S&S Module 9: The Importance, and Development of Psychological Safety

The importance, and development 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.¬† As scholars and educators, as faculty and leaders of programs we are responsible for setting expectations of our students- both for what will be expected of them as dancers, and participants in dance, as well as what to expect in the field. The question becomes can we create a culture where something like “safety” (this is worth defining) and specifically psychological safety is one?

If we desire psychological safety to be a norm and should be an expectation, then what does that mean for us? What competencies do we need to develop to provide that space for them?

**I think it is also vital what educators are also recipients of that same psychological safety (this is really important in the academy)

What would it look like for ballet to adopt psychological safety as a foundational tenant?


READ- or Listen (12 min audio) to the article below

Mckinsey &Company -Psychological safety and the critical role of leadership development 

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?

Additional reading

What is Psychological Safety?

Creating Psychological Safety for Black Women at Your Company