Trust, confidence and inspiration are positive feelings. When we feel safe, we become broader-minded, resilient, motivated, persistent, and curious. We laugh more and find solutions easily as our thinking becomes more divergent.
Can these emotions be felt in the workplace? It is possible – if it's psychologically safe.
Psychological safety, the ‘enabler’ of a healthy and prosperous workplace, is being embraced fully by the team here at This is Milk. First explored by scholars in the 1960s, psychological safety is re-emerging as a hot topic.
Angela Prentner-Smith, founder and MD of This is Milk says: “Research findings back up what we already know from our work with clients. If an organisation isn’t psychologically safe and passive aggressive behaviour goes unchallenged it is so incredibly damaging. It leads to feelings of stress, isolation, a lack of communication which reduces productivity, positivity and ultimately will destroy workplace culture if not tackled.”
Angela says: “The demonstrable benefits of a safe working space are felt on many levels including greater staff retention and engagement and an improvement in productivity that increases innovation and creativity. What’s more, repeated failures decrease, which invariably results in an increase in profit.”
By: Angela Prentner-Smith, Founder and MD of This is Milk
When Covid hit I was four months pregnant with my second child, Neve, and managing an established business with a small team. I’d gotten into a place where we were comfortably earning enough money and had overcome the start-up anxiety and challenges that plagued our early years. We had clients, consultants and a team, and everything was, well, comfortable for the first time in my 5 years of running the business.
I was about to travel to Dubai in March 2020 to deliver training to a client, and as a pregnant traveller, I kept hearing ‘are you sure you should be travelling?’. I hadn’t really paid much attention to the chat of what was then just termed ‘The coronavirus’, on the basis of not wanting to add worry to my pregnant self. I was abnormally anxious in my early pregnancy, specifically in relation to the climate emergency.