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Trust vs. Psychological Safety: Unlocking the Potential of Your Team
Trust vs. Psychological Safety: Unlocking the Potential of Your Team

A new manager's guide to understanding the interplay of trust and psychological safety.

Stephen Franklin avatar
Written by Stephen Franklin
Updated over a week ago

Hey there, new managers! Congratulations on stepping into your exciting new role. As you embark on this leadership journey, you'll find that fostering trust and psychological safety within your team is a surefire way to boost performance and engagement. But what's the difference between these two seemingly similar concepts? Fear not! In this post, we'll help you tell them apart and give you some tips to start nurturing both in your team.

Trust is the foundation of any solid relationship, including the ones you'll develop with your team members. It’s the belief that others will act in our best interest, be reliable, and deliver on their commitments. Trust takes time to build, but when it's there, it creates a positive atmosphere where people feel secure and are more likely to collaborate and share ideas. As a new manager, you can foster trust by being consistent, transparent, and fair in your decision-making. Additionally, make sure to follow through on your promises and support your team in their professional growth.

Psychological safety, on the other hand, is the shared belief that it's okay to take interpersonal risks within a group, such as speaking up, asking questions, or making mistakes without fear of negative consequences. It's the magic ingredient that allows team members to truly unleash their creativity and innovate. To promote psychological safety, create an environment where all ideas are welcome, even the ones that may seem a bit "out there." Encourage open communication, listen actively, and show empathy towards your team members. It's essential to demonstrate that it's okay to make mistakes and learn from them, as long as everyone is committed to continuous improvement.

In a nutshell, trust is about believing in the reliability and intentions of others, while psychological safety is about feeling comfortable to express oneself without fear of negative consequences. As a new manager, it's crucial to strike a balance between these two elements to create a high-performing and happy team. By doing so, you'll not only be a stellar manager, but you'll also set the stage for your team's success. So go forth, be the supportive leader your team needs, and watch as they unlock their full potential!

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