THE DISEASE OF ME
[ Article excerpt from The Power of a Positive Team page 80 ]
Google is home to many of the most brilliant minds in the world, and a recent study called Project Aristotle, released by the company, revealed the keys to their most productive and inventive teams. Surprisingly, it was not team members' scientific knowledge but rather a connection between team members (generated by interest in teammates' ideas, empathy, and emotional intelligence) and also a feeling of emotional safety.
The connection you have with your team members creates a trust and a bond that allows you to be yourself and speak openly without worrying about being ridiculed. When team members are connected, have trust, feel emotionally safe, and feel like their ideas are being heard, they are able to do their best and most creative work.
As part of the study, Google found that although its A-teams were comprised of its top scientists, the company's most important and productive new ideas came from its B-teams, which were made up of people who weren't considered to be the smartest or most knowledgeable in the company. Google realized that great minds weren't the key to their success. It was great teams that created a connection where their minds were free to create great inventions.
Project Aristotle proves what anyone who has been part of a team knows - connection is the difference between a good team and a great team.
One of the biggest complaints I receive from college and pro coaches is that their teams aren't connected. They have a bunch of young men or women who usually focus on themselves, their personal goals, their social media followings, and their egos. The message they receive from the world is that it's all about the individual, not the team. It's about me, not we.
Unfortunately, this may sound like your office and organization as well. There are a lot of silos, personal agendas, and office politics in all types of businesses and organizations. The Disease of Me infects everyone, not just college athletes. Narcissism and self-focus creates a disconnect between personal goals and team goals, and it undermines the team. People who put themselves and their projects before the team don't build great teams.
Through my work with teams, I have found that when people focus on becoming a connected team, the Me dissolves into We The individual silos come crumbling down, bonds are strengthened, trust is earned, relationships are developed, and the team becomes much more connected, more committed, and stronger.
You can't allow team members to stay isolated. You can't allow the Disease of Me to infect your team. It’s important to create connection, trust, and emotional safety.
For practical tools to help teams overcome negativity and enhance their culture, communication, connection, commitment and performance... read "The Power of a Positive Team".