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  • Writer's picturePatty Beach


As a leader, one of our primary roles is to ensure our teams and employees are fully engaged and all moving forward towards the same goals.

That they are enjoying their work life, growing in skills and feel a sense of belonging and ownership towards the company and its vision.

It’s easy to identify when employees are not engaged because there is a general morale problem in the company.

When there are too many expectations of staff and not enough agreements made then there is a series of disappointments and misalignments.

So how do you create enough psychological safety in your teams and entire company to make clear agreements and allow for risk-taking, speaking up, creativity, and playing full out?

As a leader, how do you create an environment of trust, curiosity, engagement and positive regard for one another?

Google conducted an extensive two-year study on team performance called Project Aristotle. As Charles Duhigg wrote in the The New York Times in 2016, the study revealed that the highest-performing teams have one thing in common: the belief that team members won’t be punished when they make a mistake or fail in their role. This is called psychological safety.

It’s only when we no longer fear failure and mistakes that we can discover a new innovative approach to business and teaming.

The best starting place to create psychological safety is to offer SHUVA to everyone.

SHUVA is an acronym I created to describe a basic need universal to all humans: the need to be Seen, Heard, Understood, Valued, and Appreciated.

When I feel SHUVA from a person or group, I am more willing to expend the extra energy required to hash out areas of misalignment.

SHUVA keeps employees engaged and retains the best talent because everyone feels safe to succeed and to make mistakes from trying out new ideas.

In such an environment, we all become more open to possibilities.

Think about it. When you feel seen, heard, understood, valued, and appreciated, it feels terrific. You can be yourself and express yourself.

SHUVA is the path to true Alignment because all ideas, including doubts and reservations, are welcome.

The dynamics change in a culture of possibilities. Everyone relaxes. New fresh ideas are brought to the surface. Feedback is given and received in a safe and encouraging way.

Everyone wins.

Take a moment to consider how you can bring SHUVA to your business and life. It feels so good and brings the best out in everyone.


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