In his exceptional book Culture Code, author Daniel Coyle describes what he learned in researching eight of the world’s most successful groups and the culture that contributed to their success. One of the foundational elements he discovered in each group was the essential nature of creating a culture of safety. Here are some of the elements Coyle found that both help to build a safe culture and also are present in organizations that possess safe cultures.
Physical proximity – including office locations and time together
Eye contact – maintaining high levels of eye contact between team members
Physical touch – such as fist bumps and handshakes
Questions – encouraging a lot of questions among one another
Humor – setting people at ease and reflecting “we are ok with each other”
Courtesy – including public thank-yous and gratitude shown towards other members
Vulnerability – sharing weaknesses and limitations and seeking input from others
Invitation – encouraging others to provide alternatives without punishment
Balance – members balancing the amount of time talking and listening
Embrace fun – laughter matters!
Jay Desko is the Executive Director of The Center and serves on the Senior Leadership Team at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Jay brings experience in the areas of organizational assessment, leadership coaching, decision-making, and strategic questioning. Jay’s degrees include an M.Ed. in Instructional Systems Design from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Leadership from The Union Institute.