The Modern Manager

Is your team safe enough at work? Just like physical safety in the workplace, we also need psychological safety if we want people to do their best at work.

Psychological safety is about creating a safe space where team members feel comfortable taking risks, sharing their thoughts or ideas, and making mistakes without worrying about ridicule, punishment, or exclusion. And today’s guest is just the right person to talk about psychological safety at work.

Today’s guest is Rich Fernandez. Rich is the CEO of SIY Global and a former Executive Director for People Development at Google. His Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University, as well as his extensive background in senior leadership for multiple Fortune 500 companies, has made him an unmatched thought leader in the industry of workplace psychology. Rich is an expert in cultivating workplace environments that foster emotional intelligence and mindfulness from the top down. 

In this episode, Rich and I talk about psychological safety and the interplay between trust, inclusion, belonging, and safety. He also shares why psychological safety at work matters and how you can foster more of it within your team.

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Conversation Topics

  • (00:00) Intro
  • (01:41) What is psychological safety, and how is it different from trust?
  • (05:43) How psychological safety and trust go hand-in-hand
  • (07:26) An example of psychological safety in Rich’s team  
  • (10:02) How do you know if you’re fostering psychological safety in your team
  • (13:03) Two ways for managers to create psychological safety at work
  • (17:18) How to create an atmosphere where all team members can freely share their perspectives
  • (19:10) How to handle dissenting views without scaring off your team members
  • (22:34) Challenges that managers need to overcome when cultivating psychological safety in the team
  • (29:17) A great manager that Rich has worked for
  • (32:52) Keep up with Rich
  • (34:24) [Extended Episode Only] The role of emotional intelligence in fostering psychological safety
  • (39:10) [Extended Episode Only] First step in developing emotional intelligence

Additional Resources:

- Get the extended episode by Joining The Modern Manager Community for just $15 per month
- Read the full transcript here
- Read the related blog article here
- Follow me on Instagram here 
- Visit my website for more here

Connect with Rich:

- Follow Rich on LinkedIn here
- Visit SIY Global for more information here

Free eBook: Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness at Work

Rich Fernandez is happy to offer a free eBook to The Modern Manager membership community: Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness at Work: Why Human-Centered Skills are Essential to Future-Proof Your Organization

In this eBook, you will find the latest research conducted by SIY Global and experts around the impact of emotional intelligence and mindfulness on 4 key organizational trends: 1. Why current levels of stress and burnout are costly and unstable; 2. How connection and belonging in a disconnected world are essential for team performance; 3. The emerging demands for human-centered leadership; 4. The need for resilience and agility to innovate and adapt.

Get this free eBook and many other member benefits when you join The Modern Manager Community.


The Modern Manager is a leadership podcast for rockstar managers who want to create a working environment where people thrive, and great work gets done.

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