Cornell professor Kathleen O’Connor, who coaches teams on effective collaboration, says that when psychological safety is absent from the workplace, teams lose the individual knowledge and expertise each member brings to the table and begin to experience what is known as the Common Knowledge Effect.
When this effect is at play, says O’Connor, “teams tend to focus on shared information”, and as a result they have “trouble capitalizing on the diversity of knowledge and expertise in the team”. The very same knowledge and expertise those people were recruited for to begin with. This often leads to poor performance, poor decision-making and missed opportunities for innovation.
Via Gust MEES