Psychological Safety

According to Amy Edmondson, psychological safety is the “shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking”. Edmondson makes the claim that team performance is affected by a team’s psychological safety and efficacy rather than the specific team type. She proposes the following model [1]: 


If a team is committed to psychological safety, Edmondson suggests that this will be reflected in the team’s actions. Teams should actively seek feedback and have open discussions with both their audience and within themselves.

What does this actually look like in practice? There are many ways, including but not limited to the following:

  1. As Professor Gajos suggested, team members should start small by constantly adding new ideas and challenging each other. [2]
  2. Teams should start committing to this philosophy early. [3]

Great things will happen when psychological safety is prioritized in a team. While it seems obvious, this concept can often get obscured by increasing conflict and progress on a project. Thus, it’s important to keep at the forefront of our minds.


[1] Amy Edmondson, Psychological Safety and Learning Behavior in Work Teams

[2] Professor Gajos, COMPSCI 179 Lecture (02/01/2018)


Contributed by Allison Lee, Megan Ross, and Justin Hunter

About the author: Allison Lee

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