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Thursday, August 10 • 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Circle of Security: Patterns from child psychology to build psychological safety in teams (Matthew Hodgson, Mia Horrigan)

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Are you a safe pair of hands? How do you know?? People need to feel secure to explore on their own terms, learn, make mistakes and grow, and so do agile teams. But when the security to learn and fail-fast vanishes, when teams fear failure and punishment, a risk-averse culture can grow -- a culture that can destroy agile initiatives and kills continuous improvement behaviours.
Come and learn about the Circle of Security framework – a psychological research-based approach to creating psychological safety – and an example of its use to deal with agile team dysfunction, strengthen trust and help build a learning culture in teams. The presentation will be in a workshop format. Together we'll work through a number of activities to help you:
  • Define psychological safety and trust –- applying child psychology patterns to team dynamics.
  • The cultural and personality factors that affect psychological trust -- what does hierarchy and vulnerability really have to do with feeling safe?
  • The relationship between safety, learning, failing and successful agile teams.
  • Manage the conflict between learning culture and fear of risk risk-taking -– understanding the critical relationships between learning, failure and risk avoidance.
  • Recognise false cues from team members -- what learning and feedback loops look like, from the behavioural perspective of safety and fear, as Agile Retrospectives.
  • Strengthen team relationships -– building empathy by understanding others history, worries, stresses, joys, and hopes.
  • Understand the relationship between team effectiveness and team learning -- what to do as a coach, manager or team member to build and support psychological safety
  • How to be a safe pair of hands for your agile team without devolving into micromanagement or removing their need to be self-organising.

Learning Outcomes:
  • The Circle of Security framework -- how leaders, coaches, managers and even team members can use the to build and support psychological safety
  • The science on the relationship between psychological safety and the learning behaviour critical to agile teams' continuous improvement
  • How to recognise team needs for trust, comfort, support and risk-taking as well as its antecedents -- fear of failure, stonewalling and defensiveness
  • Cross-cultural psychology and personality factors -- do you really need to be 'vulnerable' or is this just pop-psychology?
  • What secure attachment looks like in teams
  • What to do to build secure attachment that will underpin psychological safety within a team and reinforce learning behaviours over risk avoidance

avatar for Matthew Hodgson

Matthew Hodgson

Lead Partner for Enterprise Agile Transformation, Zen Ex Machina
Matthew has been using psychology to further ICT cultural change goals for 20 years. He is a contributing author to the books 'The Emergence of the Relationship Economy' and 'The Psychology of Aid' and continues to publish in international journals in the fields of psychology on the pragmatic aspects of learning, change, teamwork and motivation. | | As an agile coach, Matthew applies techniques from his background in psych and 20 years of... Read More →
avatar for Mia Horrigan

Mia Horrigan

Country Director of Service Delivery, Orion Health
Mia leads the service delivery implementation team in Australia. Mia's focus is on delivering value to customers as efficiently as possible and ensuring that the Orion Health Team develop and grow their delivery capabilities | | Since joining Orion, Mia has been working with the Global Product Development team to present a program roadmap and technology transition plan to one of Australia's key clients and Mia was a key advocate for the change... Read More →

Thursday August 10, 2017 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Wekiwa 9&10
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