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In this expert session, Dr. Tharaka Gunarathne, also known as Dr. T, a psychiatrist, consultant, and expert in psychological safety, explores the significance of trust in creating a psychologically safe work environment. He begins by engaging participants with interactive activities to encourage openness and connection among attendees.

Dr. T highlights the importance of understanding the science behind trust, which is essential for fostering psychological safety. He discusses how oxytocin, a molecular marker of trust, leads to increased collaboration, better relationships, and higher productivity. The expert also shares insights into the unconscious biases that influence our judgments and perceptions, emphasizing the need for self-awareness to promote inclusion and build trust among team members.

Throughout the session, Dr. T offers evidence-based strategies for increasing trust and building a psychologically safe work environment. These practices include recognizing excellence in each other, effective communication, intentional relationship-building, whole-person growth, and admitting uncertainty together. By actively practicing these behaviors, teams can create a culture of trust that is crucial for overall team success.

Dr. T acknowledges the challenges that junior staff may face when speaking up in the presence of their seniors and offers strategies to promote psychological safety for all members. He encourages participants to reflect on their current trust-building behaviors and consider ways they can improve them to enhance team performance and overall well-being.

The expert session continues as Dr. T discusses the complexity of psychological safety in the workplace, emphasizing that it requires a combination of individual and organizational efforts. He encourages participants to be aware of their own behaviors and how they contribute to creating or hindering psychological safety.

Dr. T also shares tips on increasing psychological safety, such as clear communication, active listening, and moving your face during virtual meetings to engage others. He emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and improvement in fostering a psychologically safe environment and leaves participants with an inspiring question: "What if your organization could become a template for psychological safety done well?"

Throughout the session, Dr. T encourages open dialogue and questions, addressing concerns regarding disrespectful behavior from colleagues towards contractors within organizations. He emphasizes the need for managers to intervene and address mistrust behaviors to ensure psychological safety for all parties involved.

As the webinar concludes, participants have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in further discussion. The expert encourages everyone to continue focusing on building psychologically safe workplaces to benefit both individuals and organizations. 

 

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Tharaka Gunarathne

Practical Psychological Safety

Tharaka Gunarathne ‘Dr T’ high performance expert and psychiatrist, is a three-times TEDx speaker, Podcaster and has recently appeared in the new celebrity TV series in the UK - "Can I Improve My Memory?" on Channel 4. As creator of the 'Mind, Action, Profit' Blueprint, with his unique Medical background and motivational style, he brings his ‘mind and performance’ insights to professional audiences around the globe in order to help them improve their personal wellbeing, effectiveness, leadership, teamwork, focus and concentration. He believes that when you ‘manage the mind, you can manage your bottom line’.

Summary

Psychiatrist, High Performance Expert

  • LinkedIn

Key Learnings

  • Cultivating Trust for Psychological Safety: Understanding the importance of trust in building psychologically safe work environments and implementing evidence-based behaviors that increase oxytocin production and promote inclusion is crucial for enhancing team collaboration and productivity.

  • Being Aware of Biases: Recognizing cognitive biases such as the Dunning-Kruger effect, which can hinder our ability to create psychological safety, and continuously striving for improvement is essential in fostering open communication, respect, and empathy among team members.

  • Practicing Inclusive Behaviors: Implementing behaviors that promote psychological safety, such as clear communication, active listening, and recognizing excellence, can help build trust within teams and create a more inclusive, supportive work environment where all voices are valued and encouraged to contribute their ideas and perspectives.

Interaction

During the expert session, Tharaka Gunarathne encourages active audience participation through the use of the Mentimeter app for interactive activities, Q&A sessions, and sharing personal experiences as a means to discuss the importance of trust in creating psychological safety within teams and workplaces.

Key Learnings

  • Debunking Common Self-Care Myths: Recognizing that self-care is not a luxury, but rather an essential practice for managing stress and maintaining overall well-being, and that it can involve both simple acts and challenging decisions.

  • Setting Personal Boundaries and Practicing Gratitude: Learning how to define and communicate personal boundaries effectively to improve psychological hygiene, and practicing gratitude as a powerful tool for emotional well-being by acknowledging the things we appreciate in life.

  • Developing Self-Awareness and Cultivating Self-Compassion: Understanding the importance of self-awareness in identifying our true needs and developing compassion towards ourselves through practices like mindfulness, writing, seeking feedback, and practicing self-kindness during negative situations.

Interaction

During the expert session, Zoia Mahjoubi engages the audience through various means, including a Q&A session, live demonstrations using the Mentimeter app for interactive exercises, and debunking common myths surrounding self-care.

 

Participants use the app to share their thoughts on personal hygiene routine and self-care practices they desire to engage with more often. Zoia emphasizes the importance of self-compassion, setting personal boundaries, and practicing gratitude for improved psychological well-being.

 

She recommends making self-care practices a habit and encourages participants to define their personal non-negotiables for long-term well-being.

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