Psychological safety: the inside story

4-6 October 2017

John McIntyre Conference Centre, Edinburgh

A 45 minute Tutorial by:

Alex Harms


About this Tutorial

Google's Project Aristotle famously determined that high functioning teams are teams with psychological safety. Our movement is coming to realise that feeling free to express ideas, questions, joys and concerns without fear of rejection or judgment is vital for agile collaboration.

Even though we say "without fear of judgment", we don't do a lot of talking about how to actually get there. And it's hard! Obviously.

Here's the hard part: we not only need psychological safety for ourselves, but we're a source of safety for our teammates. We all get scared, and we all have the power to ease each other's fears. Wear your brave hat and come explore what it takes to cultivate psychological safety!

This session is about:

  • empathy and non-judgment, and the inside work that's needed to be able to approach a conversation in this way
  • how to lead a team towards this when it's not your (or their!) primary job
  • how to find fondness for folks who irritate you, so that you can engage with them without setting off their 'unsafe' sensors

About the Speaker

Alex Harms wants to make the world a little gentler for developers and tech teams. By teaching and coaching from a place of mindfulness and empathy, Alex helps disempower fear, strengthen communication and build connection, so that tech teams learn together and thrive. Alex is the host of the Geek Joy Podcast, author of The Little Guide to Empathetic Technical Leadership, and loves coaching most of all.


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