Clients and prospects frequently ask me about what they can do to get their employees through the COVID-19 crisis.

The answer: Focus on psychological safety.

According to Harvard Business School’s, Dr. Amy Edmonson, psychological safety is the feeling or sense that you won’t be humiliated or punished if you speak up, ask questions, or share concerns. Right now, we need that feeling more than ever.

Recently, a friend shared a post on social media that said something we’ve been hearing more and more these days: “We’re all in this together.” The truth is that we are all facing the same storm, but we’re also all in different boats. As leaders, we can set the stage by being vulnerable and acknowledging that we are indeed going through uncertain times. When an employee has a concern, humble listening is the best approach. Listen for intent and be empathetic.

“Psychological safety is something we can access right away to help our employees get to the other side of this struggle.”

To build on psychological safety, we can offer clear communication and multiple avenues for access.

No matter what’s going on, we must focus on destigmatizing failure and keeping the bigger picture in mind. The bigger picture, in the case of the pandemic, is that we’re all in this together and we’re going to get to the other side.

Psychological safety is something we can access right away to help our employees get to the other side of this struggle. Not only does it create shared meaning of the experience we’re currently in, but it also boosts our confidence that we can work together as a team.

If you have any questions or would like further information, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you.