What makes for effective and resilient teams is something that interests many leaders and organisations. I have spoken about some of these aspects in other articles, particularly on team composition. But some new research gives some insights into the leaders themselves and how they influence effectiveness and resilience in the face of unexpected situations. Something that is of particular interest with the pandemic which has raised the importance of resilience.
So what behaviours created more effective and resilient teams?
Research into 48 teams from 5 Canadian startups by Brykman and King showed that those leaders who encouraged on-the-job-learning, and of note, also enabled and encouraged employees to speak up and give their ideas and suggestions for change, were more effective and more resilient.
An obvious point is that this is not in one-off situations but this must be constantly reinforced by
Miscommunication and mistrust are common when work is over email, text, and video. We need digital body language to foster understanding.
As the youngest child in an immigrant Indian family, I picked up basic English grammar fairly easily. But while English may have felt natural, I still lacked a lot of the contextual cues that came naturally to my American-born peers.
I remember once inviting a school friend to join my family for dinner at a local restaurant. At one point, my friend whispered to me that the waiters thought our party was “rude.” It wasn’t what anyone said; it was our tone and our cadence. You see, in Indian English, when people ask for something, they often use an intonation with a falling cadence so it comes off sounding like a statement rather than a question. Most Americans are accustomed to requests that end in a rising cadence. At that moment, I knew exactly what my friend meant: Without realizing it, everyone in my family sounded like we were ordering around the staff.
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Why you don’t learn from failure
How many times have you heard that failure is a “teachable moment?” That you learn more from failure than success? In a 2017 commencement speech, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts actually wished the graduating class “bad luck,” so they’d have something to learn from.
Yet my colleague Ayelet Fishbach and I find that failure has the opposite effect: It thwarts learning. In a recent study, we presented over 300 telemarketers with a quiz. The telemarketers answered 10 questions on customer service, each with two possible responses (i.e., “How many dollars do U.S. companies spend on customer service each year?” The answer choices: 60 billion or 90 billion).
Self-Help Book / Personal Development