Geraldine Anathan

Coaching & Consulting for Inspired Leaders, Keynote Speaker, NeuroStrategy Coach

I help leaders tap into their most resilient selves in challenging times. My clients include front-line responders to the COVID-19 pandemic at New York’s most prominent hospitals, as well as executives & senior leaders who need to make smart decisions for navigating the way forward. I’m an expert in Psychological Safety and Executive Presence. I love my work and execute with passion, integrity, and humor.

Via A: Jerry helped me up my income by encouraging me to negotiate a salary that I wouldn’t have DREAMED of asking for. I was blown away! In just the second session, the ROI in working with her proved to be positive. Money aside, this experience set the tone for me being brave, knowing what I am worth, and trusting my gut.

Megan Galaburda, Professional Coach and Attorney
“Working with Jerry has been truly transformational. It’s rare to meet someone who listens with all of her beings, and Jerry is that person. She inspires me to think outside the box. Getting from stuck to unstuck is no easy task, and having Jerry as a coach has enabled me to navigate the journey with courage and grace.”


Psychological Safety: What it is and why it matters

In this episode, along with Geraldine, we touched on an underlying topic, “Psychological Safety: What it is and why it matters.” As an expert in Organizational Psychology, Geraldine (Jerry) Anathan is one of the under 30 coaches certified in conducting and implementing the Psychological Safety Instrument in teams and organizations.

In this webinar, Jerry shared science-based research on the characteristics of high-performing teams, introduction to the Psychological Safety Instrument, and how individuals and organizations can increase psychological safety over time. Here are the key takeaways from our webinar with her:


  1. Creating the Container
  2. Evolution of Psychological Safety in Practice
  3. Project Aristotle & Fearless Organization 
  4. The PS Instrument (Scan, survey, index)
  5. Coaches can foster psychological safety into organizations and teams without necessarily having to go through the assessment they have to be certified for
  6. The way forward: coaching high-performance teams, social or family groups

Psychological Safety in a nutshell: We need a culture in which it’s possible and permissible to argue with your superior about the best way to go.

A decade ago, Google started researching what creates super high functioning high performing teams.

What Google learned from its quest to build the perfect team: New research revealed surprising truths about why some work groups thrive and others fail.

A list of factors that high-performing teams exhibited:

  1. Psychological safety: Team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other.
  2. Dependability: Team members get things done on time and meet Google’s high bar of excellence.
  3. Structure & Clarity: Team members have clear roles, plans, and goals.
  4. Meaning: Work is personally important to team members.
  5. Impact: Team members think their work matters and create change.

The underpinning of high-performance: The factors listed above (2 to 5) will not matter unless there’s psychological safety.

How did the psychological safety term originate?

  • Amy Anderson, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School & MIT, came up with the concept of psychological safety after tons of research.
  • In 2018, she published a book called “Fearless Organization.” And then, she was a part of a group that created a scan and certified others to give that scan.
  • Fearless Organization is a book and a concept where companies can become psychologically safe environments for their other teams.

Definition of Psychological Safety

  • A shared belief that the team is safe for taking interpersonal risks. Individually, it is a belief that one would not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.
  • It is not primarily about feeling good; it’s about high performance amongst teams.
  • Psychological safety exists when you’re able to be yourself. Take risks, make mistakes, raise problems, disagree, ask questions.

What might keep you from “being yourself with your team or group or social setting”?

  • Imagine yourself in an everyday situation. And ask yourself: what keeps me from being a hundred percent?
  • Most of the time, the negative emotions and responses we feel don’t exist.

Psychological Safety vs. Accountability

  • When considering psychological safety, companies may feel that this freedom of expression can turn the work environment into unproductive where accountability becomes a significant concern.
  • However, there is no balance between psychological safety and accountability. The more psychologically safe we are, the more we’re willing to work and be more accountable and thrive as an innovative organization.

Where are we on psychological safety?

  • When we’re low on psychological safety, we’re low in our motivation and accountability. We may become apathetic.
  • If we’re super psychologically safe but not motivated or not being accountable, there’s a chance we might fall into our comfort zone.
  • If we have no psychological safety and a high amount of accountability or many responsibilities, we’ll land in an anxiety zone. We’ll be constantly under stress and drained of all energy.
  • When we’re high in psychological safety and accountability, we’ll be in the learning zone, which is the way to be into the innovative zone.

The bottom line: When we’re not psychologically safe, our lens shuts down.

The Fearless Organization Scan

  • You can access this scan and create a survey for yourself.
  • The scan is administered to everyone on a team by a certified PS coach. The scan generates two reports: one personalized and one general, shared with the entire team.

PSI Breakdown into Four Domains:

  1. Inclusion & Diversity
  2. Willingness to help
  3. Attitude to risks & failure
  4. Open conversation


  1. Creating the container:
  2. Setting a stage of psychological safety
  3. Relieves all the anxiety around the upcoming topics
  4. Allow people to speak freely
  • There are a lot of perceptions that could fly around based on how we consider someone’s energy. 
  • We may not ask for help, and we may not offer support unless we feel psychologically safe.

4 ways to embrace psychological safety on your team

  1. Create your own assessment using a 5-7 point Likert scale
  2. Visit and take an individual scan
  3. Bring fearless organization into work directly with your organization
  4. Bring fearless organization in the train your “culture captain(s)”

By the next decade, psychological safety would be as crucial as physical safety.

We hope you found our webinar with Geraldine educational and pragmatic. 

A big shout to Geraldine Anathan for touching on such a compelling topic that every organization should deeply reflect on! 

Don’t forget to watch the entire video to know more about becoming psychologically vulnerable, Dialogue Model, Politeness Loop, and more!

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to learn more from coaches all around the world. 

Stay tuned for the next episodes!

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