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  • Writer's pictureAndy Goram

Episode 7 - The Impact of Psychological Safety

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

This is a full transcript of Episode 7 of the Sticky From The Inside Podcast with Andy Goram and Helen Frewin, where they discuss the topic of Psychological Safety, including what it is, where it's come from and the impact it has on employee engagement and workplace culture. Plus they offer up some useful, practical advice on how to increase the levels of it in your business and reap the benefits of it.

A man and a woman discuss psychological safety and its effect on employee engagement and workplace culture
Helen Frewin (left) and Andy Goram (right) discuss Psychological Safety on the Sticky From The Inside podcast

00:00:10 Andy Goram

Hello and welcome to Sticky from the inside. The Employee Engagement podcast that looks at how to build stickier, competition-smashing, consistently successful organisations from the inside out. I'm your host Andy Goram and I'm on a mission to help more businesses turn the lights on behind the eyes of their employees like the fires within them and create tonnes more success for everyone.

This podcast is for all those who believe that’s something worth going after and would like a little help and guidance in achieving that. Each episode we dive into the topics that can help create what I call stickier businesses, the sort of businesses where people thrive and love to work and where more customers stay with you and recommend you to others because they love what you do and why you do it. So, if you want to take the tricky out of being sticky, listen on.

00:01:11 Andy Goram

Right then, not too long ago, Google set out on a quest to figure out what makes a great team successful. They codenamed the study “Project Aristotle”. You might have heard of it. Now, what did that project conclude? Well, it found that the most important factor contributing to a team's effectiveness had absolutely nothing to do with the intelligence, experience, or enthusiasm of its members. No, instead success lay in how co-workers related to each other. And the key ingredient to this was something called Psychological Safety.

Now luckily with me today to discuss this topic in a bit more detail is friend, business psychologist, executive coach, professional speaker and Co. Host of the popular Totem Talks podcast, Helen Frewin.

00:01:59 Helen Frewin


00:02:00 Andy Goram

Hi, Helen, how are you?

00:02:02 Helen Frewin

Yeah, really well thanks, Andy. Thank you for having me here today. Delighted to be talking about this rather hot topic.

00:02:07 Andy Goram

Yeah, I'm really glad you're here. Because I know something of it and I'm interested in the whole project Aristotle thing, but I suspect you're more knowledgeable than me so I'm looking to kind of learn from you and an up the stakes of my understanding today. So it's going to be great. I hope.

00:02:24 Helen Frewin


00:02:25 Andy Goram

What would be really nice, because I know you very well, Helen, but my listeners don't really know that well, so perhaps you could just give us a bit of bit of background into you and what you're currently working on?

00:02:35 Helen Frewin

Sure, so I'm a business psychologist, which means it is my role in life to take research from psychology, Leadership, business schools, all that stuff and say well, that's nice research but how does it help us day-to-day in our job? It's the business side of it. How does it help us to create safe environments for good teams to deliver great work? What that actually means in terms of what I do, I spend about half of my time working on recruitment assessment selection type stuff. So, helping companies with interview skills or assessments and to design competency framework design, all of that kind of assessment piece.

And then about half of my time is management and leadership development coaching consultancy around getting great teams to work, hence my interest in psychological safety.

00:03:23 Andy Goram

Cool, and I think it's only fair that we share how we know each other. So, our relationship goes back to Gala Coral Group days. I think it was in my casino phase, as I'll call it, where you had, frankly, a rum old task of trying to organise, at that time, a pretty dysfunctional leadership team. And I do remember thinking, you have bitten off quite a lot here. But you helped and sorted us out, and I think we went on to be a pretty good team, actually.

00:04:01 Helen Frewin

And that was me seeing you in your absolute sweet spot. I mean when you talk about what you do now, we were defining the values of Gala Casinos. We were trying to get that match between brand and people and that was you in your element. It was the first time I'd really seen you operate and that translation of well, what's the brand that we present externally? How does that mean we behave internally? It was amazing to see you there right in your sweet spot.

00:04:31 Andy Goram

Oh! bless you, that's very kind of you say. I loved those days. It was proper grown-up stuff I felt, but at the same time I was just like a kid in a candy store. I mean to get to work on lining-up brand story and people story and customer story was a bit of a gift, really, and it's no surprise to me if I'm honest, that I've now gone back to trying to do that for a living in totality now. So, it's very kind of you. I just remember you being incredibly patient with, at times a bunch of schoolkids, really. And I think what was great and what I learned from you at the time was, do you know what, you can be a really lovely, engaging, friendly person, but cross me and you’re in trouble. Because you didn't take any nonsense at times. And that's exactly what we needed. It was absolutely brilliant. I loved it.

00:05:28 Helen Frewin

Patience up until a line.

00:05:31 Andy Goram

I mean, everyone's’ patience gets pushed at some point, right? So, I think that's fine. So, look, we we're going to talk about psychological safety today. For people who don't really know too much about it. How would you sum it up?

00:05:47 Helen Frewin

So, for me, and there’s a large thing here, about trust. It's largely about trust, but it's a specific kind of trust. So it's not just for me to say, “Oh Andy, I really like you and I trust you”, or, “I respect you.” It’s for me to say, “Andy, when we're working together, and I'm not sure how to do something, I feel safe.” I feel that I can trust you to say, “Andy. I'm not sure what I'm doing,” or, “Andy. I messed up like something is gone really quite wrong. I think our customers might be upset. I think there could be a problem here,” that I trust that 1: It's OK for me to speak up and do that. You're not going to fire me or shout at me or hang me out to dry, but also that then there's a kind of encouragement of not only am I safe to do that, I'm even encouraged to do that because when I share my mistakes, when we can talk about failure in a really positive way, we can all learn from it.

00:06:44 Andy Goram

No, I think that's really important, and I mean I see it myself in some of the work that I do. So, if you take engagement surveys, for example. Traditionally those things have been made up of probably a mish-mash of the Gallup 12 questions or some research from Aon Hewitt or whatever it might be. But of late, adding in the psychological safety-type questions. So, “do you feel comfortable speaking up?” “Do you think others speak up?” “Are you listened to?” “Do you feel you have opportunities to input your own ideas and thoughts without judgement?” Those sorts of questions are beginning to become more popular. And in the work that you do with companies is there a greater awareness of psychological safety now. Are you seeing that?

00:07:31 Helen Frewin

Definitely, and that also ties in with the huge increase in focus on diversity and inclusion this year because you've got you know, people working from home, the whole kind of work and life thing has been completely mushed *technical term*. People are trying to work out how to navigate through that. And then you've got post George Floyd, massively greater interest in improving diversity and inclusion. So tie that all together, people are much more interested in this point. Like you said, do you feel heard? Do I feel heard as a woman? Does someone feel heard as an Indian colleague, a black colleague? Do we feel like we're being listened to? Is sort of the diversity and inclusion piece, and that's part of psychological safety. Do I feel like my opinion counts? Am I comfortable raising a mistake or a concern? So, all of these things are very much linked and very much getting a far greater level of interest this year.

00:08:31 Andy Goram

It's almost like we're pulling back the veneer on that piece in in business about, or certainly in engagement, in my world, about people feeling valued. So, to me it's peeling back the sort of sticker of feeling valued and really trying to understand on a deeper level now, what that really means. Not just, we like you. Thank you for your work. But a deeper understanding of the individual.

00:08:57 Helen Frewin

Yeah. Definitely.

00:08:58 Andy Goram

I think it's interesting as well because I think it now is beginning to sound like it's forming part of what a successful culture looks like for a business. Traditionally, I guess in the mix there’s been about what I would say three things normally, that's talked about. There's the strong mission and vision which gives people direction and a clarity about what they do and what their role’s there to do. There's the panacea of aligned personal values and company values, right? That's something we'd all love to see. Sometimes difficult to pull off, but you know that's a winning part of a winning culture. And then this prospect of learning and professional growth.

To me, those are three big things that outline a great culture, but on this topic we're talking about today, it almost feels like this is the fourth piece. This is the 4th bit of the jigsaw that's. The psychological safety, the ability, or the feeling that you can be yourself, and you can happily share your ideas. And I think, I mean, I'm interested to sort of see when you're counseling people, coaching people, the being yourself part of psychological safety. I mean, is that becoming more recognised?

00:10:13 Helen Frewin

Yeah, so that tends to come out. We wouldn't have talked about it previously as psychological safety. We would have talked about impostor syndrome. Again on the diversity and inclusion side, people not being heard. People feeling like they couldn't bring their whole self to work.

And it's interesting when you talk about what you describe as the say the second, aspects of culture and aligning personal values and company values. There's a lot more companies these days talking about their values being about helping their employees bring their whole self to work or be their best self. I see that a lot in the language from companies. And the impostor syndrome, you know, I don't really know if I can be my whole self 'cause I don't know if I'm good enough. That starts to play a huge part in this. So, I do see that part of, “Can I be myself?”, so it's a little bit separate to, “Can I raise concerns? Can I be honest about mistakes?” Because “Can I raise concerns? Can I be honest about mistakes?”is about the safe environment that you create for me as my line manager. “Can I be myself?” often comes down to limiting self-beliefs. And impostor syndrome, lack of confidence says perhaps, some slight differences here in where the challenges are?

00:11:27 Andy Goram

No, no. I can. I can absolutely see that. Sometimes when we talk about being yourself, and I think I've heard you talk about this on your own podcast, really, there's a work person and then there's a home person. And I don't know, maybe I'm just too simplistic, but whenever I look back, and I did look back at some of my personality profile stuff right from the past. And occasionally you get the conscious and unconscious self, marks and they overlap them on grids. And you're supposed to see two different dots. I only ever see one dot unfortunately or fortunately, I'm not quite sure. As a business psychologist I'm nervous to ask you whether it's an interesting thing or whether that's going to reveal too much, but, I'm pretty much one of those individuals, that I am what I am. I don't have a home persona and I don't have a work persona, but I recognise the fact that in an environment at work where I'm in, I guess, overwhelm or stress whatever the right terminology is for that sort of stuff, that I don't quite behave the same way. Is that the same or different to the sort of conscious personalities or conscious behaviours that that you would recognise?

00:12:44 Helen Frewin

Yeah, so the difference between that you know, am I the same or different working at home and the line on these products is always to say that there's no right or wrong. But after 20 years of doing these things, I would suggest that actually having consistency between you at work and at home is actually beneficial. Because if we are talking about bringing my whole self to work, then if I'm a very different person with my family or when I'm just more relaxed. What does bringing my whole self, mean? You know, does that mean that I'm two different sides? And often the reason that we're so different at home is because we're trying to protect something or trying to hide something from our colleagues. And actually, if we could just bring our whole self, how would that help us to feel more fulfilled? Get that alignment machine, personal values and so on?

The official product, Psychometric line, is there's no right or wrong, but my experience tells me is that actually I would go with you on it being fortunate there's that line-up. The fact then that you say sometimes I deal with situations differently. And if I'm in overwhelm, that's going to affect me differently. We're all like that, right? We all going to react to different situations in different ways, and depending on our mood or what happened yesterday, we might have a different reaction that's just being a human being.

00:14:03 Andy Goram

OK, so I do qualify as a human being. That's that's good to know from...

00:14:07 Helen Frewin

Yes. Congratulations!

00:14:08 Andy Goram

From a professional business psychologist, that I have joined the human race today. Well, that's one good thing to come out of this podcast episode. So, thank you for that!

I guess for me, thinking about, I'm trying to think about the benefits really because if I put myself in this situation, if I'm acting or I feel comfortable to be myself, it’s less hard work, right? So, if the psychological safety at work is working and I can be myself, I can share my full self, I'm going to feel better as a result in the long run. Not just for the business, but for myself. I'm not having to dial up energies or different personas to kind of do stuff, which is tiring, right? And takes it out of you. What are the sort of benefits that you recgonise that businesses that have leapt on this stuff and are taking it seriously? What sort of things are they seeing?

00:15:04 Helen Frewin

And what you're describing there is essentially a productivity issue. That if you're having to dial up your energy or work on coming across in a certain way, or if you just, you know, imagine we're trying to have this conversation now, and I've got a load of other things in my head like, “Does my voice sound stupid on this podcast?” Or, “Who's going to want to listen to this podcast anyway?” “I don't know anything”, if I've got all of that impostor syndrome junk running around my head, how am I going to have a good conversation with you? How am I going to do my best work? How am I going to write a decent email or manage a good project?

So, you've got an initial basic productivity point that the more self-belief and impostor syndrome issues we have, the less productive we will be.

So that feeling of safety, the feeling I can be myself, is a huge enabler of productivity. Then you've got everything else that comes from that. So, because I haven't got that junk in my head, I can be more creative. I can be a better problem solver. I'm more likely to look outside of myself. We're so obsessed with ourselves or worrying about what does everybody else think of me? “Do they think I'm good enough?” “Am I going to get fired?” If I'm worrying about myself so much, I'm not going to notice that that market has changed or that person in my team seems to be struggling, or that person in that other Department if we were to work together, we probably save a lot of money. So all of that creativity problem solving, better bottom-line, spotting opportunities, commercial awareness. You hear all reports of all of those things increasing when what you describe is happening. That someone is bringing their whole self to work and feeling safe to make mistakes have good conversations.

00:16:45 Andy Goram

Have you seen misinterpretations of this, though in any of the work that you've done with clients? And what are the commonalities there? What are you seeing?

00:16:54 Helen Frewin

So, the biggest thing that gets misunderstood is the kind of vulnerability piece. So, the importance of vulnerability is to say, “I'm struggling with this”, “I'm not sure how to do that.” And then for that to be welcomed and for people to say, “OK, great Helen. Really glad that you told us you're struggling. Let's help you.” And because vulnerability feels for a lot of people, very scary and they think it comes across as a sign of weakness to say, “I'm not good at this.” Instead, they use self-deprecating humor.

So instead of me saying, “I'm not really confident in running a podcast, I'm not sure what I'm doing. Could you help me please?” I'm just going to make some silly jokes about, “Oh well, obviously Andy, this podcast going to be a load of rubbish. Don't really see why you invited me. It's going to be rubbish.” That's just awkward. Like what are you supposed to say to that? Do you go down the route of, “Oh no Helen, I think you're going to be great”, or do you just ignore it and laugh it off? It just makes people feel awkward. And so you've then got people who are using that self-deprecating humor saying, “Look at me, I'm being vulnerable. I'm showing my weaknesses. I'm ticking all of those great boxes for psychological safety.” And you're not. In fact, if anything, you're putting up more walls because that self-deprecating humor would suggest that you're not really willing to be open about your challenges and weaknesses

00:18:19 Andy Goram

Oh Helen, you see, this is the problem now of speaking to, a friend who's a business psychologist? Because now you've just opened the door and I'm looking at it going, “Oh goodness”, I've done these things so many times. I continue to do these things. I did have a boss once, tell me to say, “In the next Exec Meeting, see if you can start a sentence without saying, I know I'm not the expert in this, but...”

It was just my way of not trying to annoy a subject matter expert with an opinion. But it came across as all that kind of lack of confidence, vulnerability signals - I'm not really worthy to be round this table and ask questions. All that kind of stuff which I guess I sort of, I guess I sort of knew really, but it's a really hard habit to break if I'm honest. But yes, thank you for shining that spotlight.

00:19:16 Helen Frewin

But that's a spotlight on your lack of confidence. It's not a spotlight on you using self-deprecating humor to avoid the issue. So, the fact that your manager has come to you and said, “Actually Andy, what if you felt more confident in your opinion?” Because you know for many people saying, “I'm not exactly the expert on this, but here's my opinion”, that's really helpful for a number of people to speak up in meetings, and it helped you speak up in meetings. If you were doing it every single time you said something, fair-play for the manager to say, “maybe you could start some sentences differently”, but that is very different to self-deprecating humor, which is actually putting up the walls and saying, you know, so that example for me would be if you said, “I think this is probably going to be a rubbish idea and you know, all my ideas are rubbish anyway. But how about we do this ?” That's less comfortable.

00:20:07 Andy Goram

Yeah no, I get that. No yeah. I have done that, but not as much as the other one, but yeah, I think I always try and park my neurosis before we get into this podcast. It's amazing to me how many of them come out repeatedly in episodes. But yeah, we'll move on. So, I think when you're looking at those, those benefits, leading by example on that vulnerability piece, is that something that you're seeing more managers, leaders being comfortable with or is it still a hang-up?

00:20:40 Helen Frewin

It's a huge hang-up. A huge hang up. Because this idea that we've got this belief that I'm a manager or I'm a senior person. You know, one of my coaching clients is a CEO. I'm a CEO. I'm supposed to have all the answers. I'm supposed to have it all figured out. I get everything right. I never make any mistakes, you know, to have me come along and say, “Well, actually it would be good if you could be vulnerable” and talk to him about what your challenges are, “No, thanks!” So, it's still something that people find really challenging. And you've got the old person who really stands out as a role model in that space, and those people tend to really attract people to them.

You know, if you look at trust in government, trust in business leaders, a sort of governmental or nationwide surveys, trust is really, really low. And so then when you see leaders being more vulnerable and more honest, that trust starts to increase. Patrick Lencioni his work on trust is absolutely fantastic, and he talks about when you build trust, the way to build trust is to go first. To be the first one to say, “I'm struggling with this.

I don't know how to do this. We have an uncertain future. I don't know how it's going to go, but let's go together”. To be the first person to be vulnerable is the only great way to build trust.

00:21:59 Andy Goram

Yeah, I mean that's leadership credentials for me. I think it's not strange, but I think we're going to see a bit of a bow wave in management and leadership being more comfortable, because we are talking about these things more openly, more often and actually, I think maybe, I don't know. Is this some sort of next Industrial Revolution or not, but all the kind of old Jack Welch-isms, of you know, how to how to run a business and how to cut to the core and do this, that and the other, is sort of changing for a more of a human feel to it. At least that's what I see or feel.

00:22:40 Helen Frewin

Definitely, and that's partly generational differences, so you know Jack Welch isn't running General Electric anymore. You know there's a natural kind of retirement and churn. With those generations moving out, you've got the new generations coming in, who have a high expectation of regular feedback, regular, honest conversations and so that does make a huge difference.

And then, as we say, particularly with this year, you know people seeing into each others’ homes, people connecting on a more personal level than they ever have done because they were looking at their kids on a video conference. You know, that's all contributing to a shift in our cultures in our workplaces.

00:23:19 Andy Goram

I think that's great. I think that's true. I think that's really well observed. I think we are seeing a shift. I think it's interesting also, if you look back at the Aristotle work, of those five traits that they sort of found in successful teams of which we’re saying psychological safety was the biggest influence. You know, four and five are hot topics for me. “Meaning” - people want to have meaning, right, in the work that they do. And they want to have “Impact”. They want to know that the work they're doing is important and helping change. And we talk about the shift in generation, and lots is talked about millennials and all that malarkey, but “Purpose, Meaning and Impact” are all things that are talked about a lot within that generation. So, you know if the leaders of today are having to manage those people and these people are becoming the leaders and managers as we go forward it’s natural there’s going to be this shift, right?

00:24:20 Helen Frewin

Absolutely, and it's a really good shift. You know, there's a tendency with generational differences to always say, “Oh. Why are the generation like that? You know, they need to change. They need to recgonise that to get by in the workplace you need to adjust.” But basically, we moan about the next generation saying they need to be just like me, and every generation does that about the younger generation without fail. So instead to say actually, “How do I engage that generation? How do I motivate them? Lead them? Build great relationships with them?” and then, as you say, support them as they become the leaders. That's an incredible shift that we could do with making.

00:24:56 Andy Goram

Absolutely. Hallelujah to that, I think! So are you able to share some stories, some examples of where you're really sort of seeing psychological safety being used really, really well to benefit people, team, organisation?

00:25:14 Helen Frewin

Yeah, there's a couple of stories that stand out for me. I mentioned though the coaching client who's a CEO who has really got on board with the idea of creating trust within his leadership team. The key thing to say about all of this is that it doesn't just happen, right? So, people listening and they're like, well, how do I get psychological safety? It doesn't just happen. We've got to have conversations about it. And so, what the CEO is doing is saying to the team is, “Have you heard of psychological safety? Have you come across Patrick Lencioni’s work on trust? Have you thought about what it would mean for us as a team to do this stuff better?” And so, he's creating that environment and challenging team to have those conversations as well.

There's another client I'm working with who is sort of managing a legal team. And in this legal team you know, we’ve got a broad number of people across a broad number of focus areas, and they started having the conversation by saying, “Look...”, the guy who runs the team, had read about the Google Research and then shared that Google Research in a Department-wide meeting he said to his management team, “I would like us all to start having conversations about this.” And then that management team was encouraged by him to go have conversations with their direct reports. So, you're kind of getting this cascade effect of everyone's hearing about psychological safety, and there's still people in the team who are going, “I don't really get what it is.” There’s still managers in his team who are saying, “I don't really see why I should be having the conversation”, and that's all natural. The point is, they're having the conversations.

He even went as far as to your point about surveys. He sent round a seven-question survey, just an anonymous SurveyMonkey thing, and everybody but one person in the team responded. Which is crazy. You know anybody who's ever administered a survey, you're lucky if you get like 50-60% response rates. This was a 96% response rate. And by getting that data and understanding how comfortable are people feeling now and what could we be doing to support them further, it's just enabled more and more conversations. And then by me being able to go in and run some workshops around this as well, it started the conversation about, you know, if I wanted to say to you, “Andy, I'm your line manager. When you make a mistake, how comfortable do you feel raising that with me? And when you've raised a mistake with me, how do I respond to you? And how does that make you feel?” You know there's all sorts of things here about actually, if I'm a terrible manager and I make you feel utterly awful, you're probably not going to tell me that. But at least if we're starting the conversation, I can start saying look, “I'm conscious about it”.

And I had this feedback myself. I was pretty disappointed, but not surprised to hear that a few years ago one of my members of my team was very nervous about telling me when things went wrong, to the point where he would just hide things under the carpet. He did not want to tell me when he made a mistake because he knew I would absolutely flip. And that just highlights again the damage of not having psychological safety. How many of our team members are hiding problems under the carpet? What issue is that causing for our customers, our bottom line? So, I was horrified but not surprised and then delighted to hear that because I've worked on that, he now feels a lot more comfortable coming to me and saying, “I made this mistake. Here's how we're going to fix it.” And that's great. So just starting this conversation is absolutely critical.

00:28:54 Andy Goram

Well, well done you for progress. I mean go to the top of the class. That's great. I mean, I think it's a little bit like old fashioned dating, these conversations, right? Let's have a chat first. Let's not leap straight in with the proposal, right? So, I think, just having the conversation, firstly, I'm still amazed how little conversations are had between manager and colleague in some businesses. I heard a story from a LinkedIn connection the other day, who helps people with mediation work. And he was talking to an employee, a new employee a year ago, who in that year hasn't had a conversation with the manager. I mean, what? How’s that even happen? I mean, it's a big organisation. OK, I get it. I bet it's complex, but, really?

00:29:51 Helen Frewin

Yeah! So I'm running a workshop the other day. And the brief for the workshop was, you know how to manage in this complex, virtual, hybrid environment. You know, some people are virtual, some people are not. You've got resilience issues, well-being issues. I'm thinking, wow, this is quite a big brief. This feels quite bold and I’m going to have to come up some really good ideas. Oh my goodness, what could I possibly come up with? You know the number one thing? The piece of feedback I got that people found most useful from this workshop was, “I guess I should call people and ask them how they are.”

00:30:25 Andy Goram

Mind blow! Unbelievable. Ah, I'm a little bit disappointed at that because it's so easy to start talking about this stuff and get sucked into the “we're doomed”, right? And that isn't the case, because there are brilliant people out there doing really simple and amazing things, in all sorts of sizes and shapes of business. But it's stuff like that that just makes me worry a little. Because how have they got to that point when they're managing people and they think that picking up the phone or having a zoom call with somebody to check-in is an instruction they need to be given? It doesn't compute for me, and that's the worry, and that's why we're on this mission right? To improve things and talk about these things and get people kind of like cooking on gas. And talking about cooking on gas. I'm about to burn the food if I look at the timer on this conversation, but always happens Helen when I talk to you. Love talking to you.

But one of the things I really want this podcast to do, right, is to give people some practical tools, right? It's all very having a conversation. Hopefully, the conversations are interesting, but I'd love for people to take away stuff, so I have this thing called “Sticky Notes”

00:31:50 Helen Frewin

Yes. I love it!

00:31:52 Andy Goram

Well, thank you. You know me, I like things simple, so it is 3 practical pieces of advice that they can take away on a sticky note. And I will virtually stick them up on the sticky studio wall

and refer to them from time to time. So, when we're talking about improving the psychological safety of your people, which we know will help produce a far more effective, successful team, what are your three sticky notes?

00:32:17 Helen Frewin

So #1 have a conversation about it (laughing) So shock! Shock horror! So, I listened to this podcast on psychological safety. Have you heard of psychological safety? Maybe then I googled it and I found out that Google Research. Just chat with your team. Maybe you just choose one person in your team to mention this to. Have a conversation about, what is psychological safety? What does that mean to us, so that you can start at least exploring this idea? Have the conversation. That’s number one.

00:32:50 Andy Goram


00:32:54 Helen Frewin

#2 is the “Go First” point. Start talking about your mistakes. Start talking about things that you're concerned about. Now whenever we talk about vulnerability, people like, well, I'm not just going to walk in, “Hi, I'm Helen. I'm your new manager and I gotta say I've got no idea what I'm doing. I've never been a manager before. Not sure about this.” No, of course. There's something about selective vulnerability here. So, I'm not going to share all of that with you. But, I could say, you know, “I'm looking forward to 2021, and I'm not quite sure how Brexit is going to affect us. I'm not quite sure what this Department is going to look like because we're going through this reorganisation and what we need to do it together as a team is work out that together?” You know that's me being a bit selective in my vulnerability. To share something I'm not sure about, or to be honest about a mistake or to be honest about things I'm not confident about, right? So, you shared Andy. I was in that meeting, I don't want to step on other people's toes, so point #2 is go first in sharing your mistakes. Your concerns. And so on.

00:33:55 Helen Frewin

And point #3 is catch people doing the good stuff. If someone does come to you and say, “Oh my goodness Andy, I have made the biggest fluff up. I've got a problem.” Congratulate them on coming to you, thank them for coming to immediately and letting you know there's a problem. If you hear someone call out in a team meeting, “I'm sorry, I don't really understand what the strategy is. Could someone explain it to me 'cause I don't understand it?” Thank you for being honest 'cause you can guarantee if you're not clear, then it's probably at least half of us are not clear. So, catch people doing the good stuff, being honest, owning up to their mistakes by catching people doing the good stuff, they’re more likely to keep doing it.

00:34:37 Andy Goram

Brilliant top, top advice. They're on dusty pink Sticky Notes for you Helen, on the wall. So, I think that’s a nice touch, yeah, cool Helen. Oh, it's been an absolute joy talking to you. I always love talking to you. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insights today, I really appreciated that and take care and I hope to see you soon.

00:34:59 Helen Frewin

Brilliant thanks Andy. Absolute pleasure. Thanks everyone.

00:35:02 Andy Goram

So that was Helen. If you'd like to find out more about Helen and some of the stuff we've talked about, then please take a good look at the show notes.

00:35:17 Andy Goram

So that concludes today's episode. I hope you've enjoyed it, found it interesting and heard something. Maybe that will help you become a stickier, more successful business from the inside going forward if you have. Please like, comment and subscribe. It really helps.

I'm Andy Goram and you've been listening to the sticky from the Inside podcast until next time. Thanks for listening.

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