Unleashing Your Team’s Potential through Psychological Safety with Stephan Wiedner

It’s often said that teamwork makes the dream work. But what happens if your team members don’t feel safe voicing their ideas and speaking up about their concerns? 

Achieving success in business isn’t just about assigning tasks and deadlines—it’s also about creating an environment where everyone can feel comfortable expressing themselves. In other words, psychological safety is key. But how do you create a workplace culture where employees are empowered to share opinions without fear of retribution or criticism?

In this episode, Stephan Wiedner joins us to talk about how to build psychological safety. He shares practical tips on how to foster psychological safety within organizations so that your employees can make their best contributions to your company’s success!

If you are struggling to get your employees to speak up but are unsure on how to go about building psychological safety, then this episode is for you.


Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode

  1. Learn about psychological safety and what it means.
  2. Discover actionable tips and strategies on how to create a psychologically safe environment and team for your employees.
  3. Understand the importance of psychological safety in building effective teams.

Episode Highlights

Stephan’s Background

  • Stephan used to work in a construction management firm.
  • But he was ambivalent about working in the construction field, which led to a significant career change and his introduction to coaching. 
  • He started Noomii with his business partner. 
  • He wanted to work with the messiness of people rather than bricks and mortar.

The Connection Between Psychological Safety and Team Building

  • According to Harvard professor Amy C. Edmondson, psychological safety is a belief that within your team, you can speak up without the fear of social consequence.
  • It’s the courage to speak up and the confidence to know you’ll be heard.
  • Psychological safety is linked to high performance and building effective teams.

Stephan: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

  • If you have a strong culture and a bad strategy, the culture will figure out what the good strategy is; for that, you’ll need people to be able to speak up to make better decisions.

Moshe: “By allowing people to express their opinion, to feel comfortable expressing their opinion, to feel comfortable asking questions, not worrying about asking the stupid questions, you’re also preparing them for bigger and better things within the team.”

How to Get People to Speak Up

  • Different cultures will have different approaches.
  • Set the stage properly for them by asking for their input in advance to give them time to think about it and allow for more equal sharing.
  • Create an environment with equal amounts of sharing and communicating.
  • Demonstrate that you’re listening to them and show that you have an action plan.

Stephan: “You don’t have to agree with them. But make sure you understand.”

  • Develop interpersonal skills for individuals who need it to speak up to uncover the ideas and suggestions that they possess.

Stephan: “The more you can kind of reinforce and engage people again and again and again, the more safe and willing they will get over time.”

Creating a Psychologically Safe Environment

  • Start with strategic planning and the mission of your organization.
  • Reevaluate your core values and if those core values are helping you commit to creating the best place to work for your employees.

Stephan: “The values are basically the actions that you're wanting to aspire to have.”

  • How can you act on your core values?
  • Engage your staff and involve them in decision-making.

Stephan: “Nobody wants to go to work to play ping pong. What they want to do is go to work and feel like they’re part of something bigger, something bigger than themselves, and they’re contributing, and they know how they’re contributing.”

Implementing Psychological Safety

  • Get a baseline.
  • Ask how employees feel psychologically safe in their teams and environment.
  • Debrief the results with your organization and team members, then create a strategy on how to build psychological safety in your company.
  • Measure psychological safety quarterly.

Stephan: “If you’ve got a bunch of executives sitting in a room and if they’re not feeling psychologically safe, you might as well stop there and fix that problem before starting to get into planning because people are going to be withholding information, people are going to be afraid to ask the really good questions.”

A Piece of Advice

  • Pay attention to what’s causing a reduction in psychological safety.

Stephan: “Do nothing except stick out your antenna and start paying attention to what might be causing psychological safety to be reduced in yourself and in the people in your organization.”

  • When you’re in a team meeting, observe the dynamics and try to pinpoint what might be causing people to withhold information.

About Stephan

Stephan Wiedner is the CEO and co-founder of Zarango and Noomii. He is the COO and co-founder of Skillsetter. As a psychological safety expert, he is passionate about giving training that improves psychological safety to surface creative solutions lying dormant within people. By developing intrapersonal skills, he helps teams and companies create tangible results.

Stephan is a graduate of the University of British Columbia Bachelor of Commerce program, having specialized in information systems. He acquired his coaching training in 2006 from CTI. In addition to his career, educational, and entrepreneurial pursuits, Stephan is a dedicated husband and father of two beautiful children. 

Connect with Stephan on LinkedIn.

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