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How to create an effective and efficient team - with the same or different cognitive style?

How to create an effective and efficient team - with the same or different cognitive style?

We've all participated in team building activities, where the goal is to get the team working better together in an environment very different from their usual occupation situation. As a team member you are supposed to build trust among other team players, and that they will trust you. This should have a positive impact on the teams effectiveness and efficiency.

I've been told that a diverse team is better than a team less diverse. Of course it depends on the project to be executed, but nevertheless this is what I hear and read about all the time. There are little opposition to this position, maybe because it's politically incorrect?!

However, on Wikipedias article Cognitive style one can read that:

… team members with similar cognitive styles likely feel more positive about their participation with the team. While matching cognitive styles may make participants feel more comfortable when working with one another, this alone cannot guarantee the success of the outcome.

But if the team already find trust in each other based on their similar cognitive style, they would most probably start to be more effective than an unequal team. I'm not mixing cognitive style with diversity, but I feel there is more to it than just that. What would form the ultimate team? One with the same cognitive style, or one with different cognitive style?

How to create an effective and efficient team - with the same or different cognitive style?


Let me say first off that I don't know anything about cognitive style. However, I have recently read an interesting article by van Knippenberg and van Ginkel (2010) about diversity in work teams which might be relevant here.

Demographic Diversity. To explain the sometimes contradicting effects of diversity on work teams, the authors propose a model that differenciates between two types of diversity, demographic and functional diversity. According to the authors, these two forms of diversity have opposing effects. According to Self-Categorization Theory, demographic diversity (age, gender, country of origin, etc.) is likely to initiate categorization processes (see this post for more information) through which people perceive themselves as belonging to different groups. These perceptions of ingroup and outgroup might lead to conflict and thereby negatively impact team performance.

Functional Diversity. Functional diversity on the other hand refers to different areas of knowledge and expertise, that members of a team might have and is seen as an informational ressource. A team with experts from different fields has a potential benefit (at least with regard to some tasks). This might also cling to cognitive style. This kind of diversity, then, can potentially increase a team's performance. However, it is not sufficient for a team to be functinally diverse. Rather, the members have to put this diversity to use by elaborating together on the task at hand. This Elaboration process is not automatic and involves the exchange, discussion and integration of information.

The Categorization-Elaboration Model of Work Group Diversity

It is important to note that according to van Knippenberg & van Ginkel (2010), it is not the question, which one of these two approaches is the correct one. Instead, both kinds of diversity might be present at the same time and interact, leading to the often mixed results from studies on diversity. There are a couple of moderators in the model, as well. Task complexity is thought to be a factor with regard to funtional diversity: the more complex the task, the more schould the team benefit diversity. The two other moderators are motivation and ability, which are, as I would argue, not specific to the discussion of diversity.

Team Design and Management

What can one learn from this with regard to the design of work teams? The first thing that comes to mind is that teams should be functionally diverse. In addition, the importance of the elaboration process needs to be acknowledged, because otherwise informational ressources will not be put to good use. As to demographic diversity, the suggestion cannnot be to have teams not be diverse (to prevent categorization as ingroup and outgroup). Rather, the authors suggest to foster the importance of group members beliefs in the value of diversity. van Knippenberg & van Ginkel also prevent evidence that leaders can be trained in order to do so.

Reference:

Van Knippenberg, D., & van Ginkel, W. P. (2010). The categorization-elaboration model of work group diversity: Wielding the double-edged sword. In R. J. Crisp (Hrsg.), The psychology of social and cultural diversity (S. 257-280). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.


Building an Effective Global Business Team

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Every global company’s competitive advantage depends on its ability to coordinate critical resources and information that are spread across different geographical locations. Today there are myriad organizational mechanisms that global corporations can use to integrate dispersed operations. But the most effective tool is the global business team: a cross-border team of individuals of different nationalities, working in different cultures, businesses and functions, who come together to coordinate some aspect of the multinational operation on a global basis.

It is virtually impossible for a multinational corporation to exploit economies of global scale and scope, maximize the transfer of knowledge or cultivate a global mind-set without understanding and mastering the management of global business teams. That, however, is easier said than done. In our study of 70 such teams, we discovered that only 18% considered their performance “highly successful” and the remaining 82% fell short of their intended goals. In fact, fully one-third of the teams in our sample rated their performance as largely unsuccessful.1 How can companies reverse the weak performance of faltering global business teams? First, they must understand the obstacles to success that global business teams confront. Then they can take concrete steps to avoid those pitfalls and build effective and efficient teams.

Why Global Business Teams Fail

Domestic teams and global teams are plagued by many of the same problems — misalignment of individual team members’ goals, a dearth of the necessary knowledge and skills, and lack of clarity regarding team objectives, to name a few. But global business teams face additional challenges resulting from differences in geography, language and culture. Teams can fail when they are unable to cultivate trust among their members or when they cannot break down often-formidable communication barriers. The results of our survey of 58 senior executives from five U.S. and four European multinational organizations confirm that important, unique challenges confront global business teams — challenges that tend to exacerbate the more common problems all teams face. (See “The Challenge of Managing Global Business Teams.”)

The Challenge of Managing Global Business Teams

The Challenge of Managing Global Business Teams

We asked 58 senior executives to rank the importance of the following tasks as indicators of the effectiveness of global business teams and to rank how difficult it is to accomplish each task.

Read the Full Article

About the Authors

Vijay Govindarajan is a professor of international business and the director of the Center for Global Leadership at Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration.Anil K. Gupta is a professor of strategy and global e-business at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.Contact the authors at [email protected] and [email protected]

References

1. To date, no empirical study has presented data on the effectiveness of global business teams. A broad treatment of the international dimensions of organizational behavior, however, suggests that, although cross-cultural teams are necessary, the challenge of managing diversity often renders them ineffective. See Nancy Adler, “International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior” (Boston: Kent Publishing, 1986), 99–118.

2. D.J. McAllister, “Affect- and Cognition-Based Trust as the Foundations for Interpersonal Cooperation in Organizations,” Academy of Management Journal 38 (1995): 24–59.

3. R.M. Kramer and T.R. Tyler, eds., “Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research” (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 1996).

4. H. Hofstede, “Motivation, Leadership and Organization: Do American Theories Apply Abroad?” Organizational Dynamics 9 (summer 1980): 42–63. According to Hofstede, cultures can differ across four dimensions: power distance, the extent to which power is centralized individualism/collectivism, the extent to which people view themselves as individuals as opposed to belonging to a larger entity uncertainty avoidance, the difficulty people have in coping with uncertainty and ambiguity and masculinity/feminism, the extent to which people value materialism as opposed to concern for others.

5. A. Tversky and D. Kahneman, “The Framing of Decisions and the Psychology of Choice,” Science 211 (January 1981): 453–458.

6. K.G. Smith, K.A. Smith, J.D. Olian, D.P. O’Bannon and J.A. Scully, “Top Management Team Demography and Process: The Role of Social Integration and Communication,” Administrative Science Quarterly 17 (1994): 36–68.

7. K.M. Eisenhardt, J.L. Kahwajy and L.J. Bourgeois, “How Management Teams Can Have a Good Fight,” Harvard Business Review 17 (July–August 1997): 77–85.

9. M.N. Chaniu and H.J. Shapiro, “Dialectical and Devils’ Advocate Problem Solving,” Asia Pacific Journal of Management (May 1984): 159–168.

10. D.B. Stoppard, A. Donnellon and R.I. Nolan, “Verifone,” HBS case no. 9-398-030 (Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing Corp., 1993).

11. John Pepper, chairman of the board, Procter & Gamble: remarks to an MBA class at the Tuck School, Dartmouth College, May 1995.


How to create an effective and efficient team - with the same or different cognitive style? - Psychology

The best companies are made up of great teams. You see, even a company full of A-players won't succeed if those individuals don't have the ability to work well together.

That's why not too long ago, Google set out on a quest to figure out what makes a team successful. They code-named the study Project Aristotle, a tribute to the philosopher's famous quote "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

To define "effectiveness," the team decided on assessment criteria that measured both qualitative and quantitative data. They analyzed dozens of teams and interviewed hundreds of executives, team leads and team members.

The researchers then evaluated team effectiveness in four different ways:

1. executive evaluation of the team

2. team leader evaluation of the team

3. team member evaluation of the team and

4. sales performance against quarterly quota.

Google published some of its findings here, along with the following insightful statement:

The researchers found that what really mattered was less about who is on the team, and more about how the team worked together.


How to Coach Employees at Different Levels

The best coaches don’t use the same coaching style for each individual team member. They’re flexible enough to adapt to the situation at hand.

There are five levels of employee performance, and you’ll have to adapt your style for each one to coach them effectively:

Level 1: Novice

Novices are in the “telling” stage of learning. They need to receive a lot of instruction and constructive correction. If you’re confident in the people you’ve hired, then they probably won’t need to stay in this stage very long. Also, watch out for your own micromanaging tendencies – you don’t want to hold an employee back from moving to the next level!

Level 2: Doer

Once Novices begin to understand the task and start to perform, they transition to the Doer stage. They haven’t yet mastered the job, so there’s still a heavy amount of “tell” coaching going on. But they’re doing some productive work and contributing to the team. So, there are now opportunities to encourage new behaviors, and praise Doers for good results.

Level 3: Performer

As Doers start accomplishing a task to standards, they become Performers. Now they’re doing real work and carrying their full share of the load. And they’re doing the task the way it should be done. With Performers, there’s much less “tell” coaching, if any at all. But there’s still feedback, mostly focused on recognizing good results and improving the results that don’t meet expectations.

Level 4: Master

Some Performers may continue to grow on the job and reach the Master stage. At this point, they can not only accomplish tasks to standards, they can do so efficiently and effectively. Plus, they have a deep enough understanding of what should be done that they can teach and coach others on the task. And they know enough to actually help improve standard processes.

Level 5: Expert

Experts are valuable members of the team and may become front-line team leads. Experts don’t need a lot of direction – they’re highly self-sufficient. If anything, they can provide direction to others. Experts don’t necessarily require a lot of recognition and praise to stay motivated, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want any.


Working style in the interview process

High-performance teams are essential to business success – and properly combining the different work style types is key to creating effective teams. It isn’t surprising then that “What’s your working style ?” is a common interview question. The interviewer wants to figure out not only whether you fit in on the team, but whether you will fit in with overall company culture .

If the current team is made up of many independent workers, the interviewer may be looking for a more collaborative or supportive addition to round out the team’s strengths. If there are one or two big picture thinkers, the team may need more proximity workers who can step in and get things done.

So how do you answer this question? First, do your research. Get as familiar as you can with the company’s culture and talk to existing or former employees if you can. Read the job listing in detail and look for hints about the working style that will be required. Key words like “conceptual” and “brainstorm” usually indicate big picture roles, while mentions of multitasking may indicate a fit for proximity work styles.

Finally, be honest and always give examples. Let the interviewer know your preferred working style while also showing your ability to be flexible and take on different roles. Focus on the qualities that best fit with your prior research, but be honest about your requirements. You want a job that’s the right fit for you so that you can find success and fulfillment in your career .

Those with different work style types all have a part to play in the grand scheme of a successful business. If you can learn to harness the power of the different types of work styles, you’ll be one step ahead of your competition when it comes to improving efficiency and creating a successful team.

Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, philanthropist and the nation’s #1 Life and Business Strategist. Author of five internationally bestselling books, including the recent New York Times #1 best-seller UNSHAKEABLE, Mr. Robbins has empowered more than 50 million people from 100 countries through his audio, video and life training programs. He created the #1 personal and professional development program of all time, and more than 4 million people have attended his live seminars.


Step 3: Develop Learning Objectives

Before you begin creating any training, it’s critical that you create a list of learning objectives.

Learning objectives are a list of things the workers must be able to do after the training is completed. They are the “North Star” that all aspects of your training should be pointed at. Once you’ve created your learning objectives, create content that covers the objectives—and nothing but. In addition, any quizzes, tests, case studies, or hands-on exercises performed during training to evaluate your worker’s comprehension of the training should assess only the workers’ understanding of the objectives. And finally, any observation of workers when they’re back on the job to evaluate the effectiveness of the training should also focus on the performance of these objectives.

To (intentionally) overstate the point, learning objectives are the end-all and be-all of your training. Without objectives, you’ve got an out-of-control car without a driver.

There’s a lot to be said about learning objectives (and even more to be said) we’ve included a few tips below.

They Can Address Knowledge, Skills, or Attitudes (KSAs):

A learning objective may address things that your learners can “know,” such as how product flows through a machine skills that your learner’s can perform, such as threading materials into a machine and attitudes that your employees can hold, such as the importance of threading materials into a machine properly in order to create the best possible product.

Make them SMART:

When you write an objective, it should have five characteristics, known collectively by the acronym SMART. The objective should be specific, meaning it’s very clearly stated and its meaning is equally apparent to everyone. It should be measurable, meaning everyone can agree if the learner satisfies it or not. It should be achievable, meaning the learner truly has a chance to satisfy it. It should be relevant, meaning it’s important for the worker’s job. And it should be time-bound, meaning it will be clear when the learner must be able to satisfy the objective (typically, after training).

Give them four parts (ABCD):

A learning objective should include four parts, which you can remember with the letters ABCD. It should include an actor who will perform the objective (the employees you’re training). It should include a behavior that the actor must perform (this behavior should be stated as a verb that defines the workers’ behavior, such as “recite” or “turn”). It should include conditions under which the employees must perform the behavior (for example, “given a wrench, the employee must…”). And it should include the degree to which the employee must perform the behavior (for example, “90 times an hour”).


Protecting Your Relationship: Practices for Making Effective Repairs

Know when you need a repair and how to re-engage with a spirit of curiosity and respect.

Tuning into yourself can help you repair after conflict.

Tuning into yourself can help you repair after conflict.

No matter how happy you are or how long you’ve been together, some conflict in your relationship is inevitable. But many people over my counseling career either didn’t see their parents working through problems or were exposed to verbal or physical abuse and thus learned to fear conflict. Sadly avoiding hard conversations leaves things unresolved and creates disconnection and dissatisfaction in the relationship.

It doesn’t have to be that way. When approached with curiosity and mutual respect, conflict has the potential to bring people closer together.

What gets in the way of healthy communication?

Despite the best of intentions, many couples find a conversation quickly derailing by what Dr. John Gottman calls The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt. Your threat response can be easily triggered. The added stress of cramped quarters, juggling work and family responsibilities, along with the lack of control and loss experienced through the pandemic makes your relationships even more vulnerable. When this happens, nothing good can come from continuing a conversation.

How to get the relationship back on track

Dr. John Gottman and his research team analyzed “Master” and “Disaster” couples. What sets these two groups apart is a foundation of fondness and admiration. Also, they can make effective repairs during or after disagreements.

To help with this Drs. John and Julie Gottman created a repair checklist with six major headings and phrases couples can use to either get the conversation back on track or take timeouts to self-soothe and return to the conversation. Learn more about this from the Relationship Coach.

However, knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things.

A couple needs to recognize signs of flooding and when a repair is necessary before things escalate. For people who experienced trauma, insecure attachment, and a lack of co-regulation, this can be difficult. Trauma, thinking traps, and mistaken beliefs can distort your perception of reality. They make you feel like you are in danger even when you’re not.

The good news is there are two practices I’ve found that support the foundation needed for making repairs. These practices increase one’s ability to both recognize when a repair is needed before too much damage is done and how to successfully re-engage in the conversation with a spirit of curiosity and respect. These two powerful practices are mindfulness and self-compassion.

Mindfulness

“Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose to the present non-judgmentally as if your life depended on it because it does.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Over time, mindfulness helps you turn towards your partner with gratitude and a genuine interest in their inner world. This culture of appreciation, Dr. Gottman found, is the best insurance for your relationship and the antidote to contempt.

Research has also found a consistent practice of mindful meditation, including repeating a single word, helps to calm the sympathetic nervous system and quiet the fight-or-flight response.

In addition to being a welcome refuge from the pressure of daily life, mindful meditation can also help enhance your awareness of cognitive distortions. Mindfulness also makes it easier to recognize triggers and physical cues of distress.

Remember the goal is not to have a blank mind, but to notice when the mind wanders off and gently bring it back to the present. Opening your eyes or letting yourself move while meditating can take away distressing feelings that may arise. Honor what you need. Start with a few minutes and aim to practice daily. If you experienced complex trauma or find sitting in stillness or tuning into your body triggering, it is best to seek a trauma-informed therapist to support you.

Self-compassion

Everyone suffers or makes mistakes. You must be gentle with yourself in these moments. Instead of self-criticism that leads to shame and defensiveness, self-compassion makes it easier to acknowledge your part and be open to learning and growing as an individual and a couple.

Research found that people who practice self-compassion are more likely to set and hold boundaries. Boundaries are essential to protect relationships from resentment. Self-compassion practices, created by Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Christopher Germer, include the self-soothing touch of hand on heart and hand on belly. They help move you out of the threat-and-defend system into the tend-and-befriend system. This increases your ability to be curious and to reconnect to your partner lovingly and respectfully. The majority of my clients immediately report feeling warmth and a sense of calm or comfort from this gesture. For some, it can be triggering. Seek professional support if you find these exercises emotionally distressing.

Once you feel regulated, you can shift focus off of your partner and get curious about your triggers. Questions like: “What is this about for me?” “When have I felt this way before?” “What am I afraid of?” And Brené Brown’s question: “What is the story I’m telling myself?” These questions help you identify what old wounds or assumptions may be getting triggered by the conversation. Upon return, rather than getting back into the criticism-and-defensiveness cycle, you can use conflict and repairs as an opportunity to heal old wounds, correct mistaken beliefs, and bring more of your authentic self to the relationship.

Final thought

Relationships are hard at the best of times. Today, we need all the help we can get. Applying these practices and what I learned more than a decade ago in the Gottman Bringing Baby Home Transition to Parenthood training has helped my relationship to thrive and that is my hope for you too.

Learn more about making repairs and other effective conflict management exercises through the Relationship Coach.

Nicole Schiener is a Registered Psychotherapist and Gottman Bringing Baby Home Educator in Ontario Canada. Nicole is passionate about cultivating compassionate conversations and empowering highly sensitive people, parents and professionals to live and love more consciously and joyfully. See more of her work here.


Recognize When It’s Good Enough to Start: Productivity Requires Action

Once everyone knows what the project is trying to accomplish, what success looks like, and what everyone’s roles are, strike while the iron is hot.

Going back again and again to further clarify or give ever greater detail can, in some cases, drastically reduce people’s ability to utilize their training, creativity, and other natural attributes (which are likely the reasons you hired them in the first place).

Hesitation and doubt can cripple an individual or team, and too much planning or too great a delay between decision and implementation can lead to insecurity and paralysis.

It’s time to have faith in your team and the process.


What does affective mean? As I mentioned above, affective is used as an adjective. It is defined as influenced by or resulting from the emotions. It is roughly synonymous with emotional. For example,

  • Such a global awakening or animation was in contradiction to concepts of neuroanatomy in the 1960s, a neuroanatomy that saw the motor, the intellectual, and the affective in quite separate and noncommunicating compartments of the brain. –N.Y. Daily News
  • One clue for beating the blahs this time of year can be found in Iceland. It has an extremely dark winter, yet the people there have virtually no seasonal affective disorder. –Washington Post
  • Judge Michael Grieve noted that Anderson, who had been diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder, was “clearly highly intoxicated” throughout the protest and had no recollection of it. –The Guardian

The word affective is used primarily in the field of psychology. It is a technical term used to describe an emotion.

Do not confuse it, however, with the verb affect.

The verb affect (to influence) and the adjective affective (relating to moods, emotion, feelings, etc.) are wholly different in meaning. For a full discussion on the verb affect, click here.

Affective, however, relates back to noun affect, which, as the AP Stylebook states, is occasionally used in psychology, but there is no need for it in everyday language. It is a technical term that doesn’t serve much purpose outside of the field of psychology.


11 Characteristics of Effective Teams /> />

1. Clear direction

Yes, it’s about a clear sense of purpose and measurable objectives. This unifies the group and every team member knows why the group exists.

Unfortunately, often companies are in such a hurry to move on their projects that they pull together groups of people without deciding on the goals and desired results. A clear goal is a fuel that drives each member’s effort.

First, you need to realize and communicate the team goals and desired outcomes. Use them for clear direction for the team you select and leave the team flexibility to develop the best way to get there.

2. Open doors and clear communication

Communication is crucial for building a sense of camaraderie between team members.

Clear and transparent communication is when the team is able to communicate effectively and there is a feeling of open communicative relations between all members of the group. All the issues are handled by face-to-face communication and team members do not talk behind each other’s back.

Keep your door open to let your coworkers be with you. The more freely you talk to your team members, the more comfortable you are in sharing ideas and insights. This is one of the reasons why modern businesses emphasize communication and collaboration tools.

Here, it’s a relevant thing to add a couple of words about listening. It is not just a way to find things out but also a sign of respect. Listen like you mean it and demonstrate that you’re listening.

3. Collaboration spirit

The more you collaborate and communicate, the more you create and the better products you get. Thorough and close collaboration is a trait shared by every high-performing team.

It can be difficult, especially if some members possess strong personalities. Successful teams tend to have strong leaders that are able to keep everybody on the same page while keeping the petty bickering to a minimum.

4. Playing by the rules

Any team should have a set of rules that determines its operating procedures and acts. This set helps to keep the team on track and eliminate any ambiguity. It means that everyone has to agree to the rules beforehand.

5. Defined roles

Skill sets, specific roles, and thinking styles are required for teams.

If it’s needed to develop a new product, the team will need a detail-oriented person who can keep the team on track.

An explorer is also an important role because he/she can be more of a big-picture thinker who can help the team see what is possible. There is also a need for a person who will be responsible for measurement and metrics.

Of course, your team may have other roles, but you should have a good handle on those roles before you begin managing the team.

6. Encouraging differences in opinions

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”

Phil Jackson

Common goals and their agreement are essential. However, it’s not about suppressing alternative ideas and opinions. Divergent opinions within a team may enhance team performance.

7. Mutual accountability

High-performing teams accept responsibility as individuals and as a team. Team members should not blame one another for mistakes and failures. And no one should spend time in personal justifications.

Any success should be celebrated together.

8. Team trust

The truth is – team members who cannot trust one other or and do not believe in the defined team goals seldom get success.

Focusing on solving problems is a natural thing for effective teams. There can be trust between team members only if they can translate their views freely.

That’s why managers and team leaders often undertake team building exercises and problem-solving activities that put everyone in positions of trust.

9. Decision making

There are a built-in decision-making system and a hierarchy in any effective team. They help teams to react quickly and effectively to all situations. Each member is respected for the various areas of expertise, and the leader obtains the members’ opinions to formulate the group’s response.

10. Efficient use of ideas

Generating ideas is a crucial skill for all teams. Brainstorming is one of the ways to come up with a solution to a problem. Every team member should be able to propose information and formulate that information into a response.

11. Having fun

Permanent work can lead to burnout and lack of productivity, so it’s important for any team to have time for fun and relaxation. It shouldn’t be just work and no play.

Collaborative groups that work particularly well together should enjoy each other’s company and get together outside of the office sometimes to socialize and have fun.

Creating such positive relationships with colleagues can make for a much more relaxed environment and reduce conflicts.

Conclusion

A powerful team is the foundation of a high-performing business and a good team ethic may lead to the success and smooth running of a company. If employees do not feel each other’s support and do not work well together, problems, conflicts, and risks can arise.

The characteristics mentioned above are definitely required for the teams’ great performance and the total company’s success.

Would you like to learn about some threatening roles in companies that only interfere with the processes and inhibit the overall teamwork? Watch this fun video here:


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