Psychological safety in the team

Article author: Artem Mikhailov

In the modern world, where the IT industry is rapidly developing, the success of any company depends not only on the knowledge and experience of its employees, but also on their psychological state. Psychological safety in the team is a key factor that ensures effective interaction and leads to the achievement of high results.

Psychological security is necessary to create a comfortable, mutual understanding and trusting environment in the team. It allows employees to feel protected from criticism, insults and discrimination, and also contributes to their development and professional growth.

The purpose of this article is to reveal why psychological safety is a key aspect of the success of teamwork in the IT industry and to suggest methods and ways to ensure it.

What is psychological security?

Psychological security is a state in which a person feels protected, respected and accepted in a team. It includes various aspects such as trust, openness, adequate assessment of mistakes, constructive and feedback feedback, the ability to express your opinion and communicate with colleagues without fear of being judged or negatively evaluated.

Trust is one of the main aspects of psychological security. This means that each team member must have a sense of security and confidence that other team members will not let him down, but will support and help him.

The main aspects of psychological safety:

Openness in the team is also important for ensuring psychological safety. This implies that each team member should feel comfortable communicating with others and expressing their thoughts and ideas.

An adequate assessment of errors is also an important aspect of psychological safety. Each team member must understand that mistakes are an integral part of the learning and professional development process, and that they will not be negatively judged or judged for their mistakes.

Constructive and reciprocal feedback is also an important aspect of psychological safety in a team. This means that each team member should receive feedback from colleagues and management, which helps him to become better and develop professionally.

Main problems

Some of the problems that a team without psychological security can face are:

  1. Negative interpersonal interaction

    If there is no trust and mutual understanding in the team, this can lead to conflicts and negative attitudes. Team spirit and teamwork can be disrupted, affecting all aspects of work.

  2. Stress

    Working in IT is characterized by a high level of stress. If the team cannot support each other and create an atmosphere of psychological safety, this can lead to increased stress levels, team members can become exhausted and even frustrated in their work.

  3. final result

    Some team members may feel that management is not evaluating them, or that they are not given enough time to release the product. This can lead to poor quality work, a lack of attention to detail and, as a result, a poor end result.

  4. Reluctance to talk about their problems:

    Some team members may not directly talk about problems such as their frustration at work, frustration, lack of motivation, etc. Without proper communication and without psychological safety, these problems can be ignored and become a nest of dissatisfaction and regret.

  5. Low level of motivation

    If the team lacks a motivating atmosphere where team members feel more confident, this can lead to a general lack of motivation and purpose. A team that doesn’t work together can have many separate parts, but they won’t all form a successful end product.

The policy of psychological safety in a team in IT is very important. It must be understood and accepted by both management and team members. No matter how challenging the project, when a team works together, supporting each other and creating an atmosphere of trust and respect, they will be able to achieve great success against all the challenges that stand in their way.

How to ensure psychological safety?

One way to ensure psychological safety is tocreating a positive general mood in a team. This can be achieved through communication, which includes not only work issues, but also personal interests and hobbies of colleagues. Managing expectations can also help – this means that each team member should understand what is expected of them and what they should do, and should not worry that there are hidden requirements that they do not understand.

Creating a positive general mood in the team is important not only to strengthen relationships between colleagues, but also to increase motivation and productivity.

For example, at one company, developers were going through a tough period of project delays. The project manager decided to arrange a small party in the company’s office at the end of the working week, where they planned games and contests, prizes and corporate food. The goal was to relieve tension and cheer up the team. In the end, this idea paid off. Developers have taken a break from the hustle and bustle, projects have become positive, and the development team has really gotten to know each other outside of the work environment.

This case gives an understanding of how important it is not only to stimulate your employees for the quality of work, but also to affirm universal appreciation and freedom for general communication. Creating a positive mood in the team can be done in other ways: joint participation in sports events, holding short but active holidays in the office – all this has a beneficial effect on the psychological safety in projects and reduces the statistics of errors and delays in completing tasks.

Also, an element of ensuring psychological safety is team selection. Each new member of the team must be pre-screened for compliance with professional and personal requirements. This will help to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings between team members.

Communication training can also help to increase psychological safety in a team, as they can help improve team members’ communication skills. Such trainings may cover the issues of improving the effectiveness of communication within the team, interaction with clients and organizational skills.

A few tips for each team member:

  1. Establish open communication. Communication is a key element in achieving psychological safety. Make sure all team members feel comfortable expressing their opinions and asking questions. Define clear lines of communication so that each team member knows who to communicate with and how.

  2. Listen and listen. One of the main causes of conflicts and disagreements in the team is the lack of attention and understanding from the management. It is important to listen to what team members have to say and listen to their opinions. This will help improve relationships within the team and improve the quality of work.

  3. Don’t criticize. Criticism is an important element of any work, but it should be constructive and aimed at improvement. Do not criticize people, but only their work. Give specific advice on how to improve the work, but do not insult, blame or humiliate team members.

  4. Solve problems together. Developing ways to solve problems should be a shared responsibility of the team. Leadership must support the initiatives of team members so that all members can feel useful and see their contribution to the achievement of a common goal.

It must be remembered that each command uniqueand that the approach to ensuring psychological safety should be individualized in each case. Different teams may need different methods and practices to ensure psychological safety and improve work efficiency. Moreover, it is important to monitor the state of the team and respond to possible problems as early as possible in order to prevent their development and minimize negative consequences.


Psychological safety in a team in IT is one of the key success factors. Management must continually work to improve interpersonal relationships to ensure a positive impact on their business results.

I want to end the article with a useful recommendation:

Risks are rarely considered. Especially team leads. But in vain. After all, this is a powerful tool that can prevent and even solve many design problems. wishing to attend a free webinar “Risk Management for Development Team Leads”.

At the webinar, OTUS educators will talk about the meaning of risks and why they need to be managed. Why risk management for a team leader, how to manage risks so that this makes sense and benefits.

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