Google Project Aristotle showed how best teams performed and found that “psychological safety” is the most vital ingredient to flourish as a high-performance team.
Teams were defined as “highly interdependent - they plan work, solve problems, make decisions, and review progress in service of a specific project. Team members need one another to get work done.” 1
Effectiveness was sought using the combination of qualitative assessments and quantitative measures from Executive, team leader, team member, and Sales performance perspectives. From this data, “the researchers found that what really mattered was less about who is on the team, and more about how the team worked together.” 2
There are five key components of effective teams, and psychological safety was most critical. It is a mindset not to be punished to be humane, sharing negative emotions in appropriate situations, treat others as team members and make sure those members are really heard, and not thinking work as just “labor” or efficiency. 3
In another words, high performance teams are teams that can take risks for interpersonal communication. Amy Edmondson gives three advices for what individual can do. ”Frame the work as a learning problem, not an execution problem; acknowledge your own fallibility; model curiosity.” 4
When you are happy and energized to open the computer to start the day and you see another smiley face on your manager/instructor and colleagues, you are likely to be in an effective team!
As a discussion specialist, “psychological safety” is necessary in running a vibrant discussion.