C2EC Corp de Ballet Module 5: Psychological Safety in the Workplace


Corp de Ballet Module 5: Psychological Safety in the Workplace

It is time to begin to stack the information that we have been working with so far this year.  The goal is to create a blueprint for your organization to crosscheck the work that you have been doing both in the IDEA space but more broadly in the area of organizational culture. As always the ethos of C2EC is that self reflection is the first step: where am I personally in this conversation? How to I contribute to holding things up, perpetuating the system/structure, gatekeeping etc. The next would be to reflect on how you stand in your role within the organizations (asking the same set of questions) this is also a team exercise for departments and senior management. Finally there is the organizational bird’s eye view of who “we” as an organization are actually and aspirationally. Thus far Modules 1, 3 and 4 stack upon one another- “Lego” snapping together.

Module 1: Focused on the examination, building , or RE- building our organizational identity such that it organically and authentically has embedded within it the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism. In Module 1 we took the time to deconstruct elements that compose or are impacted by that identity:


In Module 3: With the help of Tammy Bormann we looked at new ways of drafting and engaging with strategic planning. As we are examining our organizational identity, this planning (if we are on track) can help anchor us more deeply in the work, if we need to tune aspects of what or how we are doing it can be both a guiding light and (in both cases) a tool of accountability. It’s sort of say it, forget it, write it,regret it sort of situation. It is in a way a convent to the Board, the employees, funders, donors, and the community.

In Module 4:  Creating a Collaborative Covenant of Communication within our organizations was the invitation of this module. Can we begin to entertain a flattening of the hierarchy to allow for voices which have been traditionally marginalized and mute to be heard and considered? Can we create a culture that allows and encourages equitable feedback?  Are we willing to allow people impacted by decisions made above them to tell us if they are effective or not? Can we embrace transparency and encourage active citizenship??

Module 5: Take a deeper dive into a topic Tammy lifted up in Module 3, the importance of Psychological Safety. We can not have open communication at any level if people do not feel safe to share, and if they do not think that it matters.


Amy Edmonson’s 3 Take- Aways on how to build Psychological Safety:

1) First, frame the work as a learning problem, not an execution problem.

This mirrors the “Learning Space” we talk about in C2EC

2) Acknowledge your own fallibility

When mistakes are just that– mistakes and not the full measure of one’s competency, when as a culture mistakes are treated as learning experiences for individuals, teams and the organization itself to shift, adapt, and not met with retaliation it will encourage people to begin to speak up and perhaps help prevent mishaps due to a different perspective being offered.

3) Model curiosity. Ask a lot of questions that actually creates a necessity for voice


Do you feel that there is psychological safety in your organization today?

If yes, how do you experience it?

If yes, do you feel that is conditional? Does it depend on your title, seniority, ranking, is it relational?

If no, what would have to shift in order for the possibility of psychological safety to be developed?



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