What happens when tech giant Google wants to know the secret to building a more productive team?
They initiate a years-long project, conduct hundreds of employee interviews and analyze in-depth data on more than 100 of their active teams. Through the effort known as “Project Aristotle”, Google concluded that it has less to do with who is on a team, and more to do with how a team’s members interact with one another.
Google’s data-driven approach highlighted what leaders in the business world have always known; the best teams respect each other’s emotions, and are mindful that all members should contribute to the conversation equally.
“Psychological safety”, a model of teamwork in which members have a cooperative belief that it is safe to take risks and share a range of ideas without fear, is the most important factor to building a successful team.
Takeaways: Key Traits of High-Functioning Teams
They make the effort to understand each other.
They find ways to relate and empathize with one another.
They speak up, use clear language to make themselves understood, and give others opportunity to share input.
In the end, after years of intensive analysis, Google concluded that emotional intelligence is at the root of good teamwork. Simply put, you really did learn everything you needed to know in kindergarten. Be nicer, and you’ll be more effective.