Extremely interesting reading about Google’s lengthy research into what makes a perfect team. Confirms what many have always thought; that team culture is crucial to success.

Key takeaways are:

It seems that unwritten rules are even more important than getting complimentary skill-sets in place. What differentiates “good” teams from dysfunctional groups is how teammates treat one another. The right norms can raise a group’s collective intelligence.

Not all good teams behave in the same way however all good teams have 2 things in common

1. Members speak in roughly the same proportion, a phenomenon the researchers refer to as ‘‘equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking.’

2. Good teams all have high ‘‘average social sensitivity’’ — a fancy way of saying they are skilled at intuiting how others felt based on their tone of voice, their expressions and other nonverbal cues.

What Project Aristotle has taught people within Google is that no one wants to put on a ‘‘work face’’ when they get to the office. No one wants to leave part of their personality and inner life at home. But to be fully present at work, to feel ‘‘psychologically safe,’’ we must know that we can be free enough, sometimes, to share the things that scare us without fear of recriminations. We must be able to talk about what is messy or sad, to have hard conversations with colleagues who are driving us crazy. We can’t be focused just on efficiency. Rather, when we start the morning by collaborating with a team of engineers and then send emails to our marketing colleagues and then jump on a conference call, we want to know that those people really hear us.

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