How To Focus on the Freedom of Emotional Safety

Emotional Safety relates to an individuals’ perceptions of the consequences of taking interpersonal risks.

A term that originally began in couples’ therapy meaning an emotional state where in each individual is open and vulnerable, has become adopted in the workplace. Emotional Safety (ES), also referred to as psychological safety, has become a hot topic in dentistry.

But what does it really mean?      

ES relates to an individuals’ perceptions of the consequences of taking interpersonal risks. It also allows our teams the freedom to collaborate, be creative, share ideas, practice empathy, and express themselves freely, without the fear of being negatively judged.

Six Emotional Safety behaviors we can practice:

  1. Applaud Individualism
    • Recognize and award people for their unique super powers
  2. Promote Diversity and Inclusion
    • Exclusion, of any kind, can manifest into an unsafe emotional environment
  3. Positive Coaching
    • Recognize and reinforcing positive behaviors supports more positive behavior.
  4. Build Trust
    • Trust begins with cultivating relationships and increases slowly, over time.  Encourage our teams to support and appreciate each other
  5. Practice Empathy
    • This is essential for successful emotional safety. Take time to recognize what team members need, particularly when stress comes into play
  6. Maintain Alignment
    • Involving the team in updating processes and protocols will promote engagement


Start developing your emotional safety toolkit by nurturing one or two of the behaviors from above. Your practice will become known for creating a positive, safe environment for potential employees and patients.

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