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8 tips for chairing psychologically safe meetings

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Creating a psychologically safe environment in meetings is essential to encourage open

communication and foster innovation.

Here are 8 tips for chairing meetings to ensure psychological safety.

1. Set the tone: As the meeting chair, it is important to set the tone for the meeting by

creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. Start by introducing yourself and welcoming

everyone to the meeting. Continue to encourage open communication throughout the meeting.

2. Articulating an ‘Acknowledgment of Country’ shows you want to encourage diversity and respect for distinct cultures, specifically the traditional owners and custodians of country. Acknowledging elders past and present and those present at the meeting pays respect to all indigenous people.

3. Establish ground rules or refer to any agreed Ways of Working. Establish ground rules at

the beginning of the meeting to encourage open communication and respect for others. This may include ground rules such as "listen actively," "avoid interrupting others," and "respect differing viewpoints."

4. Encourage participation: Encourage participation from all meeting participants and create opportunities for everyone to contribute to the discussion. Be mindful of dominant voices and try to ensure everyone has a chance to speak.

5. Manage conflict: When conflicts arise during the meeting, acknowledge the issue, and ask if they wish to continue or address the issue outside the meeting. Manage conflict in a constructive and respectful manner. Encourage participants to express their views openly and seek common ground.

6. Provide feedback: Provide feedback to participants in a constructive and

supportive manner. Focus on the behaviour rather than the person and provide

specific feedback that is actionable and helps to build confidence.

7. Follow up: After the meeting, follow up with participants to ensure everyone felt heard and their experience at the meeting was positive and productive.

8. Provide opportunities for participants to give regular feedback about meeting process and team effectiveness. Adjust future meetings and communications, based on their feedback.

By following these tips, you can create a psychologically safe environment in meetings that

encourages open communication which in turn fosters engagement, empowerment, and trust within your team.

For coaching or team workshops on this topic:

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