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Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others
Individual intelligence, as psychologists measure it, is defined by its generality: People with good vocabularies, for instance, also tend to have good math skills, even though we often think of those abilities as distinct. The results of our studies showed that this same kind of general intelligence also exists for teams. On average, the groups that did well on one task did well on the others, too. In other words, some teams were simply smarter than others. We next tried to define what characteristics distinguished the smarter teams from the rest, and we were a bit surprised by the answers we got. Instead, the smartest teams were distinguished by three characteristics. First, their members contributed more equally to the team’s discussions, rather than letting one or two people dominate the group. Finally, teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. In a new study that we published with David Engel and Lisa X. And they did. This last finding was another surprise. Related:  Team BuildingTeam effectiveness

How to Plan a Team Offsite That Actually Works All around the world, teams large and small assemble at offsite locations to take a step away from their day-to-day work and build team spirit. Unfortunately, many team building offsites turn out to be ineffective, or worse. Sometimes, it’s because the sense of unity and cohesion that gets created when everyone is together having “fun” outside of the office doesn’t last long once everyone gets back to work. Other times, “team building activities” have the unintended consequence of bringing out competition and hostility between individuals instead of enhancing commitment and cohesion within the team. In order to create a team-building offsite that will have positive, enduring effects, it’s helpful to think of offsite meetings as kind of a microcosm, or a “play within a play,” wherein the leader and the team use the stage to rehearse the new dynamics and norms that they want to perform back at the office or take on the road. Some best practices can help. Don’ts: Do’s: Do set ground rules.

3 characteristics smart team Test My Pitch Sharing your ideas and gaining support isn't easy. Pitching can be nerve racking, intimidating, and overwhelming. Choosing words that will capture the audiences attention and accurately convey your idea in a finite amount of time is a real challenge. Relax, you’re not alone. Test My Pitch™ is an online platform where entrepreneurs and professionals draft, share, and receive feedback on their idea pitches and self-introductions. Test My Pitch™ is here for you to provide a collegial and friendly environment where you can not only improve your message but, also your ability to NAIL IT when you’re in front of an audience! Skip the conversation with the mirror while you're stuck in traffic, take a few minutes NOW to draft, get feedback and have your pitch rated! Choose a template Choose between creating a business idea pitch or a self-introduction.

How to build a team like NASA The U.S. job market seems to be reliably back on its feet, and it’s signalling a sea change for employers and employees alike. Job seekers are no longer desperate for any opportunity that comes along. Those who are currently employed are discarding the I’m-just-thankful-I-have-a- job mindset. At long last, many people have the luxury of stepping back, taking stock, and figuring out what they really want out of a job, career and company. This means businesses are suddenly facing serious competition for talent, something they haven’t had to deal with in a while. Some of the elements that factor into the job hunt calculus are what they have always been—fair pay, good benefits, the possibility of a healthy work/life balance. Employees today expect to be consistently acknowledged for exactly who they are, and communicated with in exactly the way they want to be. Actually, the desire to feel seen, known and understood is nothing new. More than 40 years ago, Dr. Listen to their language

Interactions between members Why Being In a Group Causes Some to Forget Their Morals Three reasons good people do bad things. When people are in a group they are more disconnected from their moral beliefs, according to new neuroscientific research. The results come from a study which compared how people’s brains work when they are alone compared with when they are in a group (Cikara et al., 2014). The study was inspired by a trip to Yankee Stadium in New York made by Dr Mina Cikara, now an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University. On the trip her husband was wearing a Red Sox cap (for non-US readers: the Red Sox are a rival team from Boston). He was continuously heckled by Yankee fans, so Mina took the cap from her husband and wore it herself: “What I decided to do was take the hat from him, thinking I would be a lesser target by virtue of the fact that I was a woman.I was so wrong. When ‘me versus you’ becomes ‘us versus them’ Two reasons why people behave differently in groups are that: “I have stolen food from shared refrigerators.” Forgotten morals

Social sensitivity mind reading Don’t Just Play Nice When confronted with conflicts or difficulties at work, often we find ourselves seeking agreement, order, and “pleasantness.” At first glance this appears appropriate—even obvious. But more often than not, seeking harmony in order to promote a healthy workplace can diminish creativity, hamper communication, and stunt growth over the long run. In his book Managerial Courage, management consultant and psychologist Harvey Hornstein concludes from his research that when pursuing harmony in the face of conflict, we can find ourselves mistakenly anesthetizing our creative thinking and skillfulness. “What often emerges under the pressure to get along, be nice, and work and play well together is an uncontroversial package of rules about how to act and what to think, distinguished only by their blandness,” he writes. Instead, Hornstein suggests, in the face of conflict we need courage—not harmony. Rushing toward this kind of false harmony can have dire impact on how we develop effective teams.

Isegoria Simple Ways Leaders Can Help to Refocus a Team’s Negative Outlook A mindset increasingly prevalent in today’s workplace that infects other team members’ motivation and drive is a negative attitude. In order to learn how to influence an employee’s negative outlook, it is important to first understand its origins. In an article published in the The Journal of Organizational Development, researchers determined three major internal events that feed negative emotions in the office: 1) perceptions of an insecure future 2) perceptions of inadequate treatment by the employer 3) perceptions of inadequate working conditions Obviously, as a leader you cannot control how an employee perceives or interprets communication and events. Meet Haley, the Company Hater Haley starts work at 7 am in a dark cubicle. Research shows that employees feel emotionally drained after experiencing or witnessing sour interactions between co-workers. She perpetually engages in office gossip and complains that employees in other departments are slowing down the effectiveness of her work.