Todd Davis

Begin with the end in mind. I start each conversation with that saying. What is the result that we all want? If they don’t agree on that, then we’ve got bigger problems. But usually they will agree with that, it’s just that they have different approaches. If we can start an open, respectful dialogue, you usually can get to a resolution. There’s a great quote … [ Read more ]

Brian Fielkow

Teamwork is supposed to be about the efficient allocation of resources. And it’s no secret that teams can be bureaucratic, frustrating, and costly. So it is the leader’s job to figure out when it’s appropriate to deploy more than one employee to a task. After all, if an assignment can be efficiently completed by an individual, then creating a team to take it on is … [ Read more ]

5 Common Complaints About Meetings and What to Do About Them

We all complain about meetings. We have too many. They’re a waste of time. Nothing gets done. These complaints often have merit, but they are so broad that they’re difficult to argue with and harder to address.

There are specific complaints that can be tackled, however. When I ask people in the workshops I lead what they most want help with, five issues consistently come up. … [ Read more ]

How to Keep a Global Team Engaged

Life on a global team isn’t necessarily equitable. Employees far away from headquarters often have less access to the team leader. As a result, they may have a harder time getting their concerns noticed and attended to. Additionally, more peripheral members of global teams are often forced to speak in a language that’s not their own and communicate in a style that’s not necessarily second … [ Read more ]

This Matrix Helps Growing Teams Make Great Decisions

Gil Shklarski, CTO at Flatiron Health, has adapted a framework from his executive coach Marcy Swenson to serve as a tool for his team to quickly and efficiently create alignment around decision-making — and at the same time, foster a level of psychological safety that would take fear, self-consciousness and anxiety out of the process.

How to Lead an Effective Virtual Team

When it comes to brainstorming, project planning and setting goals, SHRM research suggests that virtual teams can be more effective than in-person teams. Virtual teams, however, are still considered inferior in some key areas. Traditional teams, for example, receive higher marks when it comes to developing trust, maintaining morale, monitoring performance and managing conflict. Furthermore, as the SHRM survey illustrated, virtual managers have a harder … [ Read more ]

How Performance Affects Status in Task Groups

UCLA Anderson Professor Corinne Bendersky discusses perceptions of status in task groups and how that evolves over time.

Ken Favaro, Cass R. Sunstein, Reid Hastie

Leaders also have to understand that group decision making falls into two distinct steps, which require different approaches. In the first step — identifying solutions — divergence is necessary. The group has to be encouraged to explore boundaries, search broadly, and expand its thinking in order to find the best options for the problem at hand. But the second step, in which the group selects … [ Read more ]

Randall S. Peterson

Narcissists can be disastrous for groups and organizations alike, because they typically want complete transformation even when the system is not broken. But when those narcissists are communal, it can temper much of the downside of narcissism. Instead of avoiding narcissists, organizations may be better served in selecting the right type of narcissist. Our research suggests that finding communal narcissists could bring the best of … [ Read more ]

Is Your Team Coordinating Too Much, or Not Enough?

Effective teams don’t just happen — you design them. And two of the most important elements of that design are a) the degree to which team members are interdependent — where they need to rely on each other to accomplish the team task, and b) how you’ll actually coordinate that interdependence.

Use Social Influences to Be a Better Manager

A new book shows how you can create a better team by recognizing people’s needs to stand out, fit in, and shape their identities.

Gary Klein

What concerns me is the tendency to marginalize people who disagree with you at meetings. There’s too much intolerance for challenge. As a leader, you can say the right things — for instance, everybody should share their opinions. But people are too smart to do that, because it’s risky. So when people raise an idea that doesn’t make sense to you as a leader, rather than ask … [ Read more ]

To Make a Team More Effective, Find Their Commonalities

Teams, not individuals, are the future of work. As organizations mobilize to solve increasingly complex problems at an ever faster pace, cooperation and trust between employees has become paramount. But how do you move teammates from collegial behavior to true collaboration? By building their empathy and compassion.

How to Accelerate Learning on Your Team

As Peter Senge wrote in The Fifth Discipline (Doubleday Business, 1990), a learning organization is one in which “people continually expand their capacity to create results they truly desire.” When we view learning in this broader sense, we build feedback right into the system as an integral part of the work. If you want to accelerate learning on your team, first engage them in a … [ Read more ]

Your People’s Brains Need Face Time

A look at the value of in-person meetings for dispersed teams.

30+ Tips for Effective Team Building

Getting a team to work efficiently requires focus on team building. But what are the best tricks for getting a team to bond and succeed? We’ll provide you over thirty science-backed tips for making the most of your team.

Brian Welle

What we were expecting to find is that we would have a long list of individual characteristics that would help us determine the composition of an effective team.

You would want a 10-year mix. You want to make sure you have gender diversity, you want extroverts, you want introverts, you want highly conscientious people — you want that whole mix. If we could quantify that mix, … [ Read more ]

Julie Zhuo

Teams that fall in love with a problem have more successful outcomes than teams that fall in love with particular solutions. This is because knowing that a problem is worth solving continues to be motivating even when a team doesn’t come across the right solution on the first, second, or Nth try.

Julie Zhuo

How you measure success is critical to the long-term results of your team because it’s the thing that people rally around. Make sure to give this exercise the proper time and attention (more, even, than you would give to thinking about “how should we do this?”).

The Serious Fun of Shared Experiences at Work

Shared experiences are a powerful tool for managers to build high-performing teams. They help to shape values, norms, and behaviors that allow people to get work done more efficiently and effectively.