Psychological safety is a hot topic in most organisations right now. And for good reason.

If you are like so many of the leaders I coach, the psychosocial hazards present in your workplace pose a very real threat to your mental health – and the mental health of those you work alongside.

These workplace hazards include factors such as emotional demand, role ambiguity, role overload, bullying, relationship and task conflict (see a full list here)

Today it is essential (both ethically and legally) for organisations to be monitoring and actively mitigating psychosocial hazards. Supporting Executive Teams to do this important work with courage and honesty is part of my consulting offering.

But what if the things that are most hazardous to your mental health exist not in your workplace environment, but in your inner experience of work?

What if the bullies, micromanagers, gas lighters, abusers, relentless task-maskers and impossibly high standard-setters are the shadowy residents of your own mind?

If we’re honest about the DJ’s that work the 24/7 radio stations in our minds, we might admit that they can be quite a nasty crew at times. If my inner radio station had a billboard, it would say Easy Listening, Hard Living.

What we call self-talk is the inner dialogue between the many different parts of ourselves – our “inner DJ’s”.

Having multiple personalities is not a disorder – it’s a natural, universal adaptive respond to the world we live in.

Our parts all have good intentions – to keep us safe and connected – however they are often misguided and extreme is their tactics. If we spoke to other people the way we so often speak to ourselves, it would be called emotional abuse.

The great news is that, with the right skills and practices, we can learn how to lead and coach all the different parts of ourselves to create a harmonious inner team.

When I work with coaching clients to teach them these skills, our sessions together are guided by an aspiration to cultivate psychological bravery.

Psychological safety can be described as; feeling safe to show up authentically, speak up, try new things or take risks without fear of negative consequences from others.

I think of psychological bravery as; feeling safe to show up authentically, speak up, try new things or take risks without fear of negative consequences from the parts of ourselves that are; judgemental, perfectionistic, extreme, critical, scared, immature, vulnerable, reckless or volatile.

For our workplaces to be safe spaces, we must also give our people the skills to cultivate inner braves spaces.

When we teach people the skills that support psychological bravery, we makes it possible for our people to experience authentic empowerment – a deep sense of agency, enough-ness and confidence to handle the many challenges that (working) life throws their way.

When we feel psychologically brave, we know that working life can be hard (and at times heartbreaking) but we also have confidence that we have a tool bag of reliable personal practices that know that we have the courage and the and do hard things.

We also grow our faith in our capacity to pick ourselves up, and dust ourselves off when it all goes to crap.

New Leadership Development Program: True Self Awareness

 I recently launched my new leadership development program True Self Awareness. This Program in an invitation to gently explore a much deeper understanding of self. To gently illuminate the layers of ourselves that 360 feedback and personality profiling tools only scratch the surface of.  This program gives your people the skills to cultivate psychological bravery at work. I am looking for progressive leaders who are interested in sponsoring pilot programs within their organisations.  Learn more here.

If you are on the path from self-betrayal to self-fidelity and in need of a little guidance and support, click here to see how I can help.