One Thing All Successful Teams Have in Common

What factors create the most successful teams?

The age-old question everyone wants to know, and the answer might surprise you.

So, without further delay the answer.

Google discovered the most important factor in top performing teams and found that psychological safety is number one.

“Psychological what?”, you might ask.

Google’s researchers define psychological safety as a place where team members feel safe to take risks, admit mistakes, ask questions, and throw out new ideas without fear of negative consequences or being seen as ignorant, incompetent, negative, or disruptive.

In short, you must create an environment which grows, creates, and builds TRUST.

Without it you have nothing to build on.

Recently I had a conversation with a leader who let me know he wasn’t too interested in diving into vulnerability and if that was my plan, I might want to rethink that.

Often the term vulnerable gets a bad rap, especially with males who our society tells to have unwavering strength, stand fearless in the face of adversity, and at all cost show no emotion!

Yet studies continue to show openness, honesty, a willingness to admit mistakes and ask questions is the ticket to building TRUST and leading the way in vulnerability.

I am not sure what’s tougher, more courageous, and fearless than a man or woman who is able to say…

I was wrong. I made a mistake. I need help.

I could have done it better. I am sorry. Next time I will…

So, the question remains…

What level of psychological safety does your team have as you enter the 2022 year?

If you aren’t sure, which often is common among leaders trying to evaluate metrics that aren’t measured in numbers, I listed a few measurable attributes that make up thriving teams.

If you answer “yes” to a majority of these points you are on the right track:

  • Give one another the benefit of the doubt.
  • Offer and accept apologies without hesitation.
  • Take risks in offering feedback and assistance.
  • Admit weaknesses and mistakes and ask for help.
  • Focus time and energy on important issues, not politics.
  • Appreciate and tap into one another’s skills and experience.
  • Accept questions and input about their areas of responsibility.
  • Look forward to meetings and other opportunities to work as a group.

If the answer was “no” or “not sure” to many of the points, you have a few new items to add to your 2022 goals.

As always reach out if you are looking for high level evaluation of your team and specific solutions for moving your team to greater trust and improved psychological safety.

Here’s to a great 2022 and beyond!

Click Here for the research study.

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