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Dr Peter Brace

Tom: [00:00:00] Hi, and welcome to Health and Safety Conversations. I'm your host, Tom Bourne, and with me today is the marvellous Dr. Peter Brace. Peter, how

Peter Brace: are you? I'm great. Thanks, Tom. Thank you so much for having me on your show. I really appreciate it.

Tom: Oh, it's our absolute pleasure to have someone of your calibre come on and talk to us today.

Tom: Peter, I know a little bit about you because of the research I've done, a little bit of research I've done about you, nothing weird or stalkerish or anything like that, but for those who don't know you so far, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your professional journey so far?

Peter Brace: Well, I've been working for quite a while in in technology and processes and, and probably about 15 years ago, moved into focusing on human resources.

Peter Brace: And that's a, it's an interesting field because I am very interested in people and the way people work together. My, my PhD is about, you know, what moves people to take action. And so I'm particularly [00:01:00] interested in the way that teams work together. So a few years ago, I discovered the concept of psychological safety.

Peter Brace: It really lined up a lot of the things that I'm interested in and the experience I've had. So decided to really pursue that and, and go deep into that, which is which has been a very interesting and rewarding for me. Oh

Tom: dear. I'll tell you what, I'm nowhere near that smart Peter. I only guess at what motivates people.

Tom: And getting teams to work together sounds... Good. Psychological safety though, it's for the last 18 months at least, maybe two years, it's been the catchphrase in safety. Okay. What is it? What does Peter, Dr. Peter Brace say psychological safety is and how do we achieve it in the workplace?

Peter Brace: Well, psychological safety As a, as a concept has been around since [00:02:00] the, the 60s, when, when a couple of guys named Shine and, and Bennis did some research into, you know, what, what makes teams effective.

Peter Brace: Also there's been work done by Google. They did a project, which a lot of people have heard of project Aristotle, where they looked at nearly 200 teams and tried to find what, you know, what is the common factor that makes a good team. And Professor Amy Edmondson, who's, who's at Harvard, she's done a lot of research in this area and continues to do so.

Peter Brace: So I really would use the definitions that, that those folks have used. And, and psychological safety is about the feeling you get when you're working in a group, that it is safe to, to speak up to share your ideas. Even to challenge the way that things are done, and in a psychologically safe environment, the fear of punishment or ridicule or, or being ignored [00:03:00] is taken away.

Peter Brace: So it's that environment where you feel safe to speak up and, and share your unique point of view. Very good. Very good.

Tom: It sounds common sense, and it sounds... Very easy to achieve,

Peter Brace: is it? It's, it's not easy to achieve at all, and particularly the way that you can illustrate that is, you know, the research that has been done in what is the greatest fear that people have, right?

Peter Brace: And the greatest fear that people have is not the fear of death. It's the fear of public speaking. Yes. And the reason for that is any task where you feel you are being judged or evaluated by others. Those are the tasks that are the most stressful and [00:04:00] research that looks at the level of, you know, hormones in the blood that indicates stress or arousal.

Peter Brace: They show that no matter what the stressful task is that you give people, whether it's, you know, Mental arithmetic, whether it's you know mental arithmetic with, with loud noises, you know, whether it's solving complex problems under time pressure, whatever it is, the group of tasks that stress people out the most are the tasks where people feel that they could be judged by others.

Peter Brace: So this happens all the time in teams, right? Whenever you speak up or share an idea. Or speak to someone in front of a group of people in your team, particularly in front of your boss. There's always that thought in the back of your mind, you know, how is this going to go down? Are people going to laugh at me?

Peter Brace: Are they going to ignore me? Are they going to think this is a stupid idea? And what psychological safety does, [00:05:00] it helps to moderate or remove that fear. And so people then feel free to speak up. And in the, in the context of physical safety, It means people will do things like call out a safety issue.

Peter Brace: They will, they will mention a hazard, whereas in many teams, they'd be afraid to do so because they'd be ridiculed or, you know, the team, you know, doesn't work like that. So, you know, we don't worry about this. So that fear is taken away. So people go, Oh, this is an issue that I see, but I don't think anyone else has seen.

Peter Brace: And it's okay for me to mention that. So it's extremely powerful when it comes to physical safety, but there are lots of other benefits as well.

Tom: Just wondering the lack of fear or the removal of fear to raise an issue or to call something out. I'm guessing as well there has to be some sort of respect and compassion [00:06:00] about if someone raises a point of view or something and it's just not practicable or, you know, practical to...

Tom: Implement and that a lot of that might be maybe not negative consequences in terms of their job, but a situation where they're not led to being publicly embarrassed in front of their peers. Yeah, I

Peter Brace: mean, a lot of the level of psychological safety comes down to the way that the leader of that team reacts and acts towards the people in that team.

Peter Brace: In fact, about half of the level of psychological safety is down to the influence of the leader. So, so if someone in the team suggests something or points something out or challenges something, a lot comes down to how the leader reacts. In that moment, and I like to think of the example of of Toyota, you know, Toyota, [00:07:00] when they were starting to improve their quality, they, they instituted this this way of improving quality known as the and on cord, which.

Peter Brace: You've probably heard of that, Tommy, you know, it was a, it was a, a literal cord that stretched along the length of the production line where the people were making cars and people, anybody, any worker could pull this cord and it would stop the line and people could come and say, Oh, what's the problem?

Peter Brace: And, you know, is it a quality issue we need to address? Is it a safety issue? But one of the things that ensured that the and on cord worked, and let's remember this is in Japan, so this is not a culture where people are known for speaking out against the group the first thing that happened when someone pulled the and on cord was the other workers would gather around and thank them.

Peter Brace: And then the supervisor would come over and they would thank the person who pulled the cord. So immediately [00:08:00] you're creating this culture where it's okay to point out that there's a problem. In fact, you're rewarded. For pointing out there's a problem and for stopping the production line at a tremendous cost, obviously, but the focus was on improving quality.

Peter Brace: So what the leader did and what the fellow workers did by thinking that person that reinforced that this is okay. It's good to stand out in this situation, make a decision and call out that there's something needs to be fixed. So, you know, that's the kind of thing that leaders need to do if someone makes a suggestion, first of all, thank them for it.

Peter Brace: Right. And, you know, notice that that took some courage to do so, even in a psychologically safe team, and then look at, well, what can we do about this? Right? Have we tried this idea before? Is it something new? And what I teach teams to do in this situation is put some [00:09:00] constraints around this idea, right?

Peter Brace: If you're going to try it, Then try it for a week or try it with, you know, one small part of the team or try it until a certain amount of money is spent and then look at what are the results. So, so built into that, you've already got a decision to stop it. If things are not going well, so it's not a surprise or a humiliation.

Peter Brace: If once this is tried, we find that it's not working at all. Maybe we can use part of the idea. So that makes it a lot easier to try and be innovative, which is one of the great benefits of psychological safety in a team. Good, good.

Tom: All right. Just looking at a previous post and you put on LinkedIn about psychological safety.

Tom: Is it a unicorn? Yeah, look, I, I, I speak to a lot of workers and a lot of supervisors and they kind of ask the same question. They say, it's a great idea, you know, fantastic. We all agree with the idea [00:10:00] because it makes sense. But is it truly achievable in, in the workplace?

Peter Brace: Well, well, the answer is yes, it is achievable.

Peter Brace: But it's not something you can reach perfection on, right? You can never get 100 percent psychologically safe team for the very reason that people vary. In in what they need to feel psychologically safe. So you have a mix of personalities in a team. You know, some people you know, find it very easy to feel part of the team others.

Peter Brace: You know, I'm a bit of an introvert. It's much more difficult for me to feel like I belong and I'm part of the team. So you've got that dynamic of different personalities. You've got all the team interaction going on. You've got the influence of the leader. So it's an extremely complex system. So you can't just say, Oh, let's, let's, you know, let's dial psychologically, psychological safety up to 80 [00:11:00] out of a hundred or whatever.

Peter Brace: All you can do is create the conditions in that team to help psychological safety emerge. Good.

Tom: Are there any industries that have embraced.

Peter Brace: It's interesting that it's across all industries. The impact of psychological safety is across all industries, and there are examples from all industries. You know, there are examples from mining and construction, you know, from law enforcement, military teams. One of the most striking examples is in healthcare teams.

Peter Brace: So, you know, you can imagine, I think, you know, if you've got a team of people looking after a patient, let's say, you know, a surgical scenario. So you've got a team there working to do some surgery. Now, if all members of the team feel safe to point out. [00:12:00] When something is going wrong or they feel that a mistake has been made, you can imagine that that will have a great effect on the well being of the patient.

Peter Brace: In fact we talk about Amy Edmondson, one of her first research projects was into health care teams and her thesis was, if the psychological safety is high in a team, they will make fewer mistakes. And that was her thesis and she went out and gathered the data. And the data came back, she put it through her analysis and found exactly the opposite to what she was expecting.

Peter Brace: She found that the, the teams with the highest level of psychological safety appeared to be making more mistakes. So, you know, she ran the numbers again, maybe I put it in backwards, right? And, but that's the same results. But in investigating what she found was. The [00:13:00] teams with high levels of psychological safety were reporting more errors.

Peter Brace: They were being open about the mistakes they made. They were calling them out and they were addressing them. So the patient outcomes for those teams were much better, but on paper it looked like they were making more mistakes. So that's what you want in a psychologically safe team. You want people to call out.

Peter Brace: When things are going wrong or when there's a potential hazard, for example, in a safety scenario, that's what you want, so you can actually address it and do something about it. You don't want people sweeping things under the carpet because they're afraid that they'll be ridiculed for mentioning this.

Tom: Yeah. Is there any type of management styles or management arrangements which are less likely to lead to a psychologically safe workplace?

Peter Brace: Yeah, the, the traditional management style that [00:14:00] we, that we often call command and control, that is really against psychological safety because you're, you're micromanaging people, you're telling them what to do, you don't want to hear their ideas, you just want to command them, and you want them to do what they're told, all those things, will help to destroy any level of psychological safety in that team.

Peter Brace: You know, one of the factors that helps people feel safe Is the level of autonomy they feel in their work. So, as soon as you start to micromanage people, people become more anxious. They're more worried about, you know, deviating from exactly what you've told them. And, you know, their focus is on just pleasing you as a leader, rather than actually being effective in getting the work done.

Tom: Yeah, yeah. When you were talking earlier about people being stressed by being [00:15:00] judged, valued, watched, etc. I wrote down a little note, micromanagement, because that's the perfect scenario for me. I don't know anyone, I don't know any worker that likes being micromanaged. And yet, It still happens, and yeah, it's a bit bizarre.

Tom: I was listening to another podcast not that long ago and they brought up the case that in some parts of the aviation industry now, they're not referring to the people flying the plane as pilot and co pilot, but they're saying pilots. So they have the same equivalent ranking so that Either, either, can basically take command of a plane if they see a dangerous situation happening, instead of one having to bow to the more senior person.

Tom: If someone raises an issue, either [00:16:00] one... Can basically take action to prevent disaster. And I went, wow, that's an amazing step because it's traditionally one of those industries where we have the experienced person and we have the less experienced person and the less experienced person would be. You would think intimidated or scared to speak up, even if they knew something was wrong.

Peter Brace: Yeah, yeah. And there are many examples from the aviation industry, you know, cockpit voice recorders, where it was obvious that the co pilot knew what needed to be done and yet was afraid to speak up about it and lives have been lost. So, you know, however you create that level of psychological safety.

Peter Brace: You know, people working in those you know, really critical industries need to have that. And in healthcare,

Tom: as you spoke, I would suggest that perhaps nurses feeling the inability to speak up to [00:17:00] challenge a surgeon or a doctor's point of view might be one of those critical areas as

Peter Brace: well. Yes, I mean, I spoke to a senior HR person in I think it was in, in China.

Peter Brace: And he'd been a nurse at one point in his career. He's a Western guy, and he said that he had actually seen situations when he was working as a nurse where nurses were afraid to speak up and and patients died. As a result of this, because the nurse did not want to challenge the authority of the surgeon you know, and particularly in cases with these nurses had come from you know, developing country were working in the West.

Peter Brace: They were highly dependent on having this job to support their family back home, and they just could not take the risk of being ridiculed or or even fired. Because of speaking up against the authority of the surgeon and, and the patient [00:18:00] outcomes were, were disastrous.

Tom: Yeah. One of the other industries I, I, I fear barely dominated by a hierarchical structure, believe it or not, is people working in

Peter Brace: kitchens.

Peter Brace: Oh, yes.

Tom: And... It seemed to be stereotypical that the chef is this very dominant figure that won't stand to have anything challenged. I'd suggest that might be a bit of an interesting situation to bring in psychological safety because I think you'd have a lot of work to do.

Peter Brace: It's a great example, Tom, because there has been a fair amount of research in hospitality on the impact of psychological safety.

Peter Brace: And it's really interesting whatever industry you look at, it has an impact on what the key performance indicators are. So when you look at hospitality, some of the research shows that recovery from errors is faster in a psychologically safe team in hospitality. [00:19:00] So, you know, you take, take the you know, the diner, the wrong order in a psychologically safe team, that team is able to recover more quickly.

Peter Brace: Customers are happier. People stay around longer in that industry, which has a notoriously high turnover. But in a psychologically safe team, you know, that turnover is far reduced. So it's, it's really interesting. Whatever the industry is. And whatever it is they do, psychological safety seems to help them do it better.

Tom: Yeah, yeah, I can understand that. Just want to go slightly sidetracked there for a second. Command and control, we mentioned that. Is there any benefit of having a command control type management?

Peter Brace: I, it depends very much on, on the work that's being done, right? If the work is extremely predictable, right? If there is very little [00:20:00] change, if it's stable and, and you know exactly what needs to be done there, there is probably a case for Commander control. The level of satisfaction of the people working in that team is gonna be low.

Peter Brace: The innovation is going to be low, but maybe you don't want innovation in that team, you know, so, so, you know, there is a case for it, but it's not really a sustainable model, one, because people are not going to enjoy working there, so they're probably going to be always on the lookout to go somewhere else.

Peter Brace: And the second thing is, are there any industries today that are stable and that are not subject to constant change? It's really hard to think of any, isn't it?

Tom: Yeah, true. In any organization, and I think you've answered this, but I've just tried anyhow, who do you think is the most influential person in helping create a psychological safe [00:21:00] workspace?

Peter Brace: Well, the data shows that around half the level of psychological safety is, is down to the immediate supervisor of the team, but also within the team, there are people who are more influential than others, right? People who are more outspoken. People have greater seniority, people who are somehow better, better networking than others, you know, and they will have a level of influence on, on psychological safety.

Peter Brace: So, you know, if there's, if there's a key person in the team, who's maybe in some way prejudiced against some in the team, and they're constantly going on about this, you know, it's going to reduce, obviously, the level of psychological safety for those people that they're talking about. You, you often see this in in some industries where, where people are very denigrating about the L L G B T Q plus community.

Peter Brace: Right? People in those [00:22:00] teams are not going to reveal their part of that community because they'll feel unsafe. And, and that feeling of you know, a lack of safety will translate to other areas of the workplace too. So they're less likely to speak up about, say, a hazard, Or an idea that they have because they're not going to feel that they belong in that team and therefore their level of stress is going to be higher.

Peter Brace: They'll keep their head down. And, and you won't get the benefit of their unique perspective. Yeah, absolutely.

Tom: All right, we know some of the benefits. You've spoken of some of the benefits of having a psychologically safe workplace. I know in a lot of organizations there are people, I won't call them the bean counters, but they're basically look for anything that's measurable.

Tom: Yeah. Is a psychologically safe workplace The benefits, are they actually measurable in any way or shape or form?

Peter Brace: Well, there's two [00:23:00] ways to look at that. One is can you measure the level of psychological safety within a group? And the answer to that is yes, you can. You know, if you can ask people questions.

Peter Brace: about how they feel about working in that group. Questions like, you know, do I feel, do you feel that your team members have your back? Do I feel that I can and I can speak up with ideas or concerns, right? And, and you generally ask them to raise it on a scale of never to always. So then you'll get a pretty good idea of how people are feeling about working in that team.

Peter Brace: And now, now, obviously, you need to make sure that they feel these, their answers are anonymous, because if there's a lack of psychological safety, they are not going to want to give an honest answer to those questions. So their anonymity must be protected, but. You know, there's quite a number of surveys [00:24:00] that, you know, five or six questions where you can kind of take a quick temperature of the level of psychological safety of that team.

Peter Brace: And one of the things we often do is, you know, we'll, we'll measure the level of psychological safety, but we'll also measure the performance of that team at the same time. So. You know, what is it that's important to that team? Is it the number of calls per hour that they make? Is it customer satisfaction levels?

Peter Brace: Or is it things like unplanned days off? Which can, you know, a great indicator of stress in a team is the number of days people take off because they, you know, something comes out there, they're, they're stressed, they're sick, right? That's, that's probably an indication that there's, there's something not quite right in that team.

Peter Brace: But then you can. Create some intervention, work with that team, do some training and coaching, and then measure that level of [00:25:00] psychological safety and performance again. And you are almost certain to see that link between the two. As the level of psychological safety rises, unplanned leave days are going to go down.

Peter Brace: Customer satisfaction is going to go up. So it's, it's almost inevitable that that will happen, but just because of the way people are.

Tom: All right, you've done extensive work in human resources, and anyone who does human resources I admire because, ah, I feel like it's where angels don't tread, and I don't think there's a lot of reward, like as in thanking human resources for many things that they have to manage, shall we say. Some things I've seen some people say about Psychologically Safe, does it create an environment for it?

Tom: Where basically, we've gone from perhaps a conservative, [00:26:00] respectful culture where people are too scared to speak up about anything, to basically a free for all, where people can say whatever they want, regardless of the fact it may offend groups within the workplace.

Peter Brace: Great, great question, Tom. And I guess a couple of things there.

Peter Brace: One is that a psychologically safe workplace shouldn't be a conflict free workplace. And if you have a workplace that's totally free of conflict, it may be an indication that everyone's too scared to speak up. So, so you do want people to feel free to share their ideas. To raise their concerns, right?

Peter Brace: And that is inevitably going to cause some level of conflict or tension, but in a psychologically safe [00:27:00] team, you also need to have that respect there as well. And that's part of what we do when we talk about what psychological safety is. You know, it's not a lack of respect. It's not a free for all where you can say anything you like, you know, part of a psychological, psychological safety is, is respecting and listening to the viewpoint of others.

Peter Brace: So, you know, if you are creating that atmosphere in your team, where the value of everyone in that team is respected. You know, because of the job they do, who they are, their, their strengths that they bring to the team, you, you are far more likely to have an atmosphere of respect where people do listen to one another.

Peter Brace: So, so a concern is raised, but the problem is when that concern is ignored or ridiculed. If that concern is [00:28:00] listened to and taken seriously and discussed, the team can only benefit from that. Excellent.

Tom: All right, just on that. You do a lot of training for people and organizations about psychological safety.

Tom: Is there a right and a wrong way to speak up in a psychologically safe environment?

Peter Brace: Well, what you, what you want, what you want to try and do is, is recognize and respect that people have different ways of communicating. Some people have Very articulate, they can say what they think, and they can put it in a few words, they can explain it clearly.

Peter Brace: You know, other people take a lot longer to think about things, but they may have just as good an idea. Some people [00:29:00] to save their life would not speak up in front of a group. But they might also have a great idea. So, so what you want to do in that group is to, is to find different ways that everybody can speak up and share what they're thinking, give suggestions, raise their concerns.

Peter Brace: So, so for some people that might be in a, in a meeting. For others though, they might find that so much easier if they were to put it in writing, you know, and if you're, if you're running a meeting, make sure you're getting input from everybody. So that may be talking to the person beforehand and saying, you know, I know you don't like to speak at meetings.

Peter Brace: That's fine. But if you've got an idea about a point that we're going to bring up and here's the agenda, just send me a note beforehand and I'll raise it on your behalf. You know, and you can even say things like, look, if people hate the idea, I'll say it was mine. If they love it, we'll give you [00:30:00] the credit and you can even do things like you know, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, many cultures there, it's really hard for people to speak up in front of their boss.

Peter Brace: And the last thing they want to do is is challenge them in any way. So, so one of the things you can do is to is to get the leader of the team to assign someone every week to be the person that that raises a contrary idea. So, you know, Joe, this week. Whatever comes up, I want you to challenge it. All right.

Peter Brace: And please do that for me. That's what you're saying to this person, you know, as the leader of the team. And next week, it's going to be Judy who does that. So, so you're not singling out anyone, but you're creating an atmosphere where people see what happens when you speak up. And it's positive, right? So, so you think that, oh, that's a great idea.

Peter Brace: We should think about, you know, I'm glad you brought your perspective to [00:31:00] this, you know, no one else saw that. Well done, right? So now we start to say, okay, it's all right to challenge the boss and to raise ideas, you know, it doesn't cause a disaster. So, you know, it becomes part of what the team does, part of changing the culture of that team.

Peter Brace: Excellent.

Tom: I think you've kind of answered it, but this is a question from my lovely wife who's facing home management who are curious about everything psychological safety. They've heard the words and they don't know anything about it. It's a good question. It's, it's, how do you start conversations with your people about creating psychological safety in the workplace?

Peter Brace: Good question. And I think one of the things you have to do is to tell everybody. That this is what you're looking at. So, you know, every workplace, you know, normally they get everyone together every now and [00:32:00] again, you know, sometimes they call it a town hall meeting or whatever it is. Right? So at one of those sessions, just let people know, you know, this is psychological safety.

Peter Brace: This is what it means. This is why it's important. We're starting to look at this as an organization and we're starting to explore how we might improve it. So, so what you're doing is being open, you're being transparent, you know, you can even be vulnerable and say, you know, this is new for us we, you know, we appreciate if you have any ideas about it or concerns, let us know if you have any ideas, we can do this better speak up, right?

Peter Brace: So you're, you're modeling psychological safety there, right? So then, then you're telling everyone what's going on. And, and then to me, the next step is to start to work with leaders of teams. So get those team leaders on board, let them know, you know, why this is important for their team, give them some of the tools [00:33:00] and techniques they can use for improving psychological safety and meetings and conversations and all that.

Peter Brace: So, so then that starts to, to, to permeate through the organization. And, and if you're looking for somewhere to start, the ideal is you start at the top. So the top team is fully on board. But if there's some reluctance there, one way is to start with a team and monitor the results. So as psychological safety improves, that team is going to get better, engagement is going to improve, performance is going to improve, safety is going to improve.

Peter Brace: So, so then the other team leaders are going to go, Oh, I want a piece of that. I can see this is actually helping with your KPIs. You know, this is helping you achieve more. Your people are happier. What's going on? You know, tell me your secret. And, and then it starts to spread throughout the [00:34:00] organization more organically.

Peter Brace: So I'm not sure if that answered. Hopefully that answered your wife's question,

Tom: Tom. Oh, I think it did. I think it bit, and it'll give us some to start, which is, it's really good because like a lot of organizations, they're starting from ground zero level of understanding. Yeah. So that's, that's good. All right.

Tom: Human Capital Realization. What is it, Peter? And what does it do?

Peter Brace: So we're just a small company, a couple of people. We're focused on HR systems and processes. We've got some software solutions around improving the way things are done in HR. And psychological safety is kind of part of the business. Of improving the way that people work together.

Peter Brace: So I pretty much focused on psychological safety. My business partner focuses more on those technology solutions that we look at in HR. Very good, very good.

Tom: Now, I'm, I'm guessing I already know the [00:35:00] answer. You're based in Victoria, but do you do work outside Victoria?

Peter Brace: Yes, I do. I mean, I've, I've tried to focus not only on Australia, but on the Asia Pacific region, because I think there's some really interesting challenges in some of those cultures where what's known as power distance is very high.

Peter Brace: So where there's steep hierarchies, not only in the workplace, but in society. So for example, you know, many countries in the Asia Pacific region, parents are treated with great respect, which, which doesn't always happen in our society. You know, older people in the community are looked up to you know, there, there there's more stability more social cohesion, but that also makes it far more difficult for people to speak up, suggest ideas or changes.

Peter Brace: And as it were, rock the boat. But, but if you take an approach where you respect [00:36:00] those cultures and see the great value in the way they do things, and really try and apply that in the way psychological safety is seen, so, you know, you're just extending the, the concept of respect, which is really well known and understood.

Peter Brace: In those cultures and, and just saying, you know, there's respect is not just flowing one way, as in, up to the boss. You know, it needs to flow across and it needs to flow down as well. And, and you know, again, when people see the results of this and, and particularly as new generations come to the workplace with different expectations as to how work is gonna be, and that really helps as well.

Peter Brace: Yeah. Excellent.

Tom: Alright. If. I was a business and I wanted to reach out to you for help or both in psychological safety or human resources solutions. How would I go about getting in touch? [00:37:00]

Peter Brace: LinkedIn is probably the best place to go at the moment. So I, I do a lot of work on LinkedIn because I think, you know, as, as you mentioned, Tom, there is a lot of People who want to know more about psychological safety, who are seeking to understand what it is, where does it fit in, you know, it's not just protection from psychological harm.

Peter Brace: It's it's a lot more than that, and it has great value. So I'm trying to get the word out as it were and let people know why this is so important. So if people look for me on LinkedIn, Peter Brace they'll find me and send a message that way. That's probably one of the best ways, I think, to reach out.

Peter Brace: Excellent, excellent.

Tom: Just one more question before we might call it a day, Peter. Has psychological safety always been something that workplaces should have, or is it just [00:38:00] because the legislation's changed recently that we're even talking about this?

Peter Brace: It's a, it's a, it's a great question. I, I look at something that, that you might not think about in this One of the oldest pieces of art in the world that's about, about 40, 000 years old, it's in Sulawesi and what's Indonesia, I mean, we, we have older art than that in, in Australia.

Peter Brace: But this, this example is particularly interesting in that it shows a group of people hunting an animal. So in other words, it's a team, right? Because a team is a group of people that comes together for a particular purpose. And the painting is quite interesting because the people are shown with different characteristics, like one [00:39:00] person has a head like an eagle, another person has legs like an antelope, right?

Peter Brace: So they're kind of mixtures of people and animals. And archaeologists believe that what is being shown there is that it's showing the characteristics of people in this team. So there's, there's one person who has amazing vision, you know, he can see the animal that needs to be caught. Another person has, has great speed at running.

Peter Brace: So, you know, they're able to catch the animal. Other people obviously have, have skills with, with spears. So, so what it is, it's a diverse team. It's a team with different abilities that has come together to actually execute a project. In this case, it's, it's feeding, feeding the family or the village, right?

Peter Brace: So, so we're alive today because our ancestors learned to work in diverse teams. And [00:40:00] you only get the value of diversity when people feel safe to bring and show their unique strengths within that team. So it's something that's been around for a very long time. And I think when we got into mechanizing work, And treating people instrumentally at work and creating factories, we kind of lost sight of the value of people being able to bring their unique perspective and strength to a group, which is what we now call psychological safety.

Peter Brace: So to me, it's something that's always been around. It's always been necessary. It's always been beneficial, and it's not just about feeling good and comfortable and engaged and safe at work. It's about getting a job done well. And, you know, finding joy in it at the same time. So, to me, it's a really, really important quality of a team.

Peter Brace: Good, good. [00:41:00]

Tom: Dr. Peter Brace, it's been an absolute pleasure speaking to you this evening. I really do thank you for coming on and sharing your wisdom and experience. And I look forward to speaking to you again soon.

Peter Brace: Thank you so much, Tom. Great to talk to you. I loved your questions. And yeah, I look forward to another conversation before

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