The year was 2012. After more than ten years in business, Google had taken his step. It has had its biggest year to date, with rapidly increasing revenues and the first $ 50 billion year under construction.
However, there was a question in the minds of the company executives.
They knew that the key to Google’s success was teamwork and collaboration – allowing the company to innovate faster, identify errors faster, and solve problems more effectively. Still, some teams at Google improved, while others faltered.
What if the company can find a way to get more out of their teams? What if they can determine the “perfect team” formula?
Thus, the company launched a multi-year project designed to find answers to these questions.
Code name? Aristotle Project.
There is a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Conventional wisdom states that you need the most talented people to create the best teams. However, evidence has shown that this is not always the case.
Think about this. You’ve probably seen a team of A players that didn’t work well together and resulted in poor performance. (The subject of conversation: 2004 NBA finals, When the LA Lakers and the four future Hall of Fame are easily defeated by the Detroit Pistons.)
So how do you keep your team working well together?
Project Aristotle researchers studied tons of data. They had hundreds of interviews. He looked closely at 180 teams, including those with a reputation for both high and low performance.
In the end, they came to the conclusion that the most successful teams shared five traits:
Each of these attributes is related to: emotional intelligence– the ability to identify, understand and manage emotions.
Let’s break down each element and show you how you can implement them in your own company. (Note: You will find more details and case studies to explain these principles in my book. Implemented EQ: Emotional Intelligence Real World Guide.)
Google’s definition: Psychological safety is when team members feel safe to take risks and are vulnerable in front of each other.
Team leaders should regularly admit mistakes and share what they learned from them. Team members will follow.
Arrange a team lunch or coffee break. Talk about your lives outside of work. (This can also be done virtually if needed.)
Praise generously. But also set ground rules for respectful but sincere feedback. (See more below.)
Learn disagree and commit.
Google’s definition: Team members get things done on time and meet Google’s bar of excellence.
Team leaders should be examples. Like everything else, when it comes to deadlines, people follow the leader.
Make it clear that if someone does not reach the deadline, they should communicate this and seek assistance. (Reward this behavior and provide as much / practical help as you can.)
Pick up as often as necessary to achieve good quality and meet deadlines. If there are problems, you may need to increase your meeting frequency. (For example, daily meetings of twice a week or less for project meetings can be more effective than weekly meetings.)
Treat everyone like an individual. What works for one person won’t work for another; Therefore, tailor your approach to the individual. At the same time, keep everyone (including high performers) to the same standard.
Structure and clarity.
Google’s definition: Team members have clear roles, plans and goals.
Communicate cultural norms openly. When should team members be available? How quickly should they respond to emails and instant messages? Setting and reminding team members of these norms can help them strike a balance between collaboration, “deep work” (work that requires special concentration or focus) and other areas of life.
State clearly the scope. Team leaders and team members should be on the same page regarding the scope of specific tasks and tasks, including how much work is involved and how long it will take to complete.
Clearly communicate long-term strategies and goals, as well as appropriate milestones.
Google’s definition: Working for team members is personally important.
Team leaders should be alert to the strengths and weaknesses of team members. In addition, team leaders and team members should communicate clearly about what types of jobs and tasks they enjoy. This allows team leaders to look for meaningful assignment opportunities and everyone to participate and assist in difficult or undesirable (but necessary) tasks.
Make emotionally clever praise Be generous with praise, but be sincere and specific.
Give emotionally intelligent feedback. Some people are more sensitive than others; so, again, adapt your approach to the individual. To some, you will be able to communicate areas of criticism or improvement more directly. For others, you will have to soften your words.
A good general rule, though, treat all critical feedback as constructive feedback. Ask the other person for permission to share something you think will help them grow. Share your experiences when you make a mistake and take advantage of making an adjustment to show that we all have blind spots and need help to adjust again.
Google’s definition: Team members think their work is important and creates change.
Every company and department is unique, but look for opportunities to show off the work.
How did the sales affect the company’s bottom line? How has marketing made the sales department’s job easier? What are the (positive) responses of employees to HR initiatives?
No matter what the company or department is, don’t just share numbers, charts and figures. Share real life stories from employees and customers.
Step by step
If all of these recommendations seem overwhelming, don’t worry. Not every company will be equally good at doing all this.
Key: Choose one or two categories and specific actions, and then try to implement them within the next few weeks or months. When you are satisfied with the results, choose one or two more.
Slowly but surely, you’ll find that having great people is only half the equation. The other half is to make sure they work well together.