Reboot Podcast Episode Wisdom for Work #6 – What Horses Can Teach Us About Psychological Safety and Trust in Teams – with Andy Crissinger & Ali Schultz

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.


Andy Crissinger

Andy Crissinger

Coach, Facilitator & Director of Coaching

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Ali Schultz

Ali Schultz

Founder, Coach & Facilitator

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Episode Description

What is psychological safety and why is it so important for the success of our teams? In this clip, Reboot Coaches Andy Crissinger and Ali Schultz share what we can learn from horses about group dynamics and highlight some best practices for leaders looking to cultivate psychological safety in their teams and workplaces.

Five keys to a successful Google team | Amy Edmonson | Equine Facilitated Coaching

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Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“Psychological safety is the absence of interpersonal fear on our teams. It means that our people aren’t constantly walking around worried about their place in the group or their relative status to others in the group.” – Andy Crissinger

“To the horse, boundaries are critically important.” – Ali Schultz

“We need to know where our place is in our respective human herds, whether it’s a herd of two or a herd of a company the size of a thousand employees. So there’s a lot that the horse as an individual and as a herd can really model for us in our organizations especially as it relates to psychological safety.” – Ali Schultz

“The leaders of the herd are often the ones who care the most and are most concerned with the wellbeing and safety of the herd.” – Andy Crissinger

“The best leaders definitely make sure that all members of the herd are cared for. I think importantly, the best leaders let the rest of the herd know that the leader has their back.” – Ali Schultz

“One of the most important things a leader can be doing to create psychological safety in the group is actually to model a kind of vulnerability and a kind of humility that from time to time says, “I don’t know.” – Andy Crissinger

“If the leader is constantly leading with certainty and with directives, it’s actually saying it’s not safe to not know. It’s only safe to know the right answers. And so the kind of behavior that emerges from the group is a lack of curiosity, a lack of admitting when we don’t know something, a lack of questions.” – Andy Crissinger

“How do you become the leader that is trustworthy? How do you become the leader where everybody knows that you have their back?” – Ali Schultz

“I think we can cloak so much of deep body wisdom. We can override it with our mental capacity, but when we really start listening, there’s an important pulse to pay attention to.” – Ali Schultz

“As leaders, we have to be developing a shared nuanced sense of failure as part of growth. Failure as part of learning.” – Andy Crissinger

“If we’re constantly playing the game to not make any mistakes, we will necessarily be impeding learning and therefore impeding growth.” – Andy Crissinger