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Three Ways to Create Psychological Safety in Health Care

​Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School


Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • List three actions to create psychological safety in health care.
  • Explain how the following three actions promote psychological safety: framing the work, modeling fallibility and inviting input, and embracing messengers.

Description: How can leaders ― with or without formal authority ― create psychological safety in health care? In a short video, Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, describes three key actions to foster a psychologically safe work environment.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is it difficult to speak up in a hierarchal environment?
  2. Have you ever challenged someone who had more authority in a situation than you? How did it go?
  3. How can people who aren’t in formal positions of authority apply Amy Edmondson’s leadership principles to their work? Give some examples.
  4. Amy Edmondson talks about the distinction between “managing others’ impressions of us” and “the actual work that we do.” Have you noticed this distinction in your work?
  5. Why is working in health care risky, and why is it important? Do you think it’s easy or difficult to keep these risks and rewards in mind as you go about the daily work of health care?
  6. Think of leaders with whom you’ve worked. Which ones made you feel safest, and why?
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