Google completed a project that they named The Aristotle Project, after the famous philosopher who said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” The project explored what was needed to have a great team at work. The company gathered data from 180 different teams at the Googleplex to decide “once and for all” how to construct a great team.
- The top people, working together, don’t make the best team.
- The best teams happen where the people interact best with each other.
- Of the five principles they discovered, one was by far the most important.
The five principles that Google came away with are:
- Create psychological safety.
- Dependability is necessary.
- Clarity regarding the team structure is super-important.
- The work should be personally meaningful.
- Employees must believe their work matters to the company.
According to Google, by far the most important principle is…
The need for psychological safety!
“Yeah, Dr. Rob, what does that even mean?”
Don’t worry, the phrase is complicated but the principle is easy to understand. It means trust. Not just any kind of trust, but the kind that allows me to say, “I think I’m in over my head on this one.” “You’re better at this area than I am.” “I really need some help here.” Basically, it allows people to share what is going on in their hearts.
Can your team members do that? Or does one person usually get way louder than everyone else, running over the other people and always needing to win the argument? If so, you have no psychological safety. As a matter of fact, you have to address the “loud mouth” situation or it will kill your group vulnerability—then parking lot conversations will begin to happen.
How do you build trust on your team? Click here to read about how to gain trust from others & click here to avoid the biggest trust-killing behavior.
BOTTOM LINE: Trust can be built daily—but never in a day. It all starts with the courage to be vulnerable… the leader must go first!
Have a great week!