The Manager's Guide – #67
Weekly Summary Edition
tl;dr: Google research found that psychological safety is the most important dynamic for an effective team. This was alongside other dynamics like dependability, role clarity, meaningful work and impact.
🛡️ Psychological safety is key for effective teams, as found in Google's Project Aristotle.
🤝 Dependability, role clarity, meaningful work, and impact are also crucial dynamics.
🧠 Google's study distinguished between 'work groups' and 'teams' based on interdependence.
📊 Effectiveness was measured through qualitative and quantitative assessments, beyond traditional metrics like code lines or bug fixes.
🔍 Project Aristotle analyzed 180 teams, focusing on group dynamics, skill sets, personality traits, and emotional intelligence.
🌟 Psychological safety, dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact were identified as the main factors for team success.
🔄 Variables like physical proximity, consensus decision-making, extroversion, and workload size had minimal impact on Google's team effectiveness.
📝 Google developed a survey to help teams self-assess and improve based on the five pillars of team effectiveness.
🗣️ Building a culture of psychological safety is fundamental for team success.
🚀 The insights from Project Aristotle can guide organizations in enhancing team effectiveness through common language, open dialogue, and engaging leadership.
🛠️ Specific strategies for leaders and managers include fostering psychological safety, establishing clear structures, and recognizing individual and collective impacts.
🕒 Imprecise instructions from managers can lead to excessive time spent on tasks.
💼 Examples illustrate how unclear asks result in unnecessary work and misunderstanding.
⚠️ Lack of clarity about time investment and task priority causes problems.
📊 Executives might request quick checks that unintentionally turn into extensive projects.
👨💼 Leaders' vague statements can mislead teams, affecting project timelines.
🛠️ To avoid confusion, leaders should specify the expected time for tasks.
🗓️ Clarifying how tasks should be prioritized is crucial for efficient workflow.
🎨 Distinguishing between existing and new work can save time and resources.
💬 Communicating the purpose of the information requested helps calibrate effort.
❓ Recipients of tasks should seek clarity on time expectations and task details.
🤔 Asking questions is better than making wrong assumptions due to unclear instructions.
📝 Ensuring clarity in communication prevents wasted effort and resources.
💼 Managers must clearly communicate and focus on behavior when delivering bad news, to help shift the focus from the problem to the solution.
📣 Directly stating performance issues and giving objective examples is more respectful and clear than using indirect methods.
🔄 Focusing on specific behaviors rather than personal traits allows employees to understand and correct their actions more effectively.
🗣️ For performance issues, managers should propose actionable solutions, allowing the employee to participate in correcting the behavior.
🏆 When rejecting an internal candidate for a promotion, transparency about the reasons and guidance for future improvement is essential.
🌟 Dealing with difficult news requires managers to be clear and behavior-focused, aiding employees in assuming accountability and finding solutions.
🤝 Effective cross-team collaboration is crucial for innovative projects, ensuring better teamwork and avoiding time wastage.
📝 Preparation is key for successful collaboration, involving clear communication, understanding the project's goal, and creating a cohesive document for knowledge transfer.
🌟 Implementing a simple Proof of Concept (POC) provides valuable insights and helps in demonstrating the project's viability to team members.
🤝🏽 Collaboration with external teams is enhanced by a well-prepared foundation and a clear POC, facilitating effective communication and alignment on goals.
🚀 Fostering collaboration involves contributing to other teams' codebases to overcome roadblocks and finding a common agenda for mutual benefits.
💬 Direct communication channels are essential for updating progress and sharing demos, ensuring alignment and synchronization between teams.
📈 Formulating guidelines for future contributions, including coding practices and testing procedures, helps in maintaining sustained cooperation.
📊 A streamlined approach that includes clear goal definition, viable demos, and shared agendas is vital for navigating complex cross-team collaborations, especially during time-constrained periods.
🏢 The return to a traditional 5-day office week is debated, with some companies like Nike pushing for it, but it's not a widespread trend yet.
📊 A survey by KPMG found that two-thirds of bosses expect a return to a 5-day office week, with incentives like pay raises and promotions for those who comply.
🏠 Pre-pandemic, work-life balance was a challenge for many, especially working parents, and working from home (WFH) helped alleviate this issue.
💻 Despite some companies' efforts to return to office-based work, the WFH model remains strong and popular, especially among parents, pet owners, and those with long commutes.
🚀 Big tech firms and other major brands are using their influence to shift work practices back to traditional models, but this could lead to reduced diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.
📉 There's a concern that the push for in-office work could exacerbate gender pay gaps and hinder the career progression of women and those needing flexible work arrangements.
🤝 ITV's new policy requires employees to declare all relationships at work, reflecting the changing dynamics and legal considerations in the workplace.
📞 Video calls can often be back-to-back and exhausting, with frequent interruptions and technical difficulties.
⏱ Being consistently late to meetings and experiencing common issues like tech glitches, camera angles, and distracting backgrounds are part of the video call experience.
🤖 Overcomplicating technology for video calls can lead to more problems; simple and effective tech is recommended.
💡 Good lighting is crucial for clear video calls; avoid backlights and use side/front lighting for better visibility.
⏳ Meetings should be time-efficient; consider scheduling them for 25 or 50 minutes to allow breaks and avoid dragging on.
🚫 Avoid booking meetings back-to-back to reduce stress and fatigue.