How to encourage people to speak out

The leaders that made me: Vivek Chaudhri used to hold back from sharing his ideas, until a manager introduced him to the concept of psychological safety.

by Stephen Jones

There is a reason that management wonks talk so much about the importance of psychological safety. Environments within which people feel like they have the freedom to share their ideas, express opinions or constructively question decisions, without feeling like they’re going to be judged or labelled as a trouble maker, tend to be more creative and resilient. But it’s not an easy culture to create. 

During his 26 years in business, Vivek Chaudri has worked for some of the worlds biggest pharma and FMCG brands, in three countries. As a result the now senior vice president and head of global digital innovation at the FTSE 100 company British American Tobacco has seen his fair share of managers, colleagues and corporate cultures. 

Early on in his career, he learned the hard way that psychological safety is something that does not come naturally - it needs to be earned, and actively encouraged.  

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