Does Safety Really Matter?
Did you know that in the aboriginal language, there is no word for safety?
I didn't, myself, until I read the book Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta.
Last night, I was leading a discussion around the book, and brought up this idea of safety because it relates to another book circle I am leading on the topic of psychological safety.
I love it when 2 ideas don't quite fit together perfectly.
The biggest problem with contemporary approaches to risk is the illusion of safety as a human right that can be controlled as a variable in advance. In fact, there is no such thing as safety in Aboriginal worldviews...There is no agency in safety, which places a person in a passive role.
As we discussed, we talked about how safety is external, and is about outsourcing conflict so that we don't have to see it or deal with it. It allows us to stay in the passive role, as Yunkaporta says in his book.
On the other hand, protection is internal. It's closer to 'home' and is more focused on honoring the reality of conflict, and giving yourself the power to act within that reality.
I am pondering how Yunkaporta's ideas connect with the idea of psychological safety within organizations, which is often deemed as being the responsibility of the leader.
So, where does psychological protection come into play?
This might be a bit philosophical, but I would love to know your thoughts on this.
Originally posted on LinkedIn
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I am Theresa Destrebecq (I dare you to try to pronounce it...)