439 - Creating Psychological Safety

Posted April 14, 2022 by Mark Perna

Episode: 439

Episode Title: Creating Psychological Safety

 

Constructive feedback is most effective when both parties feel psychologically safe. Let’s talk about what that means, next on The Perna Syndicate.

 

Ep 439 show:

This is The Perna Syndicate—hello and welcome! When it comes to giving someone constructive criticism, there are some general guidelines to follow, like prepping yourself and the other person, toning down any emotional response you may have, and making sure the other person feels respected throughout the conversation. 

 

But beyond that, it should never be a “one-size-fits-all” approach. This is especially true today when we’re operating in a multi-generational workplace. 

 

Treating every employee the same when giving them tough feedback is an easy mistake to make. But people’s needs may differ depending on their generation. And, these needs can change over time. 

 

In a tough conversation, it’s important to create what’s called “psychological safety.” This will look different for someone early in their career compared to another person who has 35 years under their belt. But both need to know they’re seen, heard, and valued. 

 

That’s why the feedback should always focus on the issue, not the person. Remember, you’re on the same team. Making the other person feel psychologically safe all comes back to the relationship we’ve already built and how strong our human connection is. 

 

The other person should be able to trust our good motives even if the feedback is hard to hear. Psychological safety means we’re there to help, not hurt—and they know it. 

 

On the next episode of The Perna Syndicate, let’s talk about what to do if you’re just too close to the situation that needs to be addressed. See you back here tomorrow for more on that. Take care! 


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Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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