Great Teams Are About Personalities, Not Just Skills

At the start of 2016 Google announced that it had discovered the secret ingredients for the perfect team. After years of analyzing interviews and data from more than 100 teams, it found that the drivers of effective team performance are the group’s average level of emotional intelligence and a high degree of communication between members. Google’s recipe of being nice and joining in makes perfect sense (and is hardly counter intuitive).

Perhaps more surprising, Google’s research implies that the kinds of people in the team are not so relevant. While that may be true at Google, a company where people are pre-selected on the basis of their personality (or “Googliness”), this finding is inconsistent with the wider scientific evidence, which indicates quite clearly that individuals’ personalities play a significant role in determining team performance. In particular, personality affects:

  • What role you have within the team
  • How you interact with the rest of the team
  • Whether your values (core beliefs) align with the team’s

Importantly, the above processes concern the psychological factors (rather than the technical skills) underlying both individual and team performance. These psychological factors are the main determinants of whether people work together well. If team fit were only about skills and experience, Donald Trump might invite Bernie Sanders to serve in his administration — yet it is unlikely that they would work together well. Likewise, there are often substantial compatibility differences between you and your colleagues, regardless of how similar your expertise and technical backgrounds are.

Read the full article here: http://go.shr.lc/2jPohYa

by Dave Winsborough and Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic

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