A few weeks ago, the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) met for our second session with Dr. Jocelyn Giangrande to learn more about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB). It was engaging- and while tackling some difficult concepts, Dr. Giangrande encouraged us to think about the need for psychological safety.

As a therapist, I’m familiar with this concept in the privacy of a session; the client needs to trust that they can speak their truth, and that the therapist will listen with an open mind. Without that trust, progress can’t really occur. In the workplace, psychological safety means that you feel like you can be honest about your thoughts and feelings, without fear that it will negatively impact your job or how others regard you overall. It can look many ways: listening patiently to a co-worker who is frustrated; respectfully speaking up in a meeting to offer an opposing viewpoint; taking responsibility for a mistake; or sharing that something difficult is happening at home that makes it hard to come to work. I believe for us to effectively tackle DEIB and make Vista Maria an even better place to work, we will need to find ways to trust one another and feel psychologically safe.

Although trust and psychological safety develop over time, all of us can do small things to help our fellow Good Shepherds feel at ease. Little interactions- giving a genuine smile, making eye contact, saying hello, asking for details about someone’s weekend, dog, or family- send a signal that says clearly, “I see you, and you are safe with me”. Will you join me in doing things to signal safety to others, even to people you may not know well?

On another note- our CEO transition is nearly complete. Please join us next Tuesday from 2:30-4:30 pm at the CFRC to celebrate Angela and thank her for the years of dedicated service to Vista Maria! Hope to see you there. 😊