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What sets managers who elicit an enviable degree of commitment from their teams apart from the rest? They are willing to make sacrifices for their teams, and their teams know it, says Simon Sinek, author and professor at Columbia University. Business Digest presents his research on the benefits of creating a circle of psychological safety within teams for sustainable team performance.

Using psychological safety to enhance collaboration

Sinek reminds us that feeling safe is a primary psychological need. While external tensions are unpredictable, dangers within the company fall under your responsibility as a manager. By creating a circle of psychological safety around your teams, you will reduce feelings of threat and create an environment conducive to the free exchange of information.

Promote a culture of long-term performance

A culture that is based solely on numbers and short-termism promotes selfish behavior and a climate of insecurity that undermines team performance. Sinek reminds us how much your integrity is an essential component for the loyalty of your teams. Integrity means referring to a moral code that is more exacting than merely obeying the law, as well as aligning your words and deeds with your intentions.

Stay connected to your teams
It is impossible to build robust relationships using new technology because there is no such thing as “virtual” trust. Nothing can replace having meetings and interacting face-to-face with your teams. Similarly, Sinek recommends adhering to “Dunbar’s number”: do not manage more than 150 people if you want to be able to know everybody and deal with them as individuals.

Business leader testimony from HCL Technologies
Trust is at the heart of the “employees first, customers second” model advocated by Vineet Nayar at HCL Technologies. By making managers accountable to employees, HCL Technologies experienced a 600% increase in turnover between 2006 and 2014.

Based on Leaders eat last: Why some team pull together and others don’t by Simon Sinek (Portfolio, January 2014), Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results by Judith Glaser (Bibliomotion, October 2013) and “Tackle Conclicts with Conversation” by the same author (Harvard Business Review, February 2014) and the interview with Vineet Nayar, former president and CEO of HCL Technologies, May 2014.

Watch the video:
Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe

In this TED conference, Simon Sinek reviews the qualities that make leaders stand out: they foster a climate of security while taking care to ensure trust among their teams.