What Is Psychological Safety?

“Psychological safety in the workplace means that every individual in the organisation feels safe and confident to bring their authentic selves to work. Communication with crystal-clear clarity is a top priority and the work environment is intentionally designed to facilitate exceptional collaboration and teamwork, promoting a deep sense of belonging where everyone in the team can thrive. Regular opportunities for reflection and creative exploration empower individuals to fully utilise their unique talents and perspectives, resulting in increased innovation and enhanced problem-solving capabilities.

Ultimately, psychological safety creates a work environment where both individuals and teams can thrive and achieve their full potential."

- Gina Battye's definition of Psychological Safety

The 5 Pillars of Psychological Safety


Gina Battye created the blueprint for psychological safety: The 5 Pillars of Psychological Safety.

These are principles and teachings that are applicable to workplaces and their people around the globe, whether working in an office or online.

They provide practical support for individuals and teams to empower everyone to bring their whole self to work.

When you have a psychologically safe environment and people feel safe to bring their whole self to work, people communicate and collaborate effectively and a culture of curiosity and creativity is cultivated.

You have happier, healthier and more engaged employees, which increases innovation, productivity and turnover!

The 5 Pillars of Psychological Safety are being used around the world to create fully inclusive workplaces.

In essence, they cultivate an environment where people (and businesses) thrive.

5 Pillars of Psychological Safety - Gina Battye

The 5 Pillars in Detail

Pillars 1, 2 and 3 are critical components in cultivating an inclusive and thriving workplace that empowers both individuals and teams to reach their full potential. By prioritising authenticity, effective communication and creating a supportive environment that fosters a sense of belonging among team members, the workplace becomes a safe and welcoming space where individuals can collaborate effectively and feel supported in achieving their goals.

Pillars 4 and 5 build upon this foundation by providing structured opportunities for continuous learning and innovation. Through the dedicated Curiosity Sessions and Creativity Workshops, teams can explore new ideas and discover different perspectives, which encourages and promotes a culture of curiosity and creativity. These scheduled sessions offer a structured time for reflection, exploration and experimentation; inviting individuals to step out of their daily routines, challenge themselves and embrace the possibilities of what could be.

Together, the 5 Pillars of Psychological Safety form a robust framework that cultivates an inclusive and forward-thinking workplace, where personal and professional growth, innovation and collaboration are deeply valued. By empowering both individuals and teams to reach their full potential, this framework creates a vibrant and supportive workplace culture that inspires employees to thrive and fosters a strong sense of belonging.

Pillar 1 is Self and centres around self-awareness.

In Pillar 1, individuals ask 3 questions:

1. What affects my performance and behaviour at work?

2. How can I take back control of the things that affect my performance and behaviour at work?

3. What can I do to achieve my personal and professional goals at work?

Gina's Authentic Self Process underpins Pillar 1. The Authentic Self Process is an extraordinarily powerful 3 step system that empowers you to bring all of who you are to work and life.

To find out more about The Authentic Self Process, click here.

By the end of Pillar 1, having applied the transformative Authentic Self Process, you will have identified and examined the factors that impact on your performance and behaviour at work and have a powerful toolkit of strategies to draw upon that will enable you to thrive in any workplace situation.

Armed with the game-changing power of heightened self-awareness and unwavering confidence, gained through unleashing your Authentic Self, you will not only excel in the workplace but also become a catalyst for meaningful change by leading with purpose and passion. With the Authentic Self Process at your fingertips, you will be well-equipped to create a positive and impactful change in your workplace and inspire those around you to do the same.
Pillar 2 is Social and centres around communication.

In Pillar 2, individuals ask 3 questions:

1. How can I make sure I communicate my message clearly and in the way I intend it to be received?

2. How can I make sure I receive messages from other people in the way they were intended?

3. How can I get the most out of my exchange of communication with colleagues?

The Communication Cycle is integral to Pillar 2.

By the end of Pillar 2, you will have the skills to implement all aspects of the Communication Cycle, adjust your communication based on feedback and have a toolkit of dynamic and powerful communication strategies at your disposal to tackle any workplace scenario.

By mastering the communication strategies in the Communication Cycle, you will enhance and nurture your relationships in the workplace, enabling you to connect more effectively with colleagues, clients and stakeholders. From delivering a compelling pitch to navigating a difficult negotiation, the tools and techniques you learn in the Communication Cycle will empower you to communicate with unwavering confidence and crystal-clear clarity.
Pillar 3 is Collaboration and centres around creating an environment where everyone in the team can thrive.

In Pillar 3, teams ask 5 questions:

1. What are our goals?

2. How can we create a safe space for everyone?

3. What is the work we need to do?

4. How can we get the most out of ourselves and the team?

5. How do we keep moving things forward?

The CollabZen Methodology underpins Pillar 3.

By the end of Pillar 3, leveraging the CollabZen Methodology, you will not only have acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to create a highly conducive environment for effective teamwork and collaboration, but also have a robust toolkit of proven strategies at your disposal to drive your team towards success.

With the CollabZen methodology, you will be equipped to establish a culture of trust and collaboration among team members, unleash the full potential of each individual and create high-performing teams that consistently deliver exceptional results. This powerful approach will enable you to maximise productivity and drive innovation within your workplace, paving the way for unprecedented levels of success and growth.
Pillar 4 is Curiosity and centres around Curiosity Sessions, in which learning and development, reflective practice and experimentation are integral.

In Pillar 4, the team asks 1 question:

1. How can we improve what we do and how we work together?

Curiosity Sessions provide structured opportunities for continuous learning and self-reflection.

By immersing yourself in Pillar 4, you will learn to experiment and question to innovate, transforming your approach to learning and development. By regularly engaging in Curiosity Sessions and leveraging the diverse toolkit of powerful strategies, you will extract valuable insights from the past to tackle current challenges. Fuelled by an insatiable curiosity and a growth mindset, you will develop an unwavering commitment to self-reflection and transform every experience into an opportunity to learn and evolve, thereby driving your team towards greater success.

Creating a culture of continuous learning and experimentation, with a hunger for growth and development, will propel your team towards new heights of innovation, performance and productivity, positioning you and your team for sustained success in an ever-changing world.
Pillar 5 is Creativity and centres around Creativity Workshops, in which you develop and hone your problem solving and creative thinking skills.

In Pillar 5, the team asks 1 question:

1. How do we problem solve?

Creativity Workshops provide structured opportunities for exploration and experimentation, resulting in enhanced problem-solving capabilities and more creative and innovative solutions that drive growth and success for your organisation.

By immersing yourself in Pillar 5, you will experience a transformative shift in your problem solving and creative thinking abilities. The Creativity Workshops are designed to cultivate an innovative, growth mindset, enabling you to develop new and creative solutions to problems. You will learn to embrace ambiguity and uncertainty, unlocking new perspectives and unconventional approaches to overcome challenges. Equipped with a diverse toolkit of strategies and techniques, you will be able to break down complex problems and unleash your full creative potential.

Mastering these skills, you will become an inspiring and empowering leader for your team. You will encourage your team to generate solutions that go beyond the limits of conventional thinking, resulting in a culture of innovation and growth. As a valuable asset to your team, you will uncover new possibilities and opportunities, heighten engagement and ultimately, drive revenue growth for your organisation.