Psychological Safety for Immigrants

Our last post on Lezam, Breaking into Authentic Leadership, briefly discussed the term Psychological Safety. As a recap, Psychological Safety is a term coined by Harvard Business School Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management Amy Edmondson, and popularized when a major Google study found it was the #1 factor that led to high performance teams.  You can check out Amy’s Book, The Fearless Organization, here

Part of the principle of Psychological Safety is that people don’t want to have to show up with a different version of themselves at work than they do elsewhere, but rather want to know that they can feel comfortable being their whole self all the time. Amy’s work is prompting powerful conversations towards change globally.

Let’s take a moment to consider a few of the complications that immigration may add to Psychological Safety in an organization.

1-Where you’re an immigrant from matters. Is your home country considered equal, inferior, or superior to your current home? How does that affect how you’re perceived and received in your new environment? How does that affect you personally?

2-Age matters. Is it a relatively younger corporate culture? Are they more used to immersion in diversity? At what age did the employee immigrate? How different is the current culture from their homeland? How does that impact their acclimation?

3-Leadership is responsible. Leadership has a responsibility to create an environment that celebrates diversity and makes all people feel safe and welcome. One way this can be done is by acknowledging holidays from across different countries, for example with individual celebrations or a “world day.”

Ethnic and cultural diversity in the workforce can bring such a richness to the voice of an organization. Creating a fearless teaming environment and leveraging that diversity can propel them towards growth and innovation. How does your organization rate in embracing diversity?

ENGAGE: Does your organization need an easily accessible training program for Psychological Safety?  Click here to contact me and let’s chat. 

GO FURTHER:  I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment below or send me a message.


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