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Julie's One-Degree Shift - Issue #5 (Learner Safety)

Transforming the way we Connect Newsletter

June 2024, Issue No. 5


Julie's One-Degree Shift Newsletter


OVERVIEW: Julie's "One-Degree Shift" newsletters are a guide for leaders to make subtle yet impactful changes which foster well-being and connection in the workplace.

This one-degree shift has us developing our journey with the important elements of psychological safety, in particular, 'Learner Safety'.


Consistent, repeatable actions are the foundations for building unrelenting trust.


It’s time to: shift perspective; lean into the discomfort; and, Transform the way we Connect.

~ Julie Gillespie

Widening the perception lens for transformational leadership
Widening the perception lens for transformational leadership

Teams need to be able to 'Play'(and fail) together

Psychological Safety is a condition in which you feel 1) included, 2) safe to learn, 3) safe to contribute, and 4) safe to challenge the status quo - all without fear of being embarrassed, marginalised, or punished in some way.

Building on the idea of expanding our perspective as leaders, this issue of One-Degree Shift dives into the concept of learner safety. It's not just about acquiring knowledge; it's about cultivating an environment where individuals feel empowered to learn, fail, grow, and contribute their best.


The need to be accepted precedes the need to be heard

The Framework of Psychological Safety by Timothy Clark
The Framework of Psychological Safety by Timothy Clark

Why Learner Safety Matters

Imagine a team where asking questions is met with judgment, and mistakes lead to reprimands. This stifles curiosity, discourages exploration, and ultimately hinders innovation. Conversely, when team members feel safe to learn and experiment, magic happens. They become:

  • More Engaged: They're free to dive into challenges, ask for clarification, and actively participate in the learning process.

  • More Resilient: Knowing mistakes are opportunities to learn opens up a "growth mindset," allowing them to bounce back from setbacks.

  • More Innovative: A safe space for brainstorming and experimentation leads to a wellspring of creative ideas.



Kids playing with colourful images - the joy of PLAY
Learn through Play

Monthly Focus: Creating the Opportunity for Learning


What does ‘Good’ look like: ways to cultivate learner safety in your team

  • Model Curiosity: Don't start with your answer!! PLEASE!! Ask questions yourself, and express genuine interest in learning alongside your team.

  • Embrace Mistakes: Make mistakes out loud! Show your team how to reframe them as learning experiences. Discuss what went wrong, and explore solutions together.

  • Focus on Process, not Perfection: Show your team your process for learning. Let them get along side you through the process to see 'how' you do it, and then let them try their own version of it. Value the journey of learning over achieving immediate flawless results.

  • Celebrate "Aha" Moments: Acknowledge and appreciate breakthroughs, big or small. AND, find out how your team like to be appreciated (Great read: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Dr. Chapman and Dr. White)

  • Provide Clear Feedback: Offer constructive criticism that focuses on improvement, not blame. Remind your team of their Strengths, what they have in their toolkit to work through to a solution.



Your Actions Count

By prioritising learner safety, you create a space where your team thrives. They become more confident, innovative, and ultimately, more successful. This positive shift benefits not just your team, but also the entire organisation.


The One-Degree Shift podcast episode with Cecil Barnard showed some great examples of how to build the confidence of yourself and your teams by cultivating learner safety.


Reflect on your current leadership style. Are there ways you can cultivate a safer space for learning within your team? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, and let's continue this conversation on building a culture of continuous growth.


Let’s Shift: I’m here for you

What now?

If you’re interested in deepening your understanding of this topic, here is a list of some great podcasts:


To learn more about Psychological Safety and Managing Psychosocial Hazards in the workplace, here are my go to resources:


If you are unsure how to make this work, I am here to help. Let's chat.


My hope is that this newsletter will be your support throughout the year. Effective practices will be laid out within it, designed to meet you where you are. Each month, we are going to widen your lens, one degree at a time.


With heartfelt gratitude,





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