Does your organization value your opinion?

A recent study by Gallup found that only three out of 10 people surveyed felt strongly that their management/organization truly values their opinion.

Do you feel that your organization values your opinion? 

If you answered no or not confident that the answer is yes, or even if you can answer yes, you and your management may want to sit down and read Amy Edmondson’s book, The Fearless Organization, Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, innovation and Growth.

Edmondson defines psychological safety as a climate in which members of a team are comfortable in expressing and being themselves. They are at ease when sharing information or ideas, asking for help, seeking feedback or even admitting errors without concern or fear of embarrassment or retribution. 

A fearless organization is one that minimizes interpersonal fear. Hence, employees feel willing to take risks and fully participate in potentially sensitive, threatening or wrong ideas. 

This book provides evidence-based research that validates the idea of psychological safety. It offers engaging “organizational portraits” that show both the power of creating a safe environment and some examples of a poor culture for sharing knowledge.

The book is split into three parts: 

  • Part one provides an overview of the research on psychological safety.
  • Part two shares real-world case studies of workplaces where they are doing it right and places that are not quite there. 
  • Part three takes both the research and stories and then shows what leaders must do to create a fearless organization.

Each chapter ends with a specific takeaway that makes it easier to understand and implement the practice of a fearless organization. 

The biggest takeaway is the toolkit you find in the last chapter, “Make It Happen.” This toolkit is divided into three sections:

  • Leaders need to “set the stage” to allow others to speak up. This will increase awareness of any potential problem that a task, product or service may have and allow for collaboration to thrive. 
  • It is essential for leaders to create an environment where people are not only invited to participate — but welcomed. 
  • Make sure you respond to all voices, no matter their quality. There is power in a “thank you” or “nice job.” Edmondson encourages speaking up and making sure you celebrate even the smallest wins. She also states leaders must destigmatize failure; it is an opportunity to learn. Finally, she feels strongly that you need to sanction clear violations when someone breaks that psychological safety. 

Edmondson ends the introduction to this book by stating that “leaders must take on the job of driving fear out of the organization to create the conditions for learning, innovation and growth.”

And she hopes this book will help do just that! And maybe, if not already so, you will find that your organization in fact truly values your opinion.


Additional Reference:

Gallup, I. (2019, May 13). State of the American Workplace.….

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Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.