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The science of creating a dream team

Groupthink

The phenomenon of 'Groupthink' leads to ego clashes and reinforcement of existing biases. They somethings fail to reach any decision and may complicate matters further by incorporating all points of view. Design by Committee is something best avoided.

Brainstorming, on the other hand, involves creative, divergent thinking, which is different from the restrained, critical thinking that may be required to come to a decision.

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The science of creating a dream team

The science of creating a dream team

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20190807-the-science-of-creating-a-dream-team

bbc.com

5

Key Ideas

Wisdom Of The Crowd

Collective intelligence or group thinking is an idea that by many minds working together, we can correct each other's errors in judgment and provide good results.

Companies employ intelligent, well-qualified people and assume that this will automatically accelerate magical outcomes. But collective reasoning, while being useful, also has inherent pitfalls.

Groupthink

The phenomenon of 'Groupthink' leads to ego clashes and reinforcement of existing biases. They somethings fail to reach any decision and may complicate matters further by incorporating all points of view. Design by Committee is something best avoided.

Brainstorming, on the other hand, involves creative, divergent thinking, which is different from the restrained, critical thinking that may be required to come to a decision.

Collective Intelligence

An extensive study in 'Groupthink' which included testing the social sensitivity, as well as the IQ of the individuals, showed that:

  • Equal participation was a key ingredient of better performance. Group dynamics can get worse if team members clash frequently.
  • If team members are pitted against each other for a common prize, like a promotion, then group work suffers.
  • If team members are not open to ideas from other members or are interrupting them, it can sabotage group performance.
  • Teams with a higher proportion of women have better collective intelligence.

The Pecking Order

High-flying individuals, whose self-beliefs often impair their abilities o cooperate with others, can lead to a downfall of the team.

The constant jockeying for authority and imposing one's viewpoint/decisions hamper the team's performance.

Too much talent inside a team can be counterproductive, according to a study on the 'star players' in the financial sector.

Humble Leaders

People with better social sensitivity and an emotional perception(higher EQ) are a better hire than those with individual performance scores.

Humble people who listen attentively, and admit their mistakes become enablers in the team leading the group achieving it's fullest potential. The team as a whole begins to behave in the same way and increase its overall collective intelligence.

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Psychological safety in team building
Team members need to feel comfortable speaking up to create the communication dynamics necessary for success.

It all comes down to trust, which is one of the characteristics teambuilding...

For an effective teambuilding:
  • Think outside the box when defining the format that works best for all team-members;
  • Avoid activities where people are singled out and might feel embarrassed. These create the opposite of the trust-building effect needed to build strong teams.
  • Effective teambuilding allows teams to tackle an achievable challenge together. Working through a challenge together increases oxytocin and group cohesiveness.
Sports Fans
Sports Fans

Sports is a big deal across the world, with die-hard fans who are extremely emotional towards their home teams. It is hard to pinpoint the motivations of a sports fan, and why a win or a loss of a ...

Why We Love Sports

Sports psychologists have a list of why people love sports:

  • Sports carry self-esteem benefits.
  • Commercial reasons (money bets etc.).
  • Peer pressure of being part of their group.
  • Sports are exciting.
  • Sports is an aesthetically pleasing activity.
  • A venue for emotional expression.
  • Sports is an escape from real-world problems.
  • Sports provide a sense of connectedness and belonging.
Explaining Sports Appeal

  • Talent-Luck Theory: Sports appeals to a lot of people due to its ability to balance skill with randomness.
  • Mirror Neurons: Many fans are able to feel what the player is feeling, and experience the excitement first-hand in his mind, with no barrier between the self and the outside world.

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Group Development Theory

Dr. Bruce Tuckman, a psychology professor, synthesized team development into four basic stages: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.

Forming

This stage of teamwork is all about first meetings and first impressions.

What everyone needs most is a clear understanding of their part in the journey and a setup for building emotional connections. Setting goals together puts their skills and interests into the open.

Storming

Most teams go through the storming stage in some form or another because discord is inevitable. The key value to emphasize in the team is positive intent. 

A little conflict is needed to bring upfront weak spots in projects and to bring new valid arguments to the table. But constant storming leads to the destruction of productivity, projects, and ultimately, the team itself.

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Laszlo Bock

"It is within anyone’s grasp to be the founder and culture-creator of their own team, whether you are the first em..."

Laszlo Bock
Purpose

The foundation of a good culture is clearly stating the purpose - why something is (or isn't) taking place.

While it is important to share the importance of a project, we should not forget to identify the part is can play in our team's personal development. So, for each project, establish the main goal of the team and identify what everyone hopes to get out of the project.

Roles & Responsibility

Clearly defining roles & responsibilities can help foster good communication. Then people can know exactly what they are accountable for and what not. They will also be able to identify whom to ask their questions when they appear.

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The speed of change

The amount of data generated doubles every two years, reflecting a

Communicate your leadership signature

A leadership signature: Who you are as a leader and how you view and approach the job. 

  • Discover your leadership signature by asking how you lead day by day. Are you task or people focussed? 
  • Ask people who work with you how they would describe your leadership.
  • Consider the impact you have. Are you changing the culture? Driving results?
Be a sense maker

Sensemaking refers to the process of creating meaning out of the chaotic world around us.

We need to make sense when something in our environment seems to have changed. We collect data, learn from others, look for patterns to create a new map of the landscape. Then we experiment with new solutions to see how it will respond to this new environment.

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Demonstrate reliability

You can count on a reliable team member who gets work done consistently, does his fair share to work hard and meet commitments.

Communicate constructively

Teams need people who speak up and express their thoughts and ideas clearly, directly, honestly, and with respect for others. 

Listen actively

Teams need team players who listen first and speak second. They need players that can absorb, understand, and consider ideas and points of view from other people without arguing every point.

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Less communication might be beneficial
Less communication might be beneficial

So many people across the world are now working remotely. They may be concerned about the loss of regular facetime with their team.

But the latest psychological literature suggests that con...

Group communication

In a 2015 study, researchers found that more communication in a group results in the team members quickly converging on a consensus without really exploring alternatives.

In less well-connected groups, team members suffered a bit with information gathering but were less likely to reach a consensus too quickly. Each member built on their own theories, which resulted in a greater diversity of ideas.

Alone time

Researchers tested how the rhythm of our communication can influence our problem-solving. The participants were divided into three groups.

  • Groups with continuous interaction had a good average performance, but the team members tended to conform to mediocre solutions.
  • People working independently didn't have the opportunity to benefit from other's solutions.
  • The intermittent communication group was the best of both worlds. They could build on the diversity of the ideas that were created independently.

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The challenge of the teamwork

Teamwork is perceived as being extremely efficient in our everyday working structure, as it develops social skills in addition to enabling a faster achievement of goals.

However, each and eve...

The drawback of working groups

The so-called 'working groups' tend to be successful as long as the issue that needs to be solved has a low level of complexity. However, for goals that are more challenging, they seldom prove to be useful.

A working group's transformation

Whenever a working group has as goal to become a real team, difficulties are to be expected. Going from working individually to working together, as a team, requires great skills of leadership as well as determination and patience from every single member of the team.

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Defining group norms
Defining group norms

Group norms are the set of informal and formal ground rules that specify how people interact. The rules help members of the group determine how to behave. Advantages of clear g...

Intentionally create group norms

Every team has rules, but few are intentionally crafted. This could have a negative impact. For example:

  • In a team of two, it's easy to create short back-and-forth emails. As more team members join, it becomes more complex keeping everyone in the loop. Emails may include reply-alls about weekend plans and real-time decision-making, leading to unread emails and lost information.
  • A single individual dictates the rules for the group. He may inadvertently communicate late at night that can affect an entire company.
How to create healthy group norms

Setting up norms is easiest when the team is first created. It may take a special meeting at the start, but it saves time and diminish problems down the road.

Shifting group norms in an established team is possible, too. Cultivate positive behavioral expectations on high-functioning teams.

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Talent vs strength

Individuals have the tendency to consider that what they do better are the things they have long been working on. However, if we take a second to think about it, each and every one of us has at lea...

Adopt an encouraging attitude

A true leader should not only be able to identify his team members’ talent but also to encourage them into making the most of their natural gifts. 

There are a few techniques that enable leaders to name exactly the talents of each and every member of their team, such as finding out what annoys them the most, as often humans find it upsetting to see reflected their own strengths into the others’ weaknesses.

Overlooked qualities

One sure way to identify your strengths is by paying attention to what you find as effortless in regards to whatever action you do, but the others tend to see it as a complex action. 

That is right, it might seem a piece of cake to you because you were gifted with certain qualities that enable you to perform the task so easily. However, the task in question might not be at all that easy.

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