Using change for gain

I recently spoke to a national team of a global brand that had undergone considerable change. I shared my journey through significant change as both a leader and a fellow human and how I used the time as a catalysis for growth and transformation.

There is a lot of great guidance on how to ‘make change stick’ in organisations and the critical aspects to ensure change sustainability. But it is also essential to support individuals with proven approaches to get the most out of the change that will inevitably come.

We know that change can be challenging, particularly when we feel change is forced upon us, like losing a job, losing a loved one or an illness. Change can knock our sense of identity and sense of self, leaving us feeling fatigued and stressed, particularly if we feel uncertain about our future.

Like many of us, I have also felt the consistency of change, including the change I chose and the change I didn’t choose. The change of choice included leaving jobs, moving states, moving countries (three times), moving house, starting a business, etc. I have also experienced change that was not by choice, such as the sudden loss of my first husband, the illness and subsequent passing of my little sister, changes in organisational structures that resulted in team member redundancies, and more. Each event, I felt a sense of loss of what was, but I was also able to use the time to reflect and make changes to what was no longer working in my life and transition into a new beginning of what may be. 

Here are some of the things I learned along the way:

  • We don’t always get to choose what happens to us, but we do get to choose how we respond. 
  • Choose a mindset that supports growth and well-being. Resisting change will only cause added stress and feelings of frustration, anxiety and helplessness.
  • Honour how you are feeling with compassion and without judgement, then allow your feelings to release. In society, particularly in a work sense, we can be expected to ‘just’ move on, but our emotions serve a purpose and are important guides in life. 
  • Being stuck in what was and fear, stops us from looking at what the possibilities maybe for the future. 
  • Commit to using the opportunity for gain rather than just pain.

On a final note, all humans have a natural reaction called fight-or-flight when under perceived threat, and we can’t control when this reaction occurs. However, we can learn to recognise the response and calm the system before making important decisions or reacting. Refer verywellmind for guidance on taming the fight-or-flight response.

If you would like to learn more about building high performing teams that are adaptable to change, connect with me at to book a consultation.


Psychological safety is not about being nice!

There is a misconception that psychological safety is about being nice or is “nice to have”. 

Not so, studies such as those undertaken by Google’s Project Aristotle, the work of Amy Edmondson and more, show that in the world of uncertainty and interdependence, psychological safety is a necessity to not only survive but to drive the necessary innovation to be a market and thought leader. 

But how do you know if you have a psychologically safe organisation? 

While a proper diagnostic is recommended, here are some indicators your workplace may not be psychologically safe:

  • Workplace silence: People are silent and not sharing their ideas, thoughts, and perspectives. 
  • Hierarchy: A leader joins a meeting, some/all people regularly stop contributing, openly sharing ideas, thoughts, debating, etc. 
  • Monoculture: Ideas shared from a different perspective are shut down or criticised.
  • Shaming & Blaming: Mistakes are hidden and not reported for fear of shaming and blaming. Or if errors are made they are used as an opportunity to blame and shame.
  • Transparency & Information withholding: Non-sensitive information that is important to project or client work is withheld.
  • Playing nice: Teams play nice or are agreeable in a meeting, only to leave and have conversations that contradict the meeting agreements and discussions.

Psychological safety is an essential component of a high performing team because people feel safe to engage in interpersonal risk‐taking behaviours in the workplace. Meaning they feel they won’t be punished or humiliated if they challenge the status quo, speak up and express concerns, ask questions or constructively disagree with others. It is these behaviours that lead to better solutions and outcomes.

Psychological safety isn’t about being nice, lowering performance standards, and no accountability. Psychologically safe teams that have high performance standards and accountability result in a high performing team. 

If you would like to learn more about building psychological safe and high performing teams connect with me at to book a consultation.

Want to improve your business performance? Then build psychologically safe teams.


High-performing teams do not exist without psychological safety.

But why should you care?

In short, it will improve your business’ performance.

Various studies, including Google’s Project Aristotle – a two-year study on effective teams, show that teams with higher levels of trust and cohesion perform at higher levels, resulting in improved business performance and growth.

But what exactly is psychological safety?

In simple terms, psychological safety is where team members feel safe to engage in interpersonal risk‐taking behaviors in the workplace. These behaviors involve feeling safe to challenge the status quo, speaking up, and constructively disagreeing with others.

When team members feel psychologically safe, they communicate more openly and speak more freely within the team environment. Additionally, they feel that they will not be shamed if mistakes are made, creating an open and thriving environment for performance, growth, creativity, and innovation.

How do you create psychological safety?

Psychological safety starts with us as leaders and ensuring we model the behavior needed to build the right environment, including:

  • Replacing hierarchical/transactional leadership with values-led, open, and authentic approach. Don’t underestimate the power of essential (soft) skills such as deep listening, presence and empathy.
  • Embracing mistakes as learning opportunities. Mistakes enable teams to be more creative, learn, innovate, and develop better outcomes. Noting that mistakes are different to underperformance, which needs to be addressed in a timely manner.
  • Leaning into tough conversation and replace blaming and shaming with curiosity. This will go a long way to build trust.
  • Develop a shared vision and goals and discuss them regularly as a team.
  • Create a culture of accountability, feedback and continually growth.

If you would like support creating psychologically safe environments and building high performing teams, please contact