Evidence That It Works
A study of reform efforts in 12 Chicago schools found that enabling positive, trusting relationships among staff members, including the leadership, were at the heart of school improvement.
Underlying trust is psychological safety, or the feeling that it’s safe to make mistakes, admit ignorance, or voice concerns and opinions, without the fear of being silenced or humiliated by co-workers or leadership. Numerous studies show that when employees feel psychologically safe, their ability to learn from mistakes improves, resulting in better job performance.
Why Does It Matter?
When staff members trust one another and feel psychologically safe, creating school environments in which ongoing improvement is the norm becomes much easier. However, one study found that workplace leaders cannot assume that psychological safety exists in every department, so it’s important to intentionally cultivate this safety through activities such as this one.