THE TERM ‘PSYCHOLOGICAL safety’ expresses the idea that members of a team trust each other and feel secure to give feedback, without fear of committing professional suicide.
To make sure that this feedback keeps flowing, it is the responsibility of the team leader to create and promote a "feedback-safe" environment.
Here’s how it works, using the acronym SAFE to make it easier to remember:
• Setting boundaries.
• Activating feedback.
• Failing better.
• Empowering the team.
Unfortunately, SAFE leadership styles are not all that common. In his article The Bad Influence of Aggressive Bosses Manfred Kets de Vries shares strategies how to avoid becoming victim – or even copying the bad behaviour – of a toxic manager:
1. Build a support group to share experiences and monitor your own bad behaviour.
2. Build a political network inside the organisation to influence the departure of the boss.
3. Document specific incidents to build a case.
Manfred ends the article with a quote from Marcus Aurelius: " The most complete revenge is not to imitate the aggressor".
As Sabine Hansen Peck wrote in our award winning Feedback First book : "Ken Blanchard said that "feedback is the breakfast of champions"I personally believe this is true and more importANT than ever. In a world which is changing so fast, receiving hones and constructive feedback is paramount to be able to adapt and stay relevant. At Amadeus we have been working with the CLEAR+CALM model as it sets the foundation for an agile and transparent culture".
By its very nature, hierarchy dramatically reduces the desire of those lower down to speak up and those higher up to listen. In many organisations,it is a basic survival strategy to inflate the degree to which you agree with your superiors.Managers reinforce this behaviour by, unconsciously, looking for an endorsement of their views, rather than honest questioning or critical feedback. The danger with flattery is that it cuts them off from the facts.
Our book Feedback First:Boosting Performance through CLEAR+CALM Communication won gold and bronze at the American Business Awards 2017. Listen to Sophie Evekink speak at the Award Ceremony in New York!