How to improve your team productivity by thirty percent

By Liv Blaney
Imagine walking into a room where you're free to be your authentic self—quirks, unique talents, and all—without the fear of being judged or sidelined. Sounds like a breath of fresh air, doesn't it? That's the essence of psychological safety, which is especially important for those who navigate the world differently due to neurodivergence, such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurological variations.

Neurodivergent individuals often face a world tailored to neurotypical standards, making daily interactions and personal growth a tightrope walk. The constant pressure to fit into a mould that doesn't quite accommodate their unique wiring can be exhausting.

Take the example of someone who is given actions in one meeting, only to turn up to the next not having completed them. Sometimes, you might assume that they were too busy, or maybe lazy. But its possible that, if the right accommodations (like minuting the meeting) hadn’t been made, they just didn't remember that there were actions for them to do.

This is a common challenge for some neurodivergent folks. Asking the question of your team “What do you need for you to operate at your best?” and listening without judgement to the answer can help flush out these challenges and potential solutions. This kind of open communication is one component part of psychological safety.

Creating an environment that champions psychological safety means encouraging open communication, fostering a sense of belonging, and valuing diverse perspectives. It's about understanding that mistakes are part of learning and growth, not a trigger for punishment or exclusion. For neurodivergent individuals, this is crucial. It allows them to navigate social and professional settings with confidence, knowing their contributions are valued and their differences are not just tolerated, but celebrated.

Leadership is key in setting the tone for psychological safety.

Benefits from including neurodivergent individuals are commercial (30% increase in productivity according to one Deloitte study), increased innovation, and better alignment to the skills of the future (as defined by the World Economic Forum). Those are all before you consider the social or legal case for inclusion. More generally, psychologically safe teams have been shown to have increased resilience, learn faster, and make better decisions.

Leadership is key in setting the tone for psychological safety. While there are multiple different leadership styles that can help build psychological safety, there are three key skills common to all of them. Firstly, the ability to use dialogue to work constructively through conflicts and disagreements in a safe way. Secondly, the ability to put others’ needs above your own, and sponsor them. Lastly, having a curious and growth-orientated mindset.

As we look to celebrate Neurodiversity Celebration week, consider what one thing you could do today to help move towards a more psychologically safe environment at work.

Hatwell Group offer training in psychological safety and neurodiversity, amongst other topics. For more information, contact us here.

Ready to unlock your potential?

Book a Free Introductory Coaching Call

Book Now

Contact Hatwell Group

Hatwell Group Logo