Aligned with the MIT research indicating that communication patterns are by far the most profound predictor of team performance, there is emerging evidence on the power of psychological safety on teams.
“There’s no team without trust,” says Paul Santagata, Head of Industry at Google. He knows the results of the tech giant’s massive two-year study on team performance, which revealed that the highest-performing teams have one thing in common: psychological safety, the belief that you won’t be punished when you make a mistake. Studies show that psychological safety allows for moderate risk-taking, speaking your mind, creativity, and sticking your neck out without fear of having it cut off — just the types of behavior that lead to market breakthroughs.
This requires shared kindness. Kindness is asking for perspective from others on how helpful we are. It's asking people if they want our perspective before inflicting it on them. It's offering perspective on another's helpfulness and our needs for helpfulness with a future oriention rather than past. It's first saying what we like about an idea and expressing curiosity about it before pointing out downsides. It's talking about what went well first in critiques before talking about what we would like to see differently in the future. It's expressing appreciation for imperfect progress made.