Psychologically Safe Group Environment

603 Words3 Pages
Seeking help, asking for advice, receiving feedback, and sharing information among members are required for group success. However, engaging in these activities sometimes brings the risk of being viewed as incompetent (A. C. Edmondson, 2002). In a psychologically safe group environment, members expect that these activities are accepted and respected by others, and no one will embarrass themselves by publicly showing their weakness or offering their views (A. Edmondson, 1999). When intra-group gossip constantly occurs, perception of psychological safety tends to be low, because as human nature, people are concerned about maintaining a positive self-image, forming a sense of belonging, and being acknowledged by others (Melwani, 2012). Therefore, when others’ behavior often becomes the target of gossip, group members may feel as if they are being closely monitored (Melwani, 2012). Thus they are likely to refrain from exposing weakness, disclosing potential problems or voicing different opinions, which are all core activities contributing to a psychologically safe group environment. Great group cooperation is also essential to group success. A cooperative group mutually supports one another and contributes personal efforts to the group objective (Kozlowski & Bell, 2003). However, workplace gossip,…show more content…
Workplace gossip also negatively influences viability (Melwani, 2012). According to research, 78% of workers who have experienced workplace incivility, including workplace gossip, said their commitment to the organization declined (Porath & Pearson, 2010), eventually leading to reduced group viability. Not only the target, but the witness of gossip also experiences negative emotion because of the morally questionable behavior. Even though they are not personally involved in gossip, toxic workplace environment may still cause them to leave (Porath & Pearson,
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