§1 — Abstract
Psychological Safety is the most important factor for performing teams. #Empathy and #Equivalence are the key factor to establish Psychological Safety . This can be structured with #NVC, #Liberating Structures and Elements of #Sociocracy or #Holacracy
§2 — Why teams perform
The project Aristotle at google tracked 180 teams for 3 years, to elucidate why team performs, or not.
The original hypothesis was that maybe :
- some members like each other a lot (#sympathy)
- healthy mix of personality type (#diversity)
- or team were friends outside of work (#sympathy)
no evidence was found that is makes a difference.
However, two behaviors were found on above average teams:
1/ equivalence of participation
- equivalence of talking
- everyone speaking on every task (’“equality in distribution of conversationel turn taking”) or
- leadership shifted from assignemnt to assignment (#turning roles )
but if only one or a small amount of people speaks all the time, the collective intelligence declined. (#submission)
2/ good teams all had “high social sensivity” (i.e. can read emotions of others) (#empathy)
the less sensitive readings mean teams performance below average
§2.1 — Researcher concluded
that it did not matter so much who was on the team , but how they treated each other.
- everybody participated and talked
- paying respect by listening
- the psychological safety,
- and the psychological safety is the higer importance factor on the team’s ability to succeed.
§2.2 — My Conclusion
- #empathy over #sympathy
- #creativity and #respect over #belonging/#submission
What matters is not #sympathy among members, but their capability of #empathy. In my experience, the distinction is not clear for most, but specialists1 . #Empathy can be developped with #NVC for example, and I have done it in professional environment with great results.
#Creativity needs #respect to flourish, and the « need for belonging » need not much the old reflex of #domination and #submission , but #equivalence, #autonomy and #responsability. This can be implemented with principles and practices from #LiberatingStructures and #sociocracy-#holacracy. In my experience, the elements of #Sociocracy / #Holacacry are better introduced progressively in time, rather than with a big-bang approach.
§3 — Annex.
Extract from The Report
The researchers found that what really mattered was less about who is on the team, and more about how the team worked together. In order of importance:
- Psychological safety: Psychological safety refers to an individual’s perception of the consequences of taking an interpersonal risk or a belief that a team is safe for risk taking in the face of being seen as ignorant, incompetent, negative, or disruptive. In a team with high psychological safety, teammates feel safe to take risks around their team members. They feel confident that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea.
Dependability: On dependable teams, members reliably complete quality work on time (vs the opposite – shirking responsibilities).
Structure and clarity: An individual’s understanding of job expectations, the process for fulfilling these expectations, and the consequences of one’s performance are important for team effectiveness. Goals can be set at the individual or group level, and must be specific, challenging, and attainable. Google often uses Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to help set and communicate short and long term goals.
Meaning: Finding a sense of purpose in either the work itself or the output is important for team effectiveness. The meaning of work is personal and can vary: financial security, supporting family, helping the team succeed, or self-expression for each individual, for example.
Impact: The results of one’s work, the subjective judgement that your work is making a difference, is important for teams. Seeing that one’s work is contributing to the organization’s goals can help reveal impact.
§4 — Related
Taesch, Luc. “expliquer l’empathie.” Serendipity, May 4, 2016. https://www.taesch.com/cnv/expliquer-l-empathie.
Building a psychologically safe workplace | Amy Edmondson | TEDxHGSE
- Taesch, “expliquer l’empathie.” ↩