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Creating a culture of physiological safety improves productivity and creativity

Body Language

What is Physiological Safety, and how can we benefit?

Physiological safety is a term used to describe an environment in which people feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions without fear of repercussion. Creating a culture of physiological safety can be difficult, but the benefits are clear. Here are a few key benefits:

  • First, it allows your team to feel comfortable expressing themselves and sharing ideas. This can lead to a more productive and innovative workplace.

  • Second, it allows your team to focus on their work instead of worrying about their safety. This can lead to improved work performance and less stress.

  • Third, it can help create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and respected.

Understanding body language and encouraging open communication can create an environment where co-workers feel safe to express themselves, and share ideas, increasing innovation.

Tips for reading and understanding body language

Body language can be challenging to read at times, especially on Teams or Zoom calls! But with a little practice, you can learn to understand it. Here are a few tips:

  • Pay attention to the person's posture. Is she leaning away from you, or is she leaning in? This can give you a clue about how she's feeling.

  • Look at the person's facial expressions. Are her eyes wide open, or are they narrowed? Is her mouth turned up or down? These expressions can give you a good indication of how the person is feeling.

  • Watch the person's hands. Are they clenched into fists, or are they relaxed? Is one hand hiding the other hand? These gestures can also give you a clue about how the person is feeling.

  • Listen to the tone of the person's voice. Is she speaking in a loud or soft voice? Is her voice tense or relaxed? The tone of the person's voice can also give you a clue about how she's feeling.

Eye movements can also be a good way to gauge a person's thoughts and feelings. Here are some things to look for:

  • If a person is being honest, their eyes will be direct and focused. They will not look away from you or down at the ground.

  • If a person is being creative, their eyes will be darting around and taking in lots of information. They will not be looking directly at you.

  • If a person is thinking, their eyes may be narrowed or they may be staring off into space. They may not be making any eye contact with you.

Ways to improve team communication

Active listening is a communication technique that involves paying close attention to the person who is speaking. You should make eye contact, and listen without interruption. When the person is finished speaking, you should repeat back what you heard, to ensure that you understood correctly. Active listening can help improve communication and reduce misunderstandings.

Dealing with difficult conversations in a safe and effective manner is also important for improving communication in the workplace. By approaching difficult conversations with empathy and understanding, employers can create an environment where employees feel comfortable raising concerns or sharing feedback.

Other ways to improve communication in the workplace include:

  • Open up the floor - build in opportunities for your team to share their ideas and opinions; weekly or daily stand-ups are an engaging and fun way to facilitate this.

  • Recognise, Elevate, and Reward. Make sure that employees feel heard and valued.

  • Provide skills training opportunities, and proactively promote experiential training opportunities.

  • Encourage open and honest communication. Don't be a stranger - opening up will allow people to trust you more. We tend to trust what and who we know.

  • Promote a culture of respect, acknowledge that our unique individual talents work together to achieve shared vision and goals.


Creating a culture of physiological safety is important for maintaining a positive work environment. By encouraging your team to share their ideas and opinions, you can create an atmosphere where we all feel comfortable expressing ourselves. People who feel safe and respected are more likely to be productive and creative. In order to improve communication in the workplace, try to provide training opportunities on how to read and understand body language.

Encourage active listening to reduce misunderstanding. Open communication is essential for resolving conflicts and addressing problems quickly. By fostering a culture of physiological safety, you can create a more positive and productive work environment.

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