What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team

Source: What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team

This is an interesting article full of great insights in what makes a ‘team’ successful. Below, I’ve extracted some of the points of the article to help you digest the message quickly. I always recommend reading the article yourself, and these are the points I took away – feel free to comment 🙂

  • “What interested the researchers most, however, was that teams that did well on one assignment usually did well on all the others. Conversely, teams that failed at one thing seemed to fail at everything. The researchers eventually concluded that what distinguished the ‘‘good’’ teams from the dysfunctional groups was how teammates treated one another.”
  • “…two behaviors that all the good teams generally shared. First, members spoke in roughly the same proportion ….by the end of the day, everyone had spoken roughly the same amount. ‘‘As long as everyone got a chance to talk, the team did well,’’ Woolley said. ‘‘But if only one person or a small group spoke all the time, the collective intelligence declined.’’ Second, the good teams all had high ‘‘average social sensitivity’’ — a fancy way of saying they were skilled at intuiting how others felt based on their tone of voice, their expressions and other nonverbal cues.
  • Psychological safety is ‘‘a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up,’’ …. The behaviors that create psychological safety — conversational turn-taking and empathy — are part of the same unwritten rules we often turn to, as individuals, when we need to establish a bond. And those human bonds matter as much at work as anywhere else. In fact, they sometimes matter more.
  • Google’s data indicated that psychological safety, more than anything else, was critical to making a team work.
  • “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.”

I’ve often wondered why some teams/groups seem to be more successful than others in achieving a certain goal or completing a task where the members are still friendly and jovial with each other, rather than resentful or spiteful. I can recall a few instances from my previous job roles where the above information would have been helpful!

Enjoy the present

I’ve just been seeing post after post about how nasty 2016 has been in killing off great people. Here’s something to consider: death is a part of life. You can’t have one without the other.

My thoughts are quite simple on this matter, and below is what I posted to facebook earlier:

I will never be able to match some of you on the level of your sadness, nostalgia or memories when the passing of someone from your past (real, actor, singer or character [based on recent announcements]), however I want you to remember those around you and in your lives right now that you should also be thinking of – those who you will likely mourn or grieve when the time comes. Think of them now, call them or message them and tell them so. Otherwise they too will disappear from view, most likely ‘too soon’. Do it now. Tell them how much they mean to you – happy for you to do so in the comments below

OP: https://www.facebook.com/AndrewBlanda/posts/10154964522188010

You are who you listen to

I have been fortunate to enjoy a number of podcasts in my helmet as I ride to work each day. My standard Playlist revolves through Tim Ferris, James Altucher, Freakonomics and Good Job Brain.

I have found a lethal combination of interviewer/interviewee and have truly revelled in the banter and discussion that has transpired between them. This is Part 1 of my “You are who you listen to” posts.

I’ve been listening to Tim Ferris for a while now and love how he’s able to perfect his questions, drill down deep into various topics, keeping the content of his podcasts vibrant and ever changing whilst at the same time anchoring the interview with some of his standard questions, interjected throughout the podcast. One of the best interviews to listen to was one of his most recent – his (follow-up) interview with Tony Robbins.

Tim Ferris and Tony Robbins in my helmet whilst riding to/from work each day is not for the faint-hearted. I was grinning and shouting in my helmet (to myself, of course) whilst commuting at a fairly brisk pace, often getting lost in the conversation not realising how fast I may be going at a particular point. The dialogue and mutual respect for each other (which is an important part of any conversation, professional or personal) is a joy to listen to and one from which many people can learn.

By far this is the best Tim Ferriss podcast I have had the listening pleasure to partake in. I want to live my life even half as well as Tim and Tony, and my goal is to follow their teachings whilst carving my own path through life. If I’m half as successful as they are, we’re onto something 🙂

What have I learned?

  • Gratitude is everything.
  • Self is important as long as it’s to ground you and ensure you’re in a position to be ready to take up the challenges on behalf of of those who cannot. You cannot give yourself when you are not in a position mentally, physically or spiritually. You owe it to yourself to have these in alignment so you can then help others.
  • I believe in the Stoic philosophy (although I am not yet up with all the teachings, I certainly believe in the tenets of it). I practice it in everyday life, I see everything as an opportunity to do better and to reach a stage where I, too can teach this to others.
  • Tim goes deep in almost everything he tries. Tony goes deep both personally and with those who seek his guidance or counsel. I go deep into things, but not in the same way as Tim or Tony. Depth is good but I need to learn to go just deep enough to achieve the results and not try and find the lower depths, lest I wallow there too long. Life is short and there’s a lot to it to be exploring.
  • Learn something new every day – I believe you can learn something from everyone you meet and interact with, as long as you are willing to invest some time to hear their story, listen to their counsel or tap into their ideas.

Until next time, look after yourself and keep focusing on what you can do to become better; be better and share your story!

 

This week…

I’m still listening to Tom Ferris podcasts during my ride to work and truly love the time as it’s just me, Tim and his guest in my helmet for 30 mins at a time.

This week I learned a lot about Seth Godin, someone my #coffeemornings friends have all followed, believed, evangelised or mentioned in the past (I did know who he was before listening to the podcast). 

I’m putting one of his thoughts into action today – writing a blog post whilst donating plasma, something I do regularly and willingly.

Enjoy your day and make it great 😊 

 

4HB – Week 4 update

I’ve made it to the start of the 4th week trying the slow carb diet as part of the 4 Hour Body. I’ve had to change what I eat and what I am allowed to eat, BUT there is a cheat day where you can eat what you like. In any case, measuring things is important so you can see things objectively, and here are the measurements from the start of the 4 weeks (so far).

The stats recorded from my first 3 weeks on the slow carb diet
The stats recorded from my first 3 weeks on the slow carb diet