We’ve been writing about the importance of building team trust and psychological safety, for many years. We know from experience and from the research, that it’s critical to workplace success.

As a reminder, Amy Edmonson of Harvard University, first introduced the idea of psychological safety in 1999 in the Administrative Science Quarterly. She describes it as:

“a belief that one will not be
punished or humiliated for speaking up
with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes,
and that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking”

Our work and leadership definition is based on a foundation of psychological safety and trust:

Leadership is the willingness to influence your world
and the willingness to allow your world to influence you,
regardless of role or title.

This is what’s called reciprocal influence and it’s a way of being in the world.

Let’s take a closer look at what we mean.

When you influence your world:

  • You share your best.
  • You lean in to shape the conversation with your thoughts, beliefs, and experience.
  • You embrace a “we” mentality.
  • You communicate that your idea is one option, not the only option.

When you’re influenced by your world:

  • You create room for others to share their best.
  • You lean back and actively listen to others’ thoughts, beliefs, and experiences.
  • You are open and curious.
  • You seek out input from others.

Throughout this process, you stay physically and mentally engaged, and continually encourage the team to build on each other’s ideas. You create success, together.

Creating a culture of team trust can support you to:

  • build solid team engagement
  • boost employee loyalty
  • decrease burnout and stress
  • increase productivity
  • create success for individuals, teams, and organizations

Remember, creating a culture of trust isn’t just for leaders.

It’s everyone’s job to create a culture of trust where team members can bring their hopes, fears, successes, and failures to the table and know they’re safe from recrimination.

When you’re willing to influence and willing to be influenced by, you’re creating psychological safety. A space where people trust that they can share their different perspectives without negative repercussions.

This week, as you look ahead to some upcoming interactions and conversations, consider how you can lean in to influence others and lean back to create space for others to influence you.

Stay tuned for some tips and scripting examples when we’ll show how you can put reciprocal influence into action, to create team trust.

If you’d like support
creating a foundation of trust,
contact us today.