Psychological safety training is really about liberation.
Liberation is the act of releasing; what needs to be released and how to achieve this release are covered extensively in psychological safety workshops. These training programmes optimise workplace creativity, innovation and ultimately, maximise potential.
Without a psychologically safe environment at work, people will never go out of their way to achieve their potential. To unleash all that people have to offer, they must know that they will be accepted and respected.
The shackles that hold people back is the fear that they will not be accepted for who they are.
To understand the important role personal liberation plays, psychological safety training will unpack the key steps associated with becoming all that every person should be when given the opportunity to be.
Treading the stepping stones
The first step to psychological safety at work is to recognise that without a sense of belonging, it is difficult to find the meaning of our existence.
We all search for belonging to connect us to the world and to other people. Within the workplace, we naturally come together through shared experiences. This, however, needs to be shaped in ways that build rather than dilute our sense of belonging.
When we seek our commonalities and connections to others, our sense of belonging will deepen. Knowing that we all struggle to connect, in different ways and at different times, will build the bond that we are more similar than dissimilar.
We will come to terms with the fact that diversity does not equate to the need for separateness and isolation. Part of the shift to inclusion is the concept of validation. We no longer argue with the legitimacy of others’ internal experience. Everyone is recognised as the expert of their own lives. They have an unquestionable right to interpret their lived experience. This is liberating. The role of others is simply to listen and seek understanding. Never being judged is a release.
When we have succeeded in establishing an environment that includes everyone, the next step is to facilitate safety in learning.
Belonging supports risk-taking and exploration. We learn better when we are not guarded in terms of our verbal, physical, psychological or emotional states.
When people are comfortable and safe, they become open. Guards are dropped. When we have achieved psychological safety in the workplace, learning becomes interactive and more sociable. Making mistakes, admitting errors and changing our minds are all critical to successful learning, particularly in a work context.
We can also dissent, debate and feel free to put forth our views and opinions constructively.
In this spirit, learning becomes a more interactive and collaborative process. Supporting and influencing how others learn while learning, ourselves, is a liberating experience.
We begin to understand that learning is a unique experience where we can go at our own pace and discover our own way.
Leadership plays a vital role in encouraging everyone to feel safe to contribute to the transformation of the workplace into a psychologically safe place. Online leadership training underscores that this will require careful nurturing. Leaders may need to judge what to include in a psychological safety workshop, with the objective being to illuminate why it is essential for people to be clear about what is important to help them feel safe.
Individual needs and wants must be uncovered to establish effective processes of communicating and sharing. Everyone needs to take responsibility to shape what is okay and not okay.
We feel more liberated when we know what we can expect and count on in our relationships with others. It is a reciprocal commitment to a new dynamic that all have agreed to.
Finally, when we have completed psychological safety training, everyone will know that it is safe to challenge the status quo.
We come to the realisation that stagnation is the enemy of progress. Challenging the status quo is, in fact, a cherished attribute within a workplace. At the heart of this step is getting to the “why” of things. When we examine things closely, it is easier to make an informed choice.
Whether to change or not is less important than the process of being free to question.
Ultimately, when people are liberated with psychological safety at work, the energy unleashed will flow through every single facet of the organisation. This force becomes transformative.