Psychological safety is misunderstood. Too many people think it’s about never being upset by other people or by the conversations you have with them.
It’s 100% NOT about never being upset or challenged by someone, nor is it about being coddled by the group you’re in (the whole organisation, or just the team you’re a part of).
🥁 – being able to have respectful, yet difficult conversations
🥁 – sharing ideas
🥁 – asking questions
🥁 – learning in general, and ESPECIALLY from mistakes
🥁 – navigating boundaries
🥁 – being able to disagree respectfully and still work together
And if you are in an EDI Committee you HAVE to be able to do these things.
Because if you can’t hear different viewpoints, if you don’t like people asking questions about emotive topics, and talk things out, then the committee can’t advise HR and SLT on the things they might be missing.
And they need your input to be able to build robust practices, to understand what they need to learn AND be able to do better by ALL their employees.
That means you might have to have some hard conversations about all sorts of things, e.g:
🥁 – supporting employees affected by the Israel – Hamas War
🥁 – navigating potential clashes of characteristics that are protected by law: e.g religious belief and sexuality; gender-critical beliefs and gender-identity
🥁 – intersectionality: e.g. between say, race, sexuality, gender and class
You might ask yourself if you’re ready to have those conversations.
If you are asking yourself that – great! Because it suggests you’re open to learning about how expected standards at work might be different to what you might have expected in everyday life. Or just that you have more to learn about those areas in general.
If you’re looking at the example topics and you’ve got 100% black and white views on them, with no room to listen or budge – then maybe being on an EDI Committee isn’t for you just yet.