The secret of success in teams is not individual behaviour, it’s team-based.
At the core of every elite team is psychological safety — defined as shared belief in a team environment that permits interpersonal risk-taking.
Risk in this context means the ability to be open, honest, ask questions, seek input, admit mistakes and drive relentlessly towards being better: key behaviours for high performing team leaders and members alike.
Psychological safety in health care is both elusive and difficult to achieve.
Social contagion theory can help explain how each team member can contribute to a study team environment that accelerates group performance.
Be a positive emotional contagion.
Carry the fire.
Christopher Hicks is an emergency physician and trauma team leader at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and Assistant Professor and Clinician-Educator in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is an education research scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge institute, and appointee to the International Centre for Surgical Safety, with a program of research that focuses on simulation-based psychological skills training, human factors and clinical logistics. He has innovated in several areas of resuscitation and psychological skills, including mental practice, stress inoculation training and the trauma black box program. In 2018, Chris co-created and chaired resusTO, an inter-professional simulation-based resuscitation conference in Toronto with international acclaim. In 2020, he co-founded Advanced Performance Healthcare Design, consulting with hospitals and industry using simulation to inform the design of systems, spaces and teams. Chris is an avid speaker and lecturer, staunch #FOAMed supporter, occasional runner and cyclist, fledgling boxer, semi-retired pianist, and proud father of three lunatic boys.