Working in teams is a necessity in today’s global market. The collaboration of ideas has not only become easier with improved electronic communication but is also a must to effectively run business in any market. But the question is, can we measure the factors that make a team successful?
The Human Dynamics Laboratory at MIT recently performed a study that measured how people communicate. The study concluded “how we communicate is the most important predictor of team success, and as important as all other factors combined, including intelligence, personality, skill, and content of discussion. The old adage that it’s not what you say but how you say it, turns out to be mathematically correct.”
The study also concluded that frequent communication, inclusion of all team members, informal communication, and exploring outside sources for information are key factors in team success. At Dinte, we not only try to find these qualities in our candidates but we also practice them in our own office. For example, in addition to weekly, formal meetings, we also have an open door policy so team members feel free to discuss success, challenges, and areas for improvement outside of formal meetings. Our idea box that we use to generate ideas for business practices and innovations encourages everyone to participate without fear of rejection. This also encourages outside research. Some of our best ideas have come from awareness of our clients' business practices and also organizations completely unrelated to our own. This helps us think outside the box and be more creative with problem solving. Practicing good team communication internally helps us choose the best candidates for our clients.
When presenting candidates to clients, we make sure that they have the communication style and culture competencies to fit in well with the team. Some questions we ask our candidates to determine communication style include:
- Describe the type of team culture you thrive in.
- Please explain your communication style.
- What are the best aspects of your current culture? What would you like to improve?
- Describe the staff resources you have supporting you.
- How have you been a catalyst for change in your organization?
- What was the most difficult environment of warring factions that you have encountered? How did you resolve it?
- How do you negotiate compromise?
- What has your experience been with integrating inherited/acquired organizations into a cohesive unit? What are the typical challenges in these situations?
- What are the approaches you have taken to reconcile team differences?
Do you think communication is the key success factor to good teamwork?