Why is mental safety important in work situations?

Why is mental safety important in work situations?
Leaders need to create an atmosphere of honesty, which does not mean a comfortable atmosphere (Getty Images)

Amy Edmundson is Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, Dedicated to the study of teamwork, mental safety, scientific safety, and organizational learning. In several articles he considered that the traditional culture of “fit in” and “go forward” meant the destruction of the knowledge economy. For a work team to succeed, the leader must create a “personal climate” that allows for a “continuous flow of new ideas”.

“Because there is so much risk in innovation, creativity and spark, It is essential to attract and retain quality talent, but what good is this ability if no one can give their opinion?”, Edmundson states. He continues: “Traditional culture means ‘fit-in’ and ‘forward’ means the elimination of the knowledge economy. Success requires a constant flow of new ideas, new challenges and critical thinking, and there is no need to suppress or silence or ridicule or intimidate each other.” Manifested in many of his works.

“Not all ideas are good, yes, there are stupid questions, yes, disagreement can slow things down, but talking about these things is an important part of the creative process.. People should be able to express half-finished thoughts, ask questions from the left area and communicate ideas out loud; That’s it A small mistake or a momentary fall creates a culture that is not a big deal, real mistakes are identified and corrected, and the next left field concept can be the next big thing, ”said the specialist.

These activities are part of what Edmundson called it “Mental security” of working conditions And how leaders should promote it in their teams.

"I am not saying that personal risks are easy in a psychologically safe environment."Edmundson (Getty Images)
“I’m not saying personal risk is easy in a psychologically safe environment,” Edmundson said (Getty Images).

“Mental security is the general belief that an environment is safe for personal risk. At personal risk, you can ask a simple question that you already seem to know the answer to, or share a half-thought, or talk about a concern. Anyway, It is a climate of frankness. I want to be clear: it does not mean a comfortable atmosphere. I’m not saying personal risks are easy in a psychologically safe environment, but they are practical, ”said the specialist.

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But he acknowledged that not all leaders exercise because they are the ones who create the environment. They are willing to challenge themselves and others to do more than we think is possible. They immediately and regularly draw attention to the fact that it is not easy. That means people need to talk and be prepared to take the risks needed for innovation. This is a condition Support and challenge at the same time. “

He said he has found that when a psycho-psychologically safe space is created, teams make better discoveries.

“There are a lot of studies and the evidence is very clear Psychologically secure teams have high performance and high levels of innovation. They are more willing to talk and more honest about what’s right and wrong. “.

Harvard specialist confirms that leaders who promote psychologically safe environments are people with great “curiosity” and they are team leaders “Motivation, curiosity, is not excessive. Those are the beautiful features, ”he ressed.

“There are three attitudes that leaders need to take to create mental security and promote innovation Humility, curiosity and empathy, “Edmundson listed. “Humility includes: ‘I do not have all the answers.’ The realization that there is still much to learn is always interesting.

By definition, he asked us to recognize that we are all human beings who can be misunderstood. When we think we can work our fallen man, we can give excellence, perhaps paradoxically ”,” he said. Apparently.

But is there anything that interferes with mental security ?: “Of course. Behaviors such as interrupting or immediately rejecting an idea. Those quick moments that you interrupt are broadcast, saying ‘I already knew’, ‘It won’t help’, Rejected.They can easily eliminate people’s desire to contribute. “When you are in a leadership role, you have to be very aware of the impact it may have on others, ”he added.

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Edmundson said she practices meditation and it helps with her leadership exercises. “It helps me a lot when I work to stand and stand, and it has a lot of positive side effects.” “I like this framework of asking yourself if you care about solving, listening to succeed, or listening to learning. If you can hear what you are learning, it already puts you in a better mood.

Listening to a leader who is in contact with his teams should be “curious” asks: What can I learn here? Or, how can this enrich what we know and can do together?

“It simply came to our notice then. It’s thoughtful and bold, “said the specialist (Getty Images).

“I do not mean to imply that all healthy workplaces are full of mental security, that is the standard. In fact, having the highest level of open mind and commitment is quite extraordinary. What makes it a profound achievement is its rarity. When you can present your leaders to be incredible listeners, you really have the ability to put all the extraordinary talents you have assigned into action, ”he said.

But these traits of leaders will eliminate competitiveness or give preference to friendship over competitiveness.

“I’m not bad, of course,” Edmundson considered. “But Good work, especially in the workplace, is often a code of insincerity, “he warned, but clarified his point: “It simply came to our notice then. It’s about thinking boldly Be prepared to tell the truth by admitting that their truth will not be the truth of others, ”he added.

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The epidemic has had different psychological effects on most work conditions, people and equipment, but how did the Kovid-19 teams’ mental security while working remotely?

To a Harvard specialist “Remote work affects general mental security. It is more difficult for people to bend over and say what they think, and it is more difficult to read other people’s body language, interests and curiosity.

At the same time, we are more exposed to the personal challenges of others. We see each other’s homes and children, the bell rings, which makes vulnerability more real, more present and more needed.

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