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Psychological Safety and Fear in the Workplace

4.2 Discussion: Psychological Safety and Fear in the Workplace

Getting Started

While the term “psychological safety” is a relatively newer one, the concepts it describes likely have been around since human beings began working together in teams.

The list of significant errors, loss of life, and even disasters, is long when individuals and teams feel unsafe or uncomfortable speaking up.

Beyond the negative outcomes that often result, other consequences result from a lack of psychological safety: lack of motivation and innovation are just a couple of examples.

Using the TEDx Talk by Dr. Amy Edmondson, we’ll explore how psychological safety can enhance the organization’s environment, productivity, and goals…as well as how the lack of psychological safety can result in great harm.

We also will consider elements of psychological safety in the assigned white paper reading.

Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:

  • Explain the concept of psychological safety and how motivation and innovation are affected by high and low levels of psychological safety.
  • Describe strategies for enhancing psychological capital and resilience among both leaders and followers.


  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. Review the information in the Getting Started section.
  3. View the YOUTUBE TEDx Talk video with Dr. Amy Edmondson
  4. Read these short articles in Forbes(new tab) and  Talent Development(new tab)  magazines.
  5. Frame your initial post of 250-300 words no later than Day Four around the following thought-starter questions:
  6. How does your understanding of psychological safety help explain why leaders and followers make decisions and behave as they do?
  7. How might motivation and innovation be affected when psychological safety is low?
  8. Describe an example of when you did or did not feel that sufficient psychological safety existed in your organization, such that you were able to (or not able to) speak up about something of consequence.
  9. What could you do to foster greater psychological safety in your organization? What would that require of you?

Last Updated on May 22, 2023

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