Safety and trust in teams



I found this article about (psychological) safety and trust in teams really interesting:

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts @natalie_eustace

(This article comes from our collection of our Make Meaningful Work themed stuff!)


I love working on a team… why? because it forces me to stretch myself… sometimes I have to consider another persons ideas, even when I think they are not right for the project… the cool thing is… I often find that those “not right” ideas spark new thoughts and contribute in amazing ways! I think it’s so very important that every person on the team respects each other and allows each member the room to contribute. I’m not an “extrovert”, and often when I’m in a group with an extreme extrovert who dominates the conversation, I will allow myself to fade into the background, even when I think I have something important to say. I’m not an extreme introvert either, so I try to be really conscious of the people on my team who ARE very introverted and might need a little help being heard. …all that stuff is so great for my growth, and it just feels good.


I’m going to read it tonight! Thanks for this :slight_smile:


Long article but a very very interesting read! I’ve shared it with some colleges :slight_smile:
My thoughts, I really really like this point that they found:

"As long as everyone got a chance to talk, the team did well,’’ Woolley said. ‘‘But if only one person or a small group spoke all the time, the collective intelligence declined."
I really agree with this one which coincides with what @inca431 mentioned. Regardless of whether someone likes to think first then contribute, or think out loud, giving everyone a chance to feel not only heard, but listened to is very important (also tying into some previous comments from @Lukcha). I think that this helps with building trust, a safe environment where everyone feels like they can contribute and that everyone has a voice. It also helps to take nerves away for people who do like to mull things over but still want to be able to contribute.

The second point they found I also really love:
They were skilled at intuiting how others felt based on their tone of voice, their expressions and other nonverbal cues.
I mean naturally as UXers we tend to have a higher empathy, and if people are anything like me, enjoy things like people watching! Being able to tell how others are reacting to what you or others and saying/doing can help with many things, from team collaboration and feedback, to pitching ideas to clients. One thing our team does, now that we are spread out in different offices, is to use cameras during our meetings. This way everyone can see everyone and their reactions when sharing ideas/designs etc. It can be a bit disconcerting or scary to begin with, but it can help take away some of the ambiguous nature that comes with online communication (i.e. reading typed messages)

The last one that really resonated with me was:
What Project Aristotle has taught people within Google is that no one wants to put on a ‘‘work face’’ when they get to the office. No one wants to leave part of their personality and inner life at home.
They were right, so much of our lives is spent in our jobs. Jobs we want to be passionate about. You get told about this work life separation, which is also good. But I think to be true to ourselves and feel most comfortable, we need to be able to be yourself at work and yourself at home. Sure we probably act a bit different at work, but it shouldn’t have to be a complete mask. For instance, people at work know I have a lolly drawer, and that if I’m super happy, I tend to skip down the corridor. Yes it’s a tad childish and I wouldn’t do it if certain people or clients are near, but I like not having to hide that.