How lack of trust and poor psychological safety can derail performance

You are about to enter a leadership meeting with a sinking feeling in your stomach. Maybe you are dreading an emotionally exhausting discussion or are just fed up with the lack of collaboration and alignment.

Blaming, subtle undermining, power plays… a climate of distrust and lack of psychological safety at top leadership levels is surprisingly common. The People + Science Boardroom Psychological Safety Benchmark 2020 -2021 (Australia) found that only 4 out of 10 top leaders feel psychologically safe and just 3 out of 10 report high levels of trust with fellow decision-makers.

The results of our own LinkedIn trust poll in March 2023 show that just over a third of respondents (35%) trust other teams in their organisation and only 32% believe that leadership decisions are fair and transparent.