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Creating a Shared Learning Zone

Have you ever been in a situation where you could see a negative outcome to a situation but remained quiet? You had an idea that would help the situation but remained quiet? You were silent. Why was this? Why did you remain silent?

When I asked this question during a Culture workshop these were some of the answers:

‘Fear of rejection”

“Lack of self-belief”

“Feeling stupid and second guessing myself.”

There are many aspects to creating and nurturing a Positive Culture. Recently I was intrigued by a relatively new area of culture – Psychological Safety.

“Psychological Safety is a shared belief held by members of a team.” (Amy Edmondson 1999). Amy explains this culture necessity in her 2014 TED X talk to allow a safe space for people to voice their opinion, their concerns, and their aspirations free from judgement or punishment from others.

If we are going to shift the culture and learn from our mistakes or be proactive in mitigating a low outcome, then we need to hear everyone’s opinion.

There is a wealth of knowledge around the table at any meeting. People should feel as if their voice is heard, acknowledged and appreciated. Not just the loud, the dominant or the senior - everyone’s.

There is a sweet spot when psychological safety is high and accountability is high called the Learning Zone. The Learning Zone is where discussion is robust. Feedback is initiated. Mistakes are made. Processes are improved. Decisions are owned. Without blame, judgement or punishment. Everyone leaves the table feeling heard.

Psychological safety is like learning to swim with floaties. You know you are supported to practice, experiment, and progress.

How are you Creating your Learning Zones?

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