What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team

By CHARLES DUHIGG at New York Times Magazine

A great article on google’s research which shows unquestionably that trust and psychological safety are the key to effective teams.

But how to create this psychological safety, trust and a culture of good communication in a distributed/remote team?

Key Quotes

“In the best teams, members listen to one another and show sensitivity to feelings and needs.”

The right norms, in other words, could raise a group’s collective intelligence, whereas the wrong norms could hobble a team, even if, individually, all the members were exceptionally bright.

“…on the good teams, members spoke in roughly the same proportion […] As long as everyone got a chance to talk, the team did well, […] But if only one person or a small group spoke all the time, the collective intelligence declined.’

“Second, the good teams all […] were skilled at intuiting how others felt based on their tone of voice, their expressions and other nonverbal cues.”

‘‘… a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.’’

“Google’s data indicated that psychological safety, more than anything else, was critical to making a team work.”

“establishing psychological safety is, by its very nature, somewhat messy and difficult to implement.”

What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team
By CHARLES DUHIGG at New York Times Magazine