The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety

Measure and Improve the Psychological Safety on Your Team

The Four Stages of Psychological Safety

The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety is a universal pattern that reflects the natural progression of human needs in any social setting.

When leaders, teams, organizations, boards, schools – any social unit – pass through these four stages they become deeply inclusive cultures, with accelerated learning, contributions, and innovative problem-solving.

Psychological safety is the #1 variable in team performance, and as revealed in Google’s Project Aristotle, it is the top factor in high-performing teams. Psychological Safety means it is not expensive to be yourself. You are welcomed and invited to bring your full and invested self to your work performance. It is an environment of high-respect and high permission to contribute – a zone of rewarded risk and vulnerability.

Psychological Safety has four stages and all teams possess some level based on a combination of 1) respect and 2) permission to participate as perceived by the members of the team.

Stage 1

You feel included, accepted, and part of the team

Stage 2

You feel safe to engage, ask questions, give and receive feedback

Stage 3

Your feel free and able to contribute, using your skills, talents and abilities to make a meaningful difference

Stage 4

You feel free and able to challenge the status quo – and you can do all this without the fear of being embarrassed, marginalized or punished in some way

Psychological Safety is a culture of high-intellectual friction and low-social friction. And most importantly, psychological safety is modeled and coached by you, from the top down. Your team is a direct reflection of your behaviors.

Be the cultural architect of your workplace.

Psychological Safety builds upon the foundation of EQ by addressing the behaviors and stages of progression needed for thriving social units. By measuring your team performance now, you will quickly gain the data to learn how to improve it. Culture can change in a heartbeat. Gain the insights to make your change for the good.

I am a certified 4 Stages of Psychological Safety practitioner. I offer workshops, webinars and speaking engagements, along with the formal Team Survey and a non-profit discount for school systems and boards of education.

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