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Creating Fertile Conditions for Psychological Safety

As the winter frost melts away and we cast our eyes on the beautiful, new Spring buds making their first appearance, we can reflect on Mothers Natures’ process and consider taking this advice from her as we dust ourselves off …

Consider a seed as a metaphor for anything you would like to grow…. a vision, a dream, a goal, a relationship, your own potential.

When trying to get a seed to grow in ice, nothing will happen. There is nothing wrong with the seed, but to grow, it needs a different set of conditions. In the right soil, with the right temperature, it can blossom into something beautiful and something that keeps on growing.

Reflect on what conditions are ice for you?
Reflect on what conditions are fertile soil for you?
How are you able to create the conditions where all things grow? (fertile soil)

A topic close to STAR’s heart that contributes to our fertile soil is SANCTUARY.

Sanctuary (also known as psychological safety) can be defined as:

It is the feeling of being mentally secure and comfortable to express your emotions at home or work, with your peers, managers, friends and family. The freedom to openly express concerns, deep thoughts and personal gaps. It is the degree to which you can trust others in an organic manner rather than by virtue of hierarchy or popularity. It is about knowing that you will be respected for who you are and not be ridiculed. It is the freedom from being harmed or feeling in danger.

No one wants to leave part of their personality and inner life at home. But to be fully present at work, to feel “psychologically safe,” we must know that we can be free enough, sometimes, to share the things that scare us without fear of retaliation. We must be able to talk about what is messy or sad, to have difficult conversations with colleagues who are driving us crazy.

The essence of this approach is having everyone feel comfortable sharing incomplete work, and then learning and becoming inspired through further development together. This creative process is one of trust and openness, where we can be vulnerable without penalty.

In the simplest of terms, you feel sanctuary (psychologically safe) with others if you feel at ease admitting to a mistake, or being able to point out a mistake made by another, where you can speak about matters without censoring yourself and, you are able to try out new things without fear of failure. It’s really about creating an environment where people can come together as one and set each other up for success. It is about creating fertile soil.

Seize the new season to consider if you are operating in ice or fertile soil and whether you are creating these conditions for others?

Take this time to consider how you can best create sanctuary and gain the clarity you need to create real, lasting changes in your life.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
KARL RAHNER

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