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The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety: Defining the Path to Inclusion and Innovation

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  24 reviews
This is the first practical, hands-on guide that shows how leaders can build psychological safety in their organization, creating an environment where employees feel fully engaged and encouraged to contribute their best ideas.

Fear has a profoundly negative impact on engagement, learning efficacy, productivity, and innovation, but until now there has been a lack of practica
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers
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Meckell Fernandez
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Now THIS is a message that I wish everyone knew about! Had I known about psychological safety and the 4 stages earlier, I think I could've been a much better leader in my past roles. It is so important to create a "safe space" where everyone feels included, safe, and secure in where they are in a group both socially and psychologically or within themselves.

Not only is this great to implement as a leader, but it's also an important message for parents, teachers etc. Could you imagine how a home d
Jason Hillenburg
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Timothy Clark’s "The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety: Defining the Path to Inclusion and Innovation" deals with an all too relevant topic – the need for organizational leaders to build psychological safety for their employees encouraging engagement, success, and inclusion. Clark has unique qualifications to speak about this subject. He is an organizational consultant with many of the world’s top companies like American Express, CEO in his own right with his company LeaderFactor, and an Oxford-t ...more
Deene Morris
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Clark is a gifted writer who synthesizes the complexity of human relationships with the dynamic processes of organizational change. He offers to the reader a highly assessable and diagnostic framework to create and sustain thriving systems.

But make no mistake: this book doesn’t rest on theory. Right from the start, Clark implores you to read this book to crack yourself open – for action and change.

With humility, humor and insight, he invites you on a journey as a first among equals. You wil
Briana Kelly
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Likes: Fascinating new concept of psychological safety in 4 stages: (1) Inclusion safety (2) Learner safety (3) Contributor safety (4) Challenger safety. Summary and key questions at end of each chapter.
Dislikes: Could be shorter and more to the point in some parts
Recommend For: All managers and anyone interested in concept of psychological safety in and outside of the workplace
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, management
The concept of “Psychological Safety” is both often misunderstood, and essential to effective (and even innovative) groups. “Psychological Safety” is about how comfortable people are sharing and challenging ideas. Psychological Safety is a very practical matter. It can be related to physical safety as well (for example, a factory when team members are reluctant to point out safety issues), and business success and innovation. Timothy Clark’s new book (which I got an advance copy of) explains the ...more
Benjamin Clark
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The 4 stages has reaffirmed the essential role psychological safety plays in personal and professional success. Clark clearly outlines what psychological safety is and provides great examples of each stage. Thought provoking, engaging, and enlightening read.
Sharon Summerfield
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book!

This is a must read for everyone. I was introduced to this book by Benjamin Clark with LeaderFactor through my participation in the Psychological Safety Working Group part of the HR Strategy Council.

In this wonderful book the author describes Psychological safety as:
A condition in which you feel (1) included, (2) safe to learn, (3) safe to contribute, and (4) safe to challenge the status quo – all without the fear of being embarrassed, marginalized, or punished in some
E.R. R Burgess
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Timothy R. Clark’s new book is one that far too many modern CEOs and leaders need. In 2020, it’s hard to believe that so many successful executives fail to see that leadership involves enabling and empowering the people that make up a company. Dr. Clark has composed a highly practical book that explains pathway to providing the guidance and confidence employees need to do their best work. With examples from his own professional background and many from others who have achieved success, he shows ...more
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book because it really provided a nice framework to define a path to inclusion and innovation. As a disability inclusion consultant, this book was very relevant and it is a tool that I will continue to reference because of the valuable information. The key questions and concepts embedded throughout the book were great because it kept me engaged. I absolutely loved this part of the book, "the basic decision to include or exclude is not about skill or personality, although t ...more
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I was given this book for free

While I did not find this to be an "easy" read, I really enjoyed it. Many books on psychological safety focus solely on the WHY and not so much on the HOW. This book helps the reader find real steps to take in achieving psychological safety in the workplace with examples. I like how the write challenges the reader to lean into their own behaviors ad encourages you to be honest with yourself by asking tough questions. It definitely doesn't pull any punche
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book, well-researched and well-documented, offers what to me is a solid perspective on "psychological safety" which has emerged as an important topic in both organization development and leadership in the past few years. What makes it even more compelling is Clark's point that psychological safety is fundamentally important to innovation.

Particularly powerful to me is Clark's fundamental premise that all of us--simply because of our humanity--need to be accepted for who we are if we are to
Robert Bogue
There are no silver bullets – and even if there were, it wouldn’t be very safe to shoot them. The path to developing psychological safety isn’t easy, but Timothy Clark offers some practical steps and advice on how to build psychological safety in The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety: Defining the Path to Inclusion and Innovation.

Read more
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eq
Phenomenal book -- focus' on leadership but the concepts can be applied to all relational experiences.

Psychological safety will continue to be a growing area as we explore emotional intelligence.

Workplaces & leaders are far and few that create environments that people can work at their highest potential.

The hot topic today is "diversity & inclusion" but if people of all backgrounds don't start with emotional intelligence & psychological safety nothing will ever change.
Zoe Routh
Mar 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice simple staged development of psychological safety at work

Simple and straightforward outline of different stages and aspects of psychological safety, with ever increasing ability to contribute to the organisation. If you’re looking for some solid suggestions about how to build a learning and growing environment this is a good start. Each chapter has key points and (challenging) reflection questions. A good addition to your leadership library.
Ben Watt
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very simple concepts and easy to read book.

I've been in dysfunctional teams where people weren't included, it wasn't 'safe' to learn, 'safe' to contribute and most definitely not safe to challenge the status quo. This is despite what the organisation believes or 'encourages'.
I can imagine most people can associate with being in a position where there was a lack of psychological safety and likewise they could easily come up with a few ways they can contribute to bringing it to their team.
Malte Malm
Tons of words. Good for a beginner

Book was for me rambling and meandering, not based in any research or references to other theories or anything like that. Lots of references to philosophers and the like. Practical; perhaps; if you are a beginner to the subject. Too roundabout for me, but a good start of you're new to the ideas.
Jasmine Mims
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! I read the book within a couple of days, couldn't put it down.

A a business owner I appreciated reading about how to become a better leader and making my companies better from a culture standpoint. I loved the examples Dr. Clark used throughout the book to make the informational relateable to anyone.
Katherine Sowers
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This isn't one of those business books full of weird new models and inspirational quotes. It is a model of thinking that every leader should adapt out of service to the world around them. Every leader should read this. No matter where one is leading, this book inspires a new sense of stewardship towards our colleagues and those around us. ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great book to read after "The Fearless Organization." Author Timothy Clark expands on Edmondson's work. He can get a little soap boxy at times in the book, but beyond that lays out a sound continuum model for psychological safety. ...more
Michael Wolcott
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Deeply profound and engaging. Coming from experience with Edmondson’s work in this space, this is a much richer discussion with a very tangible framework for others to explore. A must read for any leader as it truly discusses the need for psych safety and how to accomplish it.
Alyssa Boss
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone in a leadership position.
Todd Scanlan
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Still thinking and chewing over its concepts and learnings, a month after I read it.
Tammy Spruill
Mar 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a very interesting topic.
Bruno Gurgel
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There is no better way to reflect about psychological safety than going this 4 steps. :) well structured and help me a lot to build the concept build in my head.
Andreea Visanoiu
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Jul 18, 2020
Hannes Lindblom
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Timothy R. Clark is founder and CEO of LeaderFactor, a global consulting, coaching, and training organization. Dr. Clark is an international authority in the fields of psychological safety & innovation, large-scale change & transformation, and senior leadership development. He is the author of four previous books: Epic Change: How to Lead Change in the Global Age (John Wiley/Jossey-Bass), Leadersh ...more

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“We thrive in environments that respect us and allow us to (1) feel included, (2) feel safe to learn, (3) feel safe to contribute, and (4) feel safe to challenge the status quo. If we can’t do these things, if it’s emotionally expensive, fear shuts us down. We’re not happy and we’re not reaching our potential. But when the environment nurtures psychological safety, there’s an explosion of confidence, engagement, and performance. Ask yourself if you feel included, safe to learn, safe to contribute, and safe to challenge the status quo. Finally, ask yourself if you’re creating an environment where others can do these four things. In the process, look around and see others with respect and fresh amazement, find deeper communion in your relationships, and more happiness and satisfaction in your own life.” 1 likes
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