Just as vital as clear goals are for teams to perform, are quality relationships between team members. People working together well need to respect one another, trust each other and feel seen by their colleagues. Recent studies have shown that the most effective teams exhibit the following behaviors:
Who is responsible for what? If a team member doesn’t perform, what happens? How do our distinct roles play together in pursuit of our shared goal? Who holds the authority here? If the Warriors didn’t know who to look to when calling the plays, why certain skilled players sat on the bench while others got to start and how they could leverage their individual skills, collectively, this season would have looked a a lot different.
At MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory, we have identified the elusive group dynamics that characterize high-performing teams—those blessed with the energy, creativity, and shared commitment to far surpass other teams. These dynamics are observable, quantifiable, and measurable. And, perhaps most important, teams can be taught how to strengthen them.