Building an efficient and effective team is a goal that every leader strives to achieve. I have recently had the opportunity to do more research on what makes a team more likely to succeed. Success begins with psychological safety within the team. When a team is psychologically safe it allows the team members to feel valued and comfortable speaking their mind, paving the way for exceptional collaboration and innovation. As a leader it's important to consider the psychological safety of your team.
The most effective leaders understand the significance of creating such an environment. Take Alan Mulally, the former Ford and Boeing CEO, for example. He has been decorated with numerous awards and most notably “Chief Executive of the Year'' by Chief Executive Magazine. What was his secret weapon you might ask? It's his principle of “Working Together”, something that cannot exist without psychological safety. Mullay’s principle believes in creating unity and collaboration in the workplace. This is done through the understanding of a common goal as well as making all team members feel valued. These aspects are crucial to fostering success within the team.
Mulally is not the only one reaping the benefits of psychological safety within his team. Barbara Martin Coppola, the CEO of Decathlon, understands the most important asset that she has in her company is its people. She sees them as more than just employees that are simply there to punch in and punch out, they are her teammates who can allow Decathlon to achieve greater goals. This is a profound shift in mindset, now these teammates feel appreciated and understand their value to the organization. This allows them to take pride in the work they are doing and always look for ways to improve.
Decathlon also practices “Bottom-up Innovation”. They value every teammate's opinion, regardless of where they stand in the hierarchical structure. When you are willing to listen to the opinions of the entire team, it results in a diverse range of perspectives allowing for greater innovation and overall success.
To conclude this post on psychological safety, it is important to understand that leadership principles like “Working Together” or “Bottom-up Innovation” are an important step you can take towards making your team more successful. There is no one size fits all for every team but the core of all these principles stem from the same place. These principles recognize that people are the most important asset of an organization and by creating a safe and empowering environment you encourage unity toward a shared goal. This sets the stage for a more efficient and effective team that can accomplish more than ever before.