How to Lead When You’re Not the Boss

Be the change you want to see at work.

I am often asked: How do you cultivate psychological safety on your team when you’re not the boss?

If you’ve read the latest thinking on management practices, you have encountered the term “psychological safety.” In a nutshell, it means that employees feel able, and even obliged, to speak up without fear of reprisal. It’s been identified in research (by me, others, and a high-profile study at Google) as the vital characteristic underpinning the highest-functioning teams.