Episode #47: The People Part Book Chapter 4: Building Secure Working Relationships

Leadership is Calling Episode #47
Heather McGonigal

The People Part Book Chapter 4: Building Secure Working Relationships

“Appreciation is the number one culture builder. If you don’t have a culture of trust and vulnerability, you limit innovation and progress.” – Heather McGonigal

Struggling with communication gaps, fear of mistakes, and low trust in your team? Learn how to build unbreakable bonds and unlock peak performance with Coach Heather’s insights from The People Part book by Annie Hyman Pratt. Discover practical tips on creating a safe space for honest feedback, owning up to errors, and celebrating wins together.

Heather explains why psychological safety and secure working relationships are critical for business success. When teams have trust and feel their contributions are valued, they are more innovative, own mistakes, and resolve issues quickly.

Key Points
  • Psychological safety enables people to take risks and be vulnerable at work. This leads to more innovation.
  • Teams with secure relationships raise issues early, own mistakes, and do repair work to maintain trust.
  • Appreciation builds culture and makes people feel valued. It increases engagement.

Order a copy of “The People Part” 

Related Resources

Leadership Skills: The People Part
Leadership Development Articles: Psychological Safety and Secure Working Relationships  |  Relationship Repair: The Key to a High-Performing Team
Downloadable Leadership Tool: The Key Basics of Agreements

People with Heart - The People Part - Leading Edge Teams

Auto-Generated Transcript – unedited version

The People Part Book Chapter 4: Building Secure Working Relationships


Hi, everyone. Coach Heather back with you, talking about The People Part book and we are today talking about agreement number four, which is about secure working relationships. I have this special heart sweater on for you today just because when we normally talk about secure relationships in our leadership programs, we have an image with two people in the heart. And this is where the people part is important to business. This is one of the key factors because these high trust working relationships and the environments that those can thrive in are key to your success.

So let me ask you a question. Have you ever in your role had something related to a big important project go off track, go differently? You have like an oops, a mistake. Maybe it was by you, maybe by somebody that you are responsible for their work, whatever the case may be. It’s a high stakes project. There’s a mistake or something happened. This is not going in the direction we thought. And you think to yourself, “Yeah, but maybe no one will notice. Or maybe we’ll just wait and see if this even matters,” and you really have a hesitation to bring it forward. To bring, “Hey, I made a mistake. This happened. We’ve got to correct that.” If you’re hesitating, if you find yourself in that moment or that you notice any of your teammates in that kind of environment within your team meetings, this is very important. I want to call it to your attention because it’s an indication that you do not have secure working relationships and you do not have psychological safety together as a team and to get results in business, you need psychological safety. You need to build secure relationships.

Now, these are not the relationships where we do everything perfectly all the time. Remember, we are humans in business and things just constantly change and go differently than we expect all the time. But that’s one of the reasons it matters so much that we develop a safe environment for one another so that we can raise issues early, we can own up to mistakes and correct them and minimize impact. We can share our ideas before they’re perfect, because that’s better to get brainstorming around than waiting till they’re perfect. Can you see it? Can you see all the ways that this really matters? I really, really want you to get this.

Also in business, we have to have the experience on a high performing team that we have one another’s backs. That’s another way to think about what I mean by secure working relationships that again, we’re humans. It’s not going to go perfectly. We’re going to step on each other’s toes every once in a while. You’re going to turn in something late or have to adjust a deadline and it’s going to impact another department or another team member. This is going to happen. But the important thing is that you have this trust. You know that you have one another’s back. You assume you’re all doing your best to get the goals together. And when things go off track in the relationships you notice and you do repair.

And then as we achieve things as a team, another very important element is appreciation. Appreciation is the number one culture builder. If you have a team environment where you feel regularly appreciated and so do your team members who are really seen for your contribution, believe me, it’s only going to make everyone really feel good and want to be more all in on getting the goals.

So you know. Yes, psychological safety, it’s so, so important. I hope that you can hear that I’m passionate about it and that there’s many, many reasons why it actually matters to your bottom line of your business, the impact you can have, how you can serve people and your financial success. It matters that much.

And in this chapter, you’re in agreement for in The People Part book, we give you our special formulas, a little script for apology and also appreciation. If these two elements were the only thing you took from The People Part book and implemented in your organization in your relationships with others at work, it would change the game.

So this is a great book. It’s very robust. There’s a lot of things in here, but even if you just grab on to the apology and appreciation formulas and the reasons why we teach it the way we teach it, and then you implement that, it’s a game changer.

So I hope you’ll dive right back into The People Part book and let me know in the comments what you think. If you have any questions that I can answer in a follow up video, I’d be happy to. And thank you for your time.


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