To subscribe to ExchangeEveryDay, a free daily e-newsletter, go to


Psychological Safety at Work

You can never learn less; you can only learn more. The reason I know so much is because I have made so many mistakes.
Buckminster Fuller

In an interview with Harvard Business School Professor Amy Edmonson, Morra Aarons-Mele of the Harvard Business Review, notes, “Psychological safety, it’s not about being nice. It’s the idea that you aren’t going to be embarrassed, shamed or even punished for speaking up with your questions, concerns or mistakes on the job. It’s really important in today’s workforce says Amy Edmondson, and psychologically safe teams get things done and move big ideas forward.”

Psychologically unsafe environments foster worry, whereas in psychologically safe environments, Edmonson says, “You can speak up, ask for help, disagree with an idea, admit a mistake and you won’t be rejected or punished in some way …It’s an environment where your focus is on the task or on other people. Not on yourself.” Psychological safety frees us to take risks, address challenges productively, make improvements and get things done.

Exploring these ideas as a team can directly foster psychological safety. Share a rich conversation using Exchange ReflectionsPositive Change through Grit and Intention, based on the article "When the Cure Begins: Individual Choices Lead to Lasting Change," by Robin Levy and Constant Hine.

For more information about Exchange's magazine, books, and other products pertaining to ECE, go to

© 2005 Child Care Information Exchange - All Rights Reserved | Contact Us | Return to Site