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  • Writer's pictureKaty Craig

The Four Stages Framework Part 3: Contributor Safety


Stage 3 of the 4 Stages of Psychological Safety framework is all about Contributor Safety. This stage is focused on ensuring that everyone in a team or organization feels safe to contribute their ideas and opinions without fear of judgment or criticism.


Contributor safety plays an essential role in creating psychologically safe environments, as it encourages people to be open and honest with each other while also allowing them to take risks without worrying about how others may react. It helps create a culture where individuals feel comfortable speaking up, sharing their thoughts, and taking initiative — all key components for successful teams!


To foster contributor safety within your team there are several things you can do: provide clear expectations for how people should interact with one another; encourage active listening by validating each person’s opinion; recognize contributions from every member regardless of position or seniority; practice constructive feedback rather than criticism when needed; and celebrate successes together! See the following list for more suggestions on how to support your teams and foster contributor safety:


  1. Rotate the conducting of meetings; assign different members to lead meetings.

  2. Clarify roles; reduce ambiguity about who is responsible for what.

  3. Recognize accomplishment; be timely about it.

  4. Don’t correct with anger, blame, or shame.

  5. Identify stall points and help the team through them.

  6. Celebrate small wins; increase confidence and momentum.

  7. Shift from tell to ask; too much telling breeds dependence.

  8. Share your values; helps to define ground rules.

  9. Share your workstyle and communication preferences; Leader API.

  10. Set ground rules to reduce uncertainty; individual APIs and Team API.

  11. Align work with passion; right person for the right job (when practical and feasible).


Stay tuned for the final stage: Challenger safety, coming soon!

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