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12 Tips to Create Psychological Safety in Virtual Teams for high performance

In order to foster a trusting environment for collaboration, it’s important for managers and leaders to create psychological safety in virtual teams. This means establishing an atmosphere where team members feel comfortable taking risks and sharing their ideas without fear of retribution. In this blog post, I will discuss twelve tips that can help you create psychological safety in your virtual team!

Establish clear ground rules.

Before starting a virtual team, it’s important to establish some ground rules. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them. Some things you may want to consider include expectations for communication, deadlines, and how tasks should be divided up.

Encourage open communication.


One of the best ways to create psychological safety in a virtual team is by encouraging open communication. This means sharing your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly and listening to others without judgement. Team members who feel comfortable communicating with one another are more likely to take risks and share innovative ideas.

Encourage empathy among team members.

It’s important for virtual teams to be empathetic towards one another. Encourage your team members to put themselves in the shoes of others so they can understand how their actions may affect people around them. This will help foster a sense of trust and respect between everyone involved, which is key for successful collaboration.

Avoid judgmental language.

One of the quickest ways to kill psychological safety is by using judgmental language. This includes making assumptions, criticising others, and using sarcasm. Team members need to feel that they can express themselves without fear of judgement, so make sure you avoid any words or phrases that could be construed as such.

Keep your emotions in check.

As a manager or leader, it’s important to keep your emotions in check. This means staying calm and rational when things get tough, and not letting your personal feelings get in the way of making sound decisions. If you find yourself feeling frustrated or angry about something, take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand.

Create opportunities for collaboration.

Virtual teams need to collaborate in order to get work done, so make sure you create opportunities for them to do so! This could include brainstorming sessions via video conference calls, sending out regular updates so team members can stay in sync, or holding weekly check-ins to discuss progress.

Build trust among members.

Trust is essential for successful collaboration, so make sure you take the time to build it up among your team members. This could involve sharing personal stories, helping each other out when needed, or simply being honest and upfront with one another. The more trust you have among team members, the easier it will be to collaborate effectively.

Don’t be afraid to give feedback.

One of the best ways to help team members feel safe is by giving them constructive feedback. This could include pointing out things they’re doing well, as well as areas where they could improve. If you notice someone making a mistake or missing an important deadline, don’t hesitate to let them know in private so that no one else hears about it first-hand. Make sure you keep emotion out of the discussions when feeding back areas to develop further.

Celebrate successes together.

It’s important for virtual teams to celebrate successes together, even if they’re not physically present. This could involve sending out a quick email or message congratulating everyone on a job well done, or hosting a virtual happy hour to commemorate a major milestone. Whatever you do, make sure to mark the occasion and enjoy it as a team!

Don’t be afraid to fail.

In order to achieve great things, you need to be willing to take risks. This applies just as much to virtual teams as it does to any other type of team. So don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things – after all, you may not know what works until you actually try it out. Just make sure everyone understands that failure is not a bad thing – it just means we’re learning.

Be open and honest with one another.

It’s important for virtual teams to be open and honest with each other in order to foster trust between members. This can include sharing personal stories, helping out when needed, or simply being upfront and truthful about feelings. If team members feel like they can trust one another, the collaboration process will be much smoother.

Take time to get to know each other.

Just because team members are working remotely doesn’t mean you can’t get to know them on a personal level. In fact, it may be even more important to do so in order to build trust. This could involve hosting a virtual get-together, sending out regular updates about your life, or simply taking the time to have a conversation every once in a while.

Managing virtual teams can be a challenge, but with the right tools and techniques, it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience. By creating a sense of psychological safety in your team, you will help your members feel comfortable taking risks and speaking up honestly. Sign up for news of my new membership on managing virtual teams coming soon. This will give you access to more tips like these, plus exclusive resources like a safe space to offload, videos, workbook and templates.

Read more about building trust in your workplace.

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