Break the Ice and Watch Your Team Shine

Happy Crowd MedI just read a fascinating article by Bryan L. Bonner and Alexander R. Bolinger regarding bringing out the best in teams (HBR, September 2014 – Bring Out the Best in Your Team).  I have always been a proponent of bringing out the best in people, so this research really interested me.  We’ve all been in those team meetings where the most outspoken, or confident people tend to lead the team’s decision making, and those who tend to blend into the background contribute very little to the process.  However, the authors call for a team “intervention” whereby all team members should be encouraged to discuss the relevant knowledge each brings to the table before any problem solving begins.  In a series of lab experiments, groups that underwent this intervention outperformed other groups.  With full participation their problem solving skills were elevated!  Today, work hard to bring out the opinions of others in your meetings.  They were invited because they have something to contribute – give them that chance or you are missing out. 

Ann Banning - Wright