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Tuesday, August 7 • 09:00 - 10:15
Cultivating Psychological Safety: the Hard Parts (Alex Harms) POPULAR

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When we’re feeling stressed, threatened, or unsafe, our bodies help us do a lot of things better. We’re able to run faster, hit harder, yell louder. We are able to notice the slightest movement out of the corner of our eye.
Things we do not do better: think creatively, work collaboratively, solve problems.
These are very human activities, and they work best in a very human environment. Our movement is coming to realize that feeling free to express ideas, questions, joys and concerns without fear of rejection or judgment is vital for agile collaboration.
But 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!
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. Let's explore together what it takes to cultivate psychological safety for yourself and your team, and what gets in the way.

Learning Outcomes:
  • How to practice empathy and non-judgment
  • Three factors that contribute to psychological safety
  • How to lead a team towards safety 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
  • What leadership can do to encourage a culture of psychological safety


avatar for Alex Harms

Alex Harms

Coach, Maitria
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.

Tuesday August 7, 2018 09:00 - 10:15 PDT
Marriott Salon 3 & 4