Published On: Mon, Apr 18th, 2016


dekker_0Google’s People Operations Research Team set out to answer the question,

What makes a team effective?

After extensive research, they concluded,

Who is on a team matters less than how the team members interact, structure their work, and view their contributions.

The attributes of a successful team, according to the research outcome are:

1 Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?

2 Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high-quality work on time?

3 Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?

4 Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally meaningful for each of us?

5 The impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?

The most important attribute that came out of the study was psychological safety. Psychological safety is a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking. In psychologically safe teams, team members feel accepted and respected. In other words, the absence of fear or distressing anxiety, not being bullied or feeling threatened, creates successful teams.

Not being bullied or feeling threatened, is the formula for a successful team. Try to imagine such a team in Latino leadership. Is it possible??

It does not take much to see that politics, government, and administration are dominated by power hungry players, bullying and threatening their way to the top. And consistently, year after year, these bullies fail. They run their country into the ground at all levels, while stealing themselves and their junta, rich. What they leave behind is a deeply damaged community, mostly unable to resurrect itself for decades. Argentine’s Kitchners, Brazil’s Rousseff, Venezuela’s Chavez and Maduro, Surinam’s Bouterse, Cuba’s Castros have all been tyrants, who bullied and threatened their people into compliance. They killed all creativity, and their followers ended up like muted puppets. But eventually, all these dictators and their regimes imploded.

So, if you want to be successful, create teams with psychological safety!

By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion columnist for Curaçao Chronicle

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