Organizational Health, Psychological Safety and Emotional Stability: 3 key concepts for a sustainable change

Any culture creates processes and practices that try to simplify its reality. This new reality constantly alters how employees behave and ultimately their mindset.

I believe that it’s not only about how people think when they are inside the organization but also how their ways of thinking evolve as a result of new techniques or practices learned inside the company.

When a change consultant teaches or coaches something to someone, she takes the employee’s reasoning processes into a different path. I would like to be a little bit more holistic here with my approach, even knowing that many of you will disagree with me.
If individuals in your company practice any kind of continuous improvement, for example, a retrospective meeting to improve whatever they do, this will clearly impact their ways of thinking and behaviors in the medium and long term, inside or outside the company.

That’s why we need to change our perception of what a business change represents and its real impact on people.

Every company also faces exponential market changes (where everything can change from one minute to the next). In order to help create a new reality, everyone needs to understand that if the organization doesn’t have healthy habits, then conflict will arise. We know that companies with high levels of conflict are less adaptable to change and unable to create sustainable new realities.

In my opinion, 3 concepts are important to understand if a leader wants to to influence change to create a new sustainable reality:

  1. Organizational Health
  2. Psychological safety
  3. Emotional stability

Let me tell you what I think organizational health is. This will help us both be on the same page:

“Organizational health is psychological safety plus sustainable business value creation in perpetuity”

Keep in mind that your definition may be different than mine. It’s be based on your ideas, beliefs, and the type of language used in your company.

To put it more simply, organizational health is about being able to work comfortably with people who are different than you. It’s about having a sense of belonging and trust in other individuals from the “tribe”. It’s also about being able to have a sense of community, which is something that can only come from within. Every leader in the company should always ask two questions before making any decision if they want to create a sustainable reality:

a. Does the decision I am about to make increase organizational health?

b. If so, how?

Many executives tell me that it’s not possible to make decisions that always increase organizational health. I disagree with this. In my experience, it is feasible to make about 95% of decisions that support good organizational health.

The second concept to understand and start creating a new reality is psychological safety. This is about employees being able to speak freely and feel safe in their own skins. This allows everyone to have more confidence in their ability to do things. In other words, if they can take risks without being “beaten” by their teams, then it probably means that there is greater psychological safty. Without psychological health, no change is sustainable.

The third concept a good leader should master is Emotional Stability. This is defined as the ability to deal with stress, uncertainty, and change and still feel healthy and stable emotions. Emotional Stability focuses on how people manage their feelings effectively (emotional intelligence). It’s related to the emotions of an individual or group to deal with difficult situations and problems.

People or groups with good emotional stability maintain a positive attitude towards their work, their environment, and the people around them. They also have more energy and motivation to work harder, be more creative, and be more open to creating a new reality.

It’s important to point out that emotional stability cannot be achieved just by being happy in the company. It requires a strong sense of self-esteem and self-worth. This is something that needs to be nurtured and developed from the inside.

These 3 skills are crucial for any leader who wants to build a new reality in the a company exposed to exponential pace of change, and that any consultant should know.

Thanks for listening,

Erich.

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