Neuroscience has shown that effective learning and problem solving (aka innovation) requires two prerequisite conditions.


The participants must feel safe within the group. And there needs to be a mutual liking of each other.

Safety means feeling physically and psychologically free from threats and intimidation. It includes trusting others to treat you with respect and give you the benefit of the doubt. It means not worrying about gossip, rumours and passive aggressive/sociopathic mind games.

Mutual liking means just that. When people genuinely like each other; when their relationship is a happy one. Have you noticed how you learn better and work harder when you liked your teacher/manager? And when you know they liked you back?

I would extend this to the general psychological (cultural) and physical environments we work in. Do I feel safe in, and do I like where I work?

(From a recent conversation with Tracey McGrath)