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Psychological Safety or Freedom to be Yourself

psychological safety

Research proves psychological safety means the freedom to be yourself

In 2012, Google invested millions of dollars to discover the secret of productivity.

What sets high-performing teams apart from the rest? Communication skills? Time management? The common interests of their members? The amount of time people spend together after work? Education? Background? Gender? Personal traits?

To honor one of the great thinkers who believed that the whole is more than just a sum of its parts, they named the study “Project Aristotle”. 180 teams were observed.

Hundreds of interviews with leaders and members were conducted. Researchers concluded that the most important prosperity factor is “psychological safety”. Freedom for people to be themselves. Freedom to risk and to fail. Opportunity to learn from mistakes and grow, believing their team is a safe zone with no labels, no criticism, no insults. In teams with high psychological safety levels, anyone is allowed to admit mistakes, ask random questions, and offer crazy ideas with confidence they would not be humiliated or punished.

The psychological safety principle is deeply incorporated in the essence of generative coaching.

To “generate” means to create something new, something that hasn’t existed before. If one wants to achieve an authentic generative state and to inspire some new ideas, one must be ready to accept all the aspects of life and human nature not just the pleasant ones. As if we invite problems “to a cup of tea”, аpproach them with a friendly attitude, observe them, and seek the positive intention or secondary gain in each challenge.

The secret ingredient of generative coaching that makes it so effective is utilizing the benefits of the biochemistry of thinking. Whenever we experience emotions, mentally or in real life, our bodies react, activating specific parts of our brains, releasing hormones, stimulating some organs, and triggering systems that influence our behavior and choices. And if we are smart enough to take advantage of these opportunities, why not do it?

We need a generative state and psychological safety attitude including towards ourselves, be curious about what challenge will come out, and welcome it for a cup of tea.

Individual generative coaching sessions are always a good way to experience all of that.