It takes great bravery to face the fact that your team may not feel as Psychologically Safe as you may have thought. It is hard work, but it is doable with a humble and dedicated mindset!
If you are part of the aesthetics world, safety has been at the forefront of your work more than ever due to the pandemic. But, unfortunately, despite all the safety protocols thrown at us in recent months, we may not be psychologically safe at all.
Public Health Safety is paramount. But so is Psychological Safety. And teams that recognize its importance and are structuring and creating ways to incorporate and grow it will be the recipients of more trusting, authentic, passionate connections and success.
Gustavo Razzetti states, “Psychological safety is the foundation of high performing teams”. Teams that have incorporated strong structural values for psychological safety take risks and give their best to their work. He calls it a fearless culture, and in a practical sense, it is the ultimate dream for every authentic entrepreneur building an aesthetics community and business.
So how do you get started?
Talk to your Team Members!
Start by asking them for input on how safe they feel! You can have them rate these questions on a scale of strongly agree to strongly disagree. Awareness is power so knowing how your team feels will be a great starting point. These vulnerable assessment statements will give you a sense of where you stand. Beg for their honesty and tell them why you are soliciting their important input.
I feel safe to take risks in this team
We openly share and learn from our mistakes
It’s okay to challenge the status quo
Questions are always welcome on our team
The team encourages me to disagree or think differently
It’s easy to ask my colleagues for help
We can bring up problems and tough issues
My unique skills and talents are valued and utilized
We know one another personally, not just professionally
It’s okay to talk about health issues and burnout
I’m not afraid to ask questions and share my thoughts
I feel welcomed by my team
Working in a psychologically safe environment does not mean that people always agree for the sake of being nice.
It also doesn’t mean that people will praise or unconditionally support everything you say.
Again, it’s not about being nice but candid.
Razzetti says that there are critical elements required for high-performing teams that level up in the quest for authentic psychological safety. The idea is that the higher you climb the levelled ladder, the safer you feel to take risks and fearless courage that builds a bold culture.
Level 1 – Belonging
Does your clinic feel like a family, where every person belongs? Belonging is a critical element for building high-performing teams. It’s about feeling safe to build strong interpersonal relationships, bring your whole self to work, address wellbeing issues, and actively participate in meetings or conversations. Everyone can play and brings to your work different experiences, expertise and personality. Regardless of your diversity, a high-performing team values each member with a powerful sense of belonging.
Level 2 – Diversity of Thought
We think differently, and that is a good thing. Just like everyone belongs, so do their varying opinions, ideas, perspectives and thoughts. It’s about feeling safe to contribute with your unique skills and talents, speak up about tough issues, disagree or think differently, and ask for help. For example, if you are dealing with an unexplained occlusion, managing it with a team approach helps brainstorm and offer comfort and reassurance, not judgement. Facing disagreements and controversy, problems and issues head-on with an open mind take a team to higher safety.
Level 3 – Innovation
Level 3 addresses the highest level of high-performing teams: innovation. And do we ever need innovation in this field! Every day, a new thought, device, procedure, or treatment is introduced to the world in medical aesthetics! But it isn’t just deciding where to train, what machine to buy or the services or products to offer. It is also the deep thinking required to develop ways to grow the business without burning out people or risking financial resources. It is coming up with solutions on how to work better together. Level 3 is about feeling safe to challenge the status quo, using questions to explore what’s possible, making mistakes, and experimenting. Training and Learning need to be engrained as necessary parts of an ever-evolving industry. Challenging your team to build on their skills and continually be open to new ideas takes a fearless approach that never stops dreaming, envisioning or goal-setting.
It doesn’t matter where you think you are in your levelled tier to build psychologically safe teams. The fact that you are reading this blog demonstrates your intrigue, interest and desire to move it forward, regardless of where your team is at. The main point of all of it is to start, then continue and build a solid and fearless culture.
Whenever you sense a member is distant, quiet or not engaged or participating, chase it with intention and compassion. You may just be on the brink of breaking through a Psychological Safety Barrier that needs to come down to build the fearless culture you are dreaming of.
And I guarantee this…
Your business will thank you and reap the rewards as well.