Reaching “Perfection” With Team Building
Several years ago, Google set out to build the “perfect team.” They called the initiative “Project Aristotle.” Because a majority of the work at Google involves teams of people collaborating, there was need for an initiative that got to the root of team effectiveness and team building.
Within any team, there are different skillsets, different ways of approaching tasks and a variety of personalities. Interpersonal challenges and a lack of cohesion where goals are concerned can be a source of friction, leading to productivity problems.
At Google, they established three specific areas that require special attention:
- Establishing a consistent personality; all norms and behaviors are defined.
- Discussing team dynamics in a forum; communication among team members must be constructive and reassuring.
- Leaders commit to reinforcing and improving; teams thrive with leaders who are committed to a model, lead by example and continue to strive for improvement.
It Isn’t “Perfect”
With every study’s findings, there are others that come up with different results. Researchers outside of Google have put a larger amount of focus on personality in the workplace instead of skills as the most pressing issue in regard to productivity.
A business psychology professor at Columbia University said rather than looking primarily at the functional role of individuals, there should be a focus on the psychological synergy that works toward making sure each member of the team is working well with others, free of conflict and free of friction.
Understanding how people are wired can assist in building a cohesive team. For example, some people are classified as “left-brained” while others are “right-brained.” A left-brained person is objective, analytical and logical. Right-brained people are free thinkers, collaborative and intuitive. Each can bring valuable skills to the table, but be aware that the left-brained workers are fact-oriented while right-brained people are more visual, which can lead to butting heads in some situations.
Pragmatism: Good or Bad?
Pragmatic people take a sensible and realistic approach to their daily tasks. Rather than wax theoretical, they will default to practical. While it would seem to be a great trait when it comes to making solid decisions based on facts, many workplaces benefit by the imaginations of non-pragmatic people. In fact, a workplace that has a team-building strategy that focuses solely on pragmatic people will often fail in their efforts, as it takes a healthy dose of employees who dream big and think outside the box to deliver on goals.
Unlocking the personality traits of your employees can be difficult, but not when you take a scientific approach. A simple cognitive and behavioral assessment is all that is needed. At PI Consulting Group, that’s what we specialize in. Contact us and let’s get started on a team-building strategy that will up your productivity.