: Continuous improvement - review the status of the action items during 1:1s and retrospectives. Repeat the workshop each 6 months.
  28. @magdamiu Behaviours from Learning Zone 🤩