SEVEN STEPS – Speaking up without fear

Top tips for a psychologically safe, inclusive workplace

  1. Make sure you are a cheerleader for your team’s success – celebrate their individual accomplishments.
  2. Be engaged and give workers your attention when they speak to you. Ensure that you listen actively and don’t just wait to respond. Being engaged is not the same as being present.
  3. Give workers an opportunity to shine, and give them your support and encouragement.
  4. Trust your workers. Be a coach who wants their team to succeed.
  5. Don’t play the blame game. Although it’s important to fully understand how something went wrong, focus more on the solution than looking to apportion blame. Make it clear it’s a learning opportunity for everyone.
  6. When managing change, there are important decisions to be made. Involve workers where possible at all stages and show that you value their opinion.
  7. Give workers a voice.


  • Inclusion safety. Everybody’s opinions matter and people are trusted to do the right thing.
  • Learner safety. Everybody can develop themselves, learn from colleagues and feel comfortable applying their knowledge.
  • Contributor safety. Everyone can be part of the debate and everyone’s input is valued equally.
  • Challenger safety. The culture doesn’t stifle enthusiasm for challenging working practice methods.


  • Those who innovate or challenge the status quo are brushed off as troublemakers and the dreaded ‘we’ve always done it this way’ crowd makes an appearance. But if we do what we have always done, won’t we get what we have always got?
  • Mistakes or errors, however minor, go unreported. This misses the learning opportunities from such an occurrence.
  • Unconscious bias – or just those asking questions being considered as ‘difficult’ or ‘obstructive’. Often the best ideas come from those doing the job every day, not the boardroom.
  • Lack of inclusion and diversity. Diversity is important at all levels of an organisation. Everybody should be included and appreciated for their individual strengths.
  • Micromanagement of the workforce. This only serves to make people feel inadequate.Workers flourish when given the opportunity for autonomy. It is better to concentrate on the outputs more than the inputs.

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