Book review: The 4 stages of psychological safety (Clark)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Timothy R. Clarke, CEO for a leadership training organisation, has written this 100-page book. It is easy to read with rich illustrations and a crisp message to leadership to boost innovation by applying a sense of inclusion, learning safety, contribution safety and ability to challenge the status quo. There are the four stages he elaborates on as a theory of human interaction.

The four stages are not to be seen as a maturity ladder where you need to be done with one stage before starting on the next. I do think this illustration is excellent for us to understand that we need all this in place (with a definition of done) before we can expect innovation. Here a short definition of each stage:

  1. Inclusion Safety satisfies the basic human need to connect and belong. You feel safe to be yourself and are accepted for who you are, including your unique attributes and defining characteristics.
  2. Learner Safety satisfies the basic human need to learn and grow. You feel safe to engage in the learning process—asking questions, giving, and receiving feedback, experimenting, and even making mistakes.
  3. Contributor Safety satisfies the basic human need to be effective. You feel safe to use your skills and abilities to make a meaningful contribution.
  4. Challenger Safety satisfies the basic human need to make things better. You feel safe to speak up and challenge the status quo when you think there’s an opportunity to change or improve.

My takeaway from this book is the four stages that give us a model to measure our effort for creating Psychological Safety. See the exercise part of the book for an idea on how to use OKRs[1] for measuring this.

[1] Objectives and Key Results:

This review is a part of the book Psychological UNsafety from the trenches you can order or read more about here.

Detta var en bokrecension av mig. Vill du veta varför och hur jag gör dessa så kan du läsa om mig som boknörd här!