The significance of concentrating on people and soft skills in the workplace is increasing within good reason. This good reason is that the core of high-performing teams and their backbone relies on the relationship between the people that function within that team. The focus is not shifting to a business of people and building a culture of psychological safety for the people to thrive in. This starts with the leader themselves though everybody contributes to it.
A research on high-performing teams and their functioning through a Project Aristotle. The initial assumption was that high-performing teams were founded on the right blend of complementary hard skills. However, this was proven wrong. It was crystal-clear that high-performing teams were founded on the right balance of human-centred traits. High performing teams and psychological safety always go together and were always on top of traits in high-performing teams.
The key characteristics described by the Project Aristotle for high-performing teams were:
- Psychological safety
- Structure and clarity
- Meaning of work
- Impact of work
With high-performing teams and psychological safety, the team can take risks without feeling insecure and embarrassed. In high-performing teams and psychological safety, the latter takes time and a deliberate effort to develop and maintain among the tea members.
We have repeatedly used the term psychological safety. This term refers to a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking. That is, psychologically safe teams trust each other to experiment without judgement, voice their opinions without being shamed, and fail without being labelled a failure. Thereby, this can be viewed as the connection between high-performing teams and psychological safety. High-functioning teams focus on these aspects to incorporate psychological safety.
While on the quest to determine the characteristics comprise the high-performing teams it was found that they seemed to make more mistakes than their counterparts. However, it was later found that high-performing teams did not commit more mistakes than low-performing teams but were more forthcoming in admitting their mistakes.
This happened so because the team members felt they had a safe environment for admittance of such mistakes. Thereby, they were treating failures as an acceptable outcome that enables teams to learn, innovate, discuss, and work together to develop better results.
High-performing teams and psychological safety as mentioned earlier together. Thereby, teams that practice psychological safety would function in a way and that is the people feel at ease being themselves. The employees can show up to work as they are, trust that they are accepted, express thoughts and ideas, ask questions, and confront tough conversations. The outcome that will be received will be impressive.
Without worrying about whether the question is valid, or whether the project idea was strong, the employee is freeing valuable brain space to focus on being creative and think outside the box. Similarly, in a psychologically safe teams, the employees complement one another. One person’s strength complements the weakness another person exhibits and there’s no shame in acknowledging those weaknesses. The entire vibe is that everybody is in this together that makes it a pleasure to even show up at the office.
Likewise, on a psychologically safe team, employees complement one another; one person’s strength fills in for the next person’s weakness, and there’s no shame in acknowledging those weaknesses. There’s a “we’re all in it together” vibe going on that makes it a pleasure to show up at the office. High-performing teams and psychological safety nurtures such a culture to ultimately plant a seed that nourishes curiosity and a speak-up culture that wins at the race of innovation and differentiation.
Thereby, commitment to developing a safe, open, and inclusive workplace requires effort and work. However, it is viewed as undoubtedly the key to tapping into the team’s full potential which enables them to innovate, push their boundaries, and truly differentiate your company. High-performing teams and psychological safety have significance to one another and the latter aids in forming the high-performing teams.