The Agency for Financial Advisory Firms

 

30 Tips for Today’s Financial Advisor: Tip 24

In 1999, Amy Edmondson, professor at Harvard Business School, identified the concept of psychological safety in work teams, “a climate in which people are comfortable being (and expressing) themselves.”

Since then, research has found that psychological safety can make teams and entire organizations perform better.

One example of a company that has mastered psychological safety in the workplace and has gained a competitive advantage is Pixar.

Pixar has had 17 movies — in a row — that have been box office hits. How do they do this? Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull deliberately creates a psychologically safe environment where critical feedback is expected and possible.

They do this in two fundamental ways — one is behavioral and the other is structural. For instance, Catmull will often say things like, “Here’s the mistake I made,” and show up with humility, curiosity, interest, and fallibility.

Pixar also creates a psychologically safe environment structurally. They set up meetings and sessions that are designed to make it easier to give candid feedback or critique the movie.

“Because leaders have to go first. Leaders have to show that they know that they’re fallible human beings,” Amy Edmondson says.

 

Today’s Tip: Let Your Team Make Mistakes

Tip #24: Leaders, be a safe place for your team. An atmosphere of fear and repercussions can affect your team’s communication, productivity, and efficiency. Embrace new ideas, points of view, and creative disruptions!

As Edmondson says, “there’s a lot of latent untapped talent because people are not making it psychologically safe enough to get that talent and put it to good work.”

We’ll be back on the blog on Monday with tip #25. From everyone at Beyond AUM, have a great weekend!