Core Principles

The core idea grounding my research is that everyone craves safety.

Once we feel physically safe, a swathe of emotional considerations pop up. The difficulty is that everyone has a different definition of emotional safety. For all, it includes working free of harassment. It means job security. Past the basics, emotional safety webs outwards into more individualized concerns based on personal history, the organization, the industry and more.

To some, emotional safety revolves around how feedback is received. For others, it means their opinions won’t be invalidated due to their age. For others still, it just means the ability to offer dissent.

Every person has unique boundaries and expectations for what makes them feel safe.

Every organization creates a culture with different norms concerning accepted, safe behaviors, and emotionally harmful behaviors.

Every leader handles mistakes or violations differently.

People crave emotional safety, but with so many diverse requirements, it can be challenging to know what policies, practices, and procedures ensure cohesion. To make it all that more complicated, sometimes the things that make people feel unsafe might be something an organization has vaunted as a core of its culture or that an industry has normalized.

To these ends, my research has focused on three areas;

  • How to build emotional safety across interpersonal relationships.
  • How people set boundaries and expectations for emotional safety.
  • How to communicate and overcome when a mistake or violation occurs.

The research has been fascinating and I am excited to share my findings with you. Feel free to explore the following case studies, interviews, and reports.

If you’d like to participate in a brief study about emotional safety, here is a survey on how individuals create expectations around emotional safety.

And here is a study for managers considering how they create emotionally safe environments.

Let’s Create Something Meaningful, Together