When a group individuals come together, there are multiple complexities faced by this formation. For a team to work successfully together, a number of barriers and challenges need balancing to ensure the success of the new venture or product. Each individual within a team has a different personality and a multitude of characteristics that when grouped with others, they can that create chaos or harmony.
Google’s project Aristotle – a tribute to Aristotle quote; “the whole is greater than the sum of its part”, where Google researchers believed that their employees can work better together than alone. The project was to crack team effectiveness by understanding how members of a team, their relationships and responsibilities all work together.
A key component of effective teams is psychological safety. When in 2015, Google published their results from a study they did over a two-year span on great teams, one of the interesting factors was the sense of confidence; when an individual felt the need to speak up, they didn’t fear the consequence of being punished, embarrassed or rejected. By being comfortable with themselves and amongst others, the level of confidence built within the team bring in mutual respect and trust.
In order to foster psychological safety within the workplace
? Lead by example; by asking for upward feedback, acknowledge mistakes, listen to others, encourage others to ask questions.
? Encourage active listening; ask people who rarely speak for their opinion, show understanding by repeating what was said.
? Create a safe environment; don’t allow people to interrupt each other, accept ideas and never judge, never place blame, encourage out of the box thinking and off the wall suggestions.
? Develop an open mindset; encourage feedback and acceptance of feedback, encourage to listen, analyze and then respond to input from others, encourage to take feedback from criticism as a way to strengthen ideas.
The other 4 behaviours identified from Google’s project were;
? Psychological safety; team member feel safe to take a risk, speak up and be open in front of others
? Dependability; team members are able to support each other to complete tasks assigned.
? Structure and Clarity; team members know what their role is, how they can contribute to the overall objectives.
? Meaning: personal fulfilment from the role or team overall accomplishment
? Impact: team member think their work is making a difference
Building a strong team culture is important for every organisation, to ensure the success of the tasks assigned. A team has to have the same commitment to work together towards a common goal, by being transparent and no hidden agendas that could jeopardize the team effectiveness. Those that within a team feel accountable for their outcomes, they provide each other with support to achieve their goal – ‘real ownership’.
Within a team, mistakes happen, by creating an environment in which people feel comfortable to take risks, is key to build an innovative workplace. If during a meeting everyone follows the managers’ idea with no one voicing his or her opinion, bounce off ideas or is afraid to talk – this is the opposite of teamwork. By discussing ideas, plans can be strengthened, actions a can be discussed, and problems can be solved.
In today’s workplace, people get to work more and more in a team environment, and it is not always easy to collaborate together, even though people have the same traits or ideas.