Defining the Ideal Team Player

 In Blog

Spotlight MenHarvard Business Review’s article by Alex “Sandy” Pentland called the “The New Science of Building Great Teams” [HBR: April, 2012] defines, based on data, the ideal team player. Data was collected, using sensors, to look at communication, interaction and body language.  This data made a link between successful teams and the type of interactions the employees had with each other, with management, etc.  From this data they define the ideal team member.

“Badge data show that these people circulate actively, engaging people in short, high energy conversations. They are democratic with their time – communicating with everyone equally and making sure all team members get a
chance to contribute. They are not necessarily extroverts, although they feel comfortable approaching other people. They listen more than they talk and are usually very engaged with whomever they’re listening to….the best team players also connect their teammates and spread ideas around.”

The information was fascinating and the results similar to a LA Times article I read on Bank of America doing a similar sensor study.  One of their solutions was having breaks at common times and one main kitchen (instead of multiple smaller ones) so people had to run into each other.

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