April 10, 2023
5 min read
What’s in a vibe?
I’ve recently been exploring the importance of “vibe”.
Vibe is that intangible, but very real feeling you get when you encounter a space or a community or a culture for the very first time.
Good vibes can elicit feelings of happiness, comfort, joy.
Bad vibes can elicit feelings of discomfort, shame, unease, or negativity.
At work good vibes are often hallmarked with vulnerability, belonging, and psychological safety.
Psychological safety is frequently top of mind for some of the best workplace thought leaders including Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, author, and professor at the Wharton School or Business and Brené Brown, author, researcher, and professor at the University of Texas Austin.
Psychological safety is the “shared belief that it is safe for individuals within a group to take interpersonal risks without fear of negative consequences to their self-image, status or career”.
When it comes to enablement, psychological safety plays a crucial role in creating an environment where employees feel comfortable and motivated to learn and grow.
When a workplace is safe, employees feel that they can ask questions, share their ideas, and make mistakes without fear of judgement or retribution.
Questions, sharing, and mistake making are hallmarks of a true learning experience. Without them it’s impossible to truly change behaviors.
The responsibility of psychological safety falls squarely in the hands of leadership.
It involves fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity, where everyone's contributions are valued and acknowledged. Leaders can create this culture by encouraging open communication, actively listening to employees' concerns and feedback, and modeling vulnerability themselves.
The foundation of psychological safety is trust.
Trust that you are seen and heard.
Trust that your whole self is wanted and respected.
Trust that you can experiment, try new things, fail and learn without retribution.
Trust that your efforts will be rewarded fairly and equitably.
When it comes to implementing a partner program there has to be a culture that has fostered psychological safety in order to see it through to its long term benefits.
Partner enablement doesn’t work if psychological safety hasn’t been fostered not only internally, i.e. that partners can be trusted, but also with our partners, that we can be trusted in their organization.
Without the underlying psychological safety that your partners can trust your intentions, you’ll find yourself always battling against that trust before they can ever learn about how you’re better together.
Be aware of the vibe that your organization is putting out into the world.
Good vibes attract good partners.