The
Psychological
Safety
Playbook
is an
invitation
to play
The
Psychological
Safety
Playbook
is an
invitation
to play
The
Psychological
Safety
Playbook
is an
invitation
to play
The
Psychological
Safety
Playbook
is an
invitation
to play
The
Psychological
Safety
Playbook
is an
invitation
to play
The
Psychological
Safety
Playbook
is an
invitation
to play
Teams with a high degree of psychological safety are the teams with the highest performance and innovation power.

They are also the most inclusive teams and the teams that people want to be part of. Leadership development experts Dr. Karolin Helbig and Minette Norman share 25 proven moves to help you increase the psychological safety in your team and to lead more powerfully by being more human.

The Psychological Safety Playbook is an invitation to play—to pick one of the specific moves in the book, experiment with it, and discover what best aligns with your context and leadership style. What we know from practice: Introducing even one new move from our playbook will make a huge difference in your team culture!

Available soon

You will be able to pre-order the book in early 2023 from your favorite online retailers. Sign up for our mailing list to hear about pre-order incentives and other valuable resources. If you’d like to purchase multiple copies of The Psychological Safety Playbook for your team, event, or to give as gifts, please contact orders@pagetwo.com. Discounts may be available, depending on volume.

What is psychological safety?

While psychological safety sounds like an academic term, it is, above all, a deeply human experience: when we can ask a naïve question, propose a wild idea, or share our emotions, knowing we will not be embarrassed or marginalized—that’s when we experience psychological safety, and we can be our best and most creative selves.

By contrast, when we don’t dare ask a question, when we hold back our true thoughts, and when we mask our emotions because we are afraid we will not be accepted, and we may well be humiliated—that’s when we experience a lack of psychological safety, and we can’t be at our best.

Minette shares a brief explanation of psychological safety in a podcast
Although there is a great deal of academic research about psychological safety, there has been a lack of actionable guidance for cultivating it. Dr. Karolin Helbig and Minette Norman developed The Psychological Safety Playbook to close this gap.

The Psychological Safety Playbook contains 25 psychological safety moves—usable, real-world skills that every leader can learn and practice. Each move has a description of why to try it with references to the supporting research and step-by-step instructions on how to do it. You can start anywhere in the playbook and pick what you are particularly interested in learning more about. Whether you are an executive, a manager, or anyone who cares about building a healthy culture in which everyone can fully contribute, you will be able to put The Psychological Safety Playbook to immediate use.

The authors

The authors, Dr. Karolin Helbig and Minette Norman, met online when participating in a certification program for administering psychological safety assessments based on Amy C. Edmondson’s work. They connected immediately around their shared beliefs about inclusive, empathetic, and mindful leadership and struck up a collaboration with the idea of writing a practical guide to psychological safety. They envisioned a book that they themselves would have loved to have as leaders: Concise and practical, though research-based and offering relevant resources for further exploration. They ended up writing The Psychological Safety Playbook, never having met face to face. They are looking forward to meeting in real life sometime in 2023.

Dr. Karolin Helbig

Dr. Karolin Helbig is a leadership consultant with a focus on mindset and emotional intelligence. She is convinced that strong leadership and real change always start inside: It’s the way we think and feel, the way we approach challenges and the people around us that determine our effectiveness and success.

Karolin has a passion for neurobiology and is fascinated by the recent research about neuroplasticity. Her background is in science, with a PhD in human genetics. She is forever grateful to her biology teacher whose passion for the subject was contagious and made her choose human biology instead of sinology at university.

After four years in research, however, she wanted to broaden her perspectives again and joined McKinsey as a top management consultant, planning to stay for the typical two years. To her surprise, she enjoyed the work and stayed much longer than expected. Most enjoyable for her were the deep connections with clients, who continued scheduling telephone coffees with her long after projects finished, discussing their leadership challenges and personal development (and family issues and books and …).

With her focus shifting from analytical problem-solving to more human-centered leadership skills and with her growing family, she decided to leave McKinsey and become a self-employed leadership consultant (she now wonders why it took her so long to come to this fantastic decision, which allowed her to bring more value to her clients and spend more time in her sweet spot).

Karolin lives in Bonn, Germany, with her husband and their four children. She loves spending time at the German and Baltic Seas, cooking simple and ambitious menus, and is a passionate reader.

Minette Norman

Minette Norman is an inclusive leadership consultant and speaker, who spent the first thirty years of her professional career in the software industry. In her consulting business, Minette focuses on developing transformational leaders who create inclusive working environments with a foundation of psychological safety. Minette has extensive experience leading globally distributed teams and believes that when groups leverage diversity in all its forms, breakthroughs happen.

Minette’s unexpected career path started with a Drama and French major and aspirations of a career as an actor in New York City. The reality of needing to make a living led her to discover she had a knack for understanding software back in the days of the early IBM PCs. She left New York and ended up in a series of Silicon Valley companies, starting with Adobe in 1989 and ending when she left Autodesk in 2019 (there were a few other companies in between whose names did not start with the letter “A”).

What she discovered in her two decades of leadership roles was that she was far more interested in human interaction than she was in technology. She also recognized how rare it was for leaders to foster an environment that leveraged everyone’s talent, ideas, and diverse viewpoints. Starting her own consulting practice was prompted by her desire to help as many organizations as possible embrace a model of inclusive leadership with a strong foundation of psychological safety.

Minette lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and two rabbits. She is an avid hiker, knitter, and reader.

Partner with us

Want to work directly with us? We offer talks and workshops, Fearless Organization psychological safety assessments, and ongoing consulting with individuals and teams to help you increase psychological safety in your organization. Please reach out—we are happy to explore what’s most relevant and effective for your situation!

Our work always builds on what you already have in place, because we believe in leveraging existing strengths and growing from there.

From our experience, we know that increasing psychological safety is a true culture change and takes time to cultivate. We will partner with you to find the optimal engagement model to support your organization’s needs. We work virtually or in person. Karolin is based in Bonn, Germany, and Minette is based in the San Francisco Bay Area in the U.S..

What our clients are saying

Our team session with Karolin about psychological safety was completely custom-made, creatively designed and absolutely professional in each phase of our collaboration. Karolin put heart and soul into it, combined with cutting-edge science—a great experience!

Chapter Lead, Future Leadership Design, Deutsche Telekom

I just want to express my appreciation for that psychological safety debrief session. Minette did an amazing job of encouraging us, delivering meaning, and all the while moving us along. I can’t think of a better way to spend two hours.

Director of Engineering, Equalize Health

As an experienced coach and expert for change processes, Karolin accompanied us in the reflection and further development of our project and the psychological safety within our team. She supported us effectively using creative methods and insightful knowledge in a target-group specific way.

Board Director, Montagstiftung

Minette was a tremendous keynote speaker at Smartling’s Global Ready Conference. She established a unique bond with our audience despite the virtual format and spoke with authority on the subject matter.

Head of Marketing, Smartling

Karolin is an amazing blend of knowledgeable and sharp mind and empathetic heart. Able to sense what truly matters and find the right words, approaches, science-proven tools for transformative impact from the inside.

Executive Product Lead at Deutsche Telekom Innovation

Thank you for an amazing psychological safety session yesterday. We all learned a lot, and Minette created a very solid foundation for us to build on! I hope this is the first of many engagements.

Head of Engineering Operations, Waymo
Contact us

Let’s talk about psychological safety in your organization!