Leadership Style: Fostering Psychological Safety 1.5 minute read Written by Shawn Bakker, Psychologist Psychological safety is one of the core dynamics that differentiates between effective and ineffective teams. In teams where psychological safety is present, team members take the risk of sharing their ideas, thoughts and vulnerabilities without fear of being sidelined or penalized. When members are open to sharing their ideas and considering the ideas of others, the team benefits from improvements in communication, decision-making, innovation, problem-solving, learning and resilience. Leaders have a significant impact on the level of psychological safety in their teams – their actions will either foster psychological safety or hinder it. So self-awareness for leaders is critical, and personality type can provide leaders with some insights into how their style can nurture psychological safety, as well as their potential blind spots. By using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, we can explore the combination of the Thinking-Feeling with Judging-Perceiving preferences. The MBTI® tool can give leaders some clarity into their leadership/management style. Assets Challenges TJ’s The Deciders Share their ideas and let others know where they stand Make decisions based on principles and systems Focus on implementation of ideas May not see the impact of decisions on others May not involve others & decide too quickly TP’s The Adapters Gather vast amounts of information Flexible and tolerant of a diversity of ideas High levels of curiosity May not give others enough direction May put off decisions FP’s The Coaches Involve, encourage & energize others Stay flexible and quickly respond to change Seek out information on what is important to others May resist the structure and systems that others need May change direction too quickly FJ’s The Uniters Strive for consensus & harmony Include others in decision-making Focus on the mission and values of the group May put off tough decisions May avoid confronting difficult people Psychological safety is found in workplaces that are challenging, but not threatening. Ask the leaders that you are working with if they are able to find the right balance. They will know that the psychological safety on their teams is increasing when they see higher levels of engagement, creativity and performance. For more information on how personality type can help leaders explore their assets and challenges I recommend Introduction to Myers-Briggs Type and Leadership. To receive more exclusive tips, insights, and resources like this, join the Psychometrics network!