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  • Writer's pictureKala Adair

Safety First, Folks.

Updated: Feb 21, 2022

Have you ever wondered what makes a healthy team tick? What makes a group of people successful? Is there a way to replicate these dynamics, or is it simply because of those personalities in that specific group that makes it work well?

Well, yes and no.

Let me explain.

In his book The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle defines culture as “a set of living relationships working toward a shared goal. It’s not something you are. It’s something you do.” This isn’t to say personality doesn’t matter, but it’s more about the culture you create as a group than who you are individually. There are three skills that help cultivate a strong group: 1) building safety, 2) sharing vulnerability, and 3) establishing purpose (Coyle). The initial pillar is creating a safe environment. Only from a sense of safety can we share openly, and then together work towards a common goal.

Whether we’re aware of it or not, there’s a part of us that subconsciously seeks affirmation: we want to belong, and we want to be valued. The safer we feel in our group, the freer we are to dream, the harder we strive to work, and connection and cohesion are built. Personality certainly plays a part: if there’s someone causing strife or discomfort, the group culture is affected. However, creating a safe environment, you can change the dynamic. It takes the emphasis off of the group’s members individually, and focuses on the collective culture the group creates.

In order to create chemistry, a group doesn’t need lofty speeches, complex ideas, or strong personalities. A group’s performance is “determined by their ability to communicate one powerful overarching idea: we are safe and connected” (Coyle). Safety first, folks.

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