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Psychological safety – The link between speaking up, complexity and high performing teams

Jitesh Gosai

Over the last 5 years, I have been helping teams improve their products and services. Often, I was called in when there was a problem with testing. However, as we investigated, we realised that the real issue was a lack of communication among team members; testing was just where the problems appeared.

I noticed that people were reluctant to share in certain situations, which caused problems that could have been resolved quickly but were left unsaid. This led to situations where problems escalated until they could no longer be ignored, or what happened more often than not, slowing the team down, with everyone thinking the problems were technical due to the complexity of the teams’ work.

In this talk, I will share my journey to understand why people hesitate to speak up, how the problems this causes compound due to all the complexity in our work, and how our current approaches to fixing it are probably making things worse. I will cover the importance of reframing psychological safety in building high-performing teams, the challenges people face when speaking up in group settings, and how the common misconceptions about psychological safety worsen things. I’ll end with how we can apply some of the research to cultivate environments that promote psychological safety and encourage people to speak up.


  • Learn why psychological safety is crucial for high-performing teams
  • Understand the challenges of speaking up in group settings
  • What are the three essential mindsets for fostering psychological safety