10 steps to building a great team

Original author: bakadesuyo
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A good team is not just a group of good people.
Studies show that the constituent concepts of a “productive team” are not always obvious, and sometimes challenge conventional wisdom . Let's talk about it?

1. Look for not only smart ones, look for sociable

What will help create a smart team ? Not only high IQ, but also team communication skills.

Here are three factors:
  • the average level of social sensitivity of group members;
  • workspace in which there are no persons dominating in discussions;
  • percentage of women in the group.

Women in this study generally showed a higher level of social sensitivity than men. In other words, groups work better on tasks when:

  • their participants have good communication skills;
  • when there are several women in a group;
  • when in communication all members of the group have the opportunity to express their ideas.

2. Predict the success of the group on the basis of the level of mutual sympathy of its members

In accordance with the material “The advantage of happiness: 7 principles of positive psychology that ensure success and productivity in the workplace”:

... a study of more than 350 employees from 60 divisions of the financial services company revealed that the best indicator for predicting the achievements of the team was how its members relate to each other.
How well do they need to get along? Focus on the ratio of 5 to 1.

From the book “A monkey in the corner of the office: How to make friends, win in hassles and work better, using an understanding of human nature”:

... it turned out that 15 highly effective teams had an average ratio of positive to negative contacts at the level of 5, 6. For 19 low-effective teams, this ratio was 0.363. That is, they had about three negative contacts for each positive contact ...

Do your team members pat on the shoulder, greet with a punch and hug each other? "Teams, where there was the most touching, most were united and achieved the greatest success» .

From the book “Unconscious: How the subconscious mind controls behavior”:

Are those who gravitate toward contact with hands more successful in business? There is no data on how well managers who like to pat on the shoulder manage better. But a study conducted in 2010 in the city of Berkeley (USA) revealed a case where encouraging pats are really associated with successful interaction in the group. Scientists from Berkeley studied basketball, which involves teamwork every second and is famous for its developed touch language. They found that the number of “fist-to-fist or palm-to-palm greetings, touching shoulders, bouncing on each other’s shoulders, chest blows, patting the head, head hugs, shaking hands, two-palm greetings, hugs” was largely was related to the level of interaction between team members.

The teams with the highest number of touches were the most cohesive and most successful.

3. The most creative teams are a mix of old friends and new people

From the book “Imagination: How Creativity Works”:

“The best Broadway teams by a wide margin were those where there were different types of relationships,” says Uzi. “Such teams consisted of several old friends and newcomers. This combination made it possible for the artists to interact effectively : they could rely on a familiar structure, but some new ideas were added. They were comfortable with each other, but not too much. ”

4. Success Stories Boost Team Spirit

What creates team spirit? Success Stories:

“Organizations that have an exciting history often manage to create a special spirit of commitment among employees. It is this dedication that directly affects the success of the company and plays an important role in creating a good corporate heritage, ”says Adam Galinsky, a professor of ethics and management solutions.

5. For the team to work effectively, clear goals are needed.

From the book “Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration”:

A study conducted among five hundred specialists and managers of thirty companies revealed that unclearly set goals became the most significant obstacle to the effective work of the team.


6. Defining goals, assign roles

The book “Winner: the science of victories and defeats” says:

A clear distribution of roles and functions is one of the proven ways to improve the quality of teamwork. A leveling concept that provides for the same status and interchangeability of team members is erroneous. Teams work best when people know their roles, but not all roles need to be the same. Dr. Eduardo Salas of the University of Central Florida is one of the most cited scientists studying team performance. He devoted his life to understanding a great many processes of building and training teams.

He analyzed teams working in the army, law, NASA, and many corporate organizations. His opinion: only strategies that are based on a clear distribution of roles, understanding who should do what with increasing tension bring a stable result.

7. Want quick teamwork? Focus on smoothness.

From the work “Antidote: Happiness for those who cannot help but think positively”:

... he worked with a team of Formula 1 mechanics and told them that they would be judged not by speed, but by style. Having been instructed to focus on the “smoothness” of work, rather than setting new speed records, they ultimately began to work faster.

8. Treating the best in a different way is normal.

From the text of the publication “Winner: the science of victories and defeats”:

Does the special attitude to the “stars” of the team undermine the motivation of the rest of the team members? Researchers have paid attention to paying NBA stars compared to their lesser-known teammates. In general, if some team members receive what others consider an undeserved remuneration, this will negatively affect efficiency: team members will not work hard enough if they are ignored. But if the attitude to the "stars" is quite justified, then this will not harm the effectiveness. "Stars" are changing. Leaders are under close scrutiny, they are expected to achieve much higher efficiency.

9. Make a team of men and women

Teams of men and women worked better.

For business management, the best option is a group of two men and one woman. The difference in performance is due to a different approach to decision making. We observed that teams of three women were less aggressive in pricing, invested less in research, and more in initiatives related to social sustainability (compared to any other gender combinations). And, finally, the hypothesis that such results were due precisely to the weak dynamics of the work of fully female teams found confirmation.

10. Research proves that team strength is determined by its weakest link

Confidence in a team is determined not by the average participant, but by the weakest link:

The results of two studies show that trust in a team is much lower than trust in an individual. Statistically, it is at the participant level with the least reliability. In addition, in contrast to the average level of individual trust, an assessment of collective trust in a team will help to better predict:

(a) the likelihood of a deadlock in distribution negotiations;
(b) the level of joint achievements in integrative negotiations.

Want to build trust? Make your team laugh together .

PS We recommend one more article on the topic -Awesome productivity: 5 ways to increase team productivity .

The author of the translation is Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of MBA Consult .

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