The Better Work Project: The Workplace Psychologist

02 October

In an increasingly complex and changing world how can we leverage human psychology to develop more successful organisations? Do we need a  workplace psychologist on staff? In this episode we welcome Agile Coach Jessica Katz to talk about the role of coaching and the role of psychology in the modern workplace. 



  • There is a movement towards encouraging individuals to be fully present at work - bringing all of themselves to work.
  • We want to embrace diversity and free thought to get creativity into our operations. To get to that, you have to dig out the things that are holding people back.
  • We only see the tip of the iceberg of people’s experiences at work.
  • We typically had a view of extracting value from people where now there is more of a regenerative model – providing them with the support they need to flourish.
  • We need to spend time building our understanding of people, their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours.
  • A single person is a complex system already - when you add in others and that adds additional complexity.
  • The T.E.A model is a good model to understand behaviour. It stands for thoughts, emotions, actions. We are reacting as a result of our thoughts triggered by what happens externally.
  • We all have different beliefs. The way to bridge gaps is curiosity – wanting to understand the thinking of a person instead of responding to their actions.
  • The SCARF model can be useful to understand, learn and build better relationships.
  • Our mindsets and beliefs shape our identity, so this is why we find it difficult to be challenged on our underlying beliefs.
  • One tool to use is powerful questions – using open questions rather than questions that start with what or why.
  • Modern leaders need to have better coaching and listening skills over and above the tradition skills they may hold dearly. They can be supported by onsite psychologists.
  • Psychology is healing trauma. Coaching is about forward motion. A coach and manager are not psychologists but can learn some aspects of psychology to help them to improve their skillset.
  • We need to address the issues that are coming up because of VUCA. One in five people are impacted by depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Resilience is about future proofing – this is where the workplace psychologist comes into play. We need to learn our own patterns and how we perform under stress.
  • We have to move the hearts of leaders. It takes shifting the mindset of leaders because those below emulate their behaviours.
  • You can teach behaviours through learning, but it can often take an uncomfortable moment to make a mindset shift.


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