3 things you can learn from the best teams and families

3 things you can learn from the best teams and families

Happiness is at least partly about family.

Happiness is at least partly a “team game”.

Happiness is very much about “others” so check out this great article to find out what the best teams and families do…

via Eric Barker

What makes a team effective? Is it trust? Cooperation? “Chemistry”?

You have no idea. Don’t worry — neither did I. Kinda terrifying, isn’t it? We’re all part of friendships, work teams, and families and we don’t really know what builds trust, unity, or makes a group effective.

Luckily, one very smart guy went looking for answers…

Bestselling author Dan Coyle spent the past four years studying world class teams to see what makes them great. He reviewed the research, sat down with Pixar, spent time with the Navy SEALs — heck, he even looked at the best crew of jewel thieves out there.

His excellent new book is The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups.

He found there were three key elements they all had in common that boosted trust, cooperation, motivation and overall performance. And they’re going to surprise you.

Let’s get to it…

1) Build Safety

Safety is a lot like oxygen — you really don’t think about it unless it’s missing. And by the same token, almost nobody deliberately sets out to create it.

But it’s really hard to create trust or work together effectively when you feel like you’re going to be judged, scolded or fired for saying or doing the wrong thing.

So what produces a feeling of safety? Not words or policies or assurances. Alex Pentland at MIT says it’s “belonging cues.”

They’re a cluster of little behaviors you probably don’t pay all that much attention to. But they’re the little things people do when they care about and respect one another.

From The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups:

Belonging cues are behaviors that create safe connection in groups. They include, among others, proximity, eye contact, energy, mimicry, turn taking, attention, body language, vocal pitch, consistency of emphasis, and whether everyone talks to everyone else in the group.

Pentland found they were the number one predictor of team performance — more predictive than intelligence, skill or leadership. In fact, you can ignore all the information exchanged by a group and know how well they’re going to do just by looking at belonging cues.

From The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups:

It’s possible to predict performance by ignoring all the informational content in the exchange and focusing on a handful of belonging cues…

Why are these little innocuous behaviors so powerful? Because they’re operating deep down at the neuroscience level.

From The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups:

When you receive a belonging cue, the amygdala switches roles and starts to use its immense unconscious neural horsepower to build and sustain your social bonds. It tracks members of your group, tunes in to their interactions, and sets the stage for meaningful engagement. In a heartbeat, it transforms from a growling guard dog into an energetic guide dog with a single-minded goal: to make sure you stay tightly connected with your people. On brain scans, this moment is vivid and unmistakable, as the amygdala lights up in an entirely different way. “The whole thing flips,” says Jay Van Bavel, social neuroscientist at New York University. “The moment you’re part of a group, the amygdala tunes in to who’s in that group and starts intensely tracking them. Because these people are valuable to you. They were strangers before, but they’re on your team now, and that changes the whole dynamic. It’s such a powerful switch- it’s a big top-down change, a total reconfiguration of the entire motivational and decision-making system.”

So make sure everyone is getting a chance to speak. That people are paying attention to one another and making eye contact. That body language is respectful and everyone feels heard. Don’t let anyone be dismissive or interrupt someone else.

Whether it’s a boardroom meeting or family dinner, everyone wants to feel like a valued member of a group and that their thoughts carry weight. And that’s conveyed not only by our voices, but by our bodies as well.

(To learn more about the science of a successful life, check out my bestselling book here.)

So everyone feels safe — but how do we create trust and encourage cooperation?

…keep reading the full & original article HERE