Voicing Up

Voicing Up

Do you ‘Voice Up’?  Do the people in your team ‘Voice Up’?

‘Voicing Up’ is being comfortable saying what you are really thinking because you are not scared of ‘getting it wrong’ or ‘looking stupid’.

People only ‘voice up’ when they perceive their leader and colleagues have established a sense of ‘psychological safety’ within the team.

This is the belief that individuals will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with concerns, challenges, ideas, questions or admitting mistakes.

Much current research confirms that the existence of psychological safety is the critical factor in building a High Performing Team.  Leading to more creativity, resilience, trust, motivation, persistence and humour.

If team members sense they are completely ‘safe’ to speak up, they become free to exert all their collective focus and energy on the customer, the competition, the technology challenge…

Five ways leaders can encourage ‘voicing up’:

  1. Replace blame with curiosity
  2. Show your own fallibility: ask for feedback
  3. Believe that everyone else is also trying their best
  4. Help team members understand who are the ‘Trust when…’ people and who are the ‘Trust until…’ people
  5. Frame the work as a learning problem

Drawn from the following research

  • Google’s Project Aristotle: 2-year study into Great Teams
  • Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe. TED
  • Amy Edmondson: Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard.  Psychological Safety and Learning Behaviour in Work teams 1999

Andrew Deller, Senior Facilitator – Clear Connection Ltd

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