High Performing Teams: How Do They Interact?

Marcial Losada’s research team studied 60 business teams. They watched and listened and recorded whether team member’s interactions were 1) positive or negative, 2) self-focused or other-focused, and 3) based on asking questions (inquiry) or defending a point of view (advocacy).

Here was the breakdown:
• 25% of the teams met the criteria of high-performing. They achieved high scores on profitability, customer satisfaction ratings and evaluations by superiors, peers and subordinates.
• 30% scored low on all three business indicators and were floundering.
• The rest, the majority, had a mixed profile, doing well in some ways and poorly in others.

There were huge positivity ratio differences between the types of teams: high-performing had 6 positive to every one negative interaction. Mixed-performance teams had a 2 to 1 ratio and low performance teams were well below 1 to 1.

The researchers identified a variable called Connectivity — how much each team member influenced the behavior of the others, how attuned they were to each other.

High-performing teams also had higher connectivity and were equal in the balance of inquiry (asking questions) vs. advocacy (promoting their position or point of view) and outward vs. inward focus. Low-performing teams were low on connectivity and showed almost no outward focus.

Notice the types of interactions among the team members at your next meeting. How could things be improved?

Habit of Gratitude Part 4

Thanksgiving Day Traditions

For some, Thanksgiving Day is far removed from the idea of giving gratitude. If old traditions have fallen by the wayside or if family time is stressful, it can be especially easy to overlook the point of the celebration. Many have created new traditions that serve them better. Some volunteer to serve Thanksgiving dinners at homeless shelters or deliver them to those who are homebound. If you have a traditional dinner with family, consider asking each person to spend a minute or two describing the things that have happened during the year that they are particularly thankful for. Create a new tradition that works for you.

by Edsel L

Habit of Gratitude Part 3

Expressing Gratitude

Have you told the people in your life what you appreciate about them? Consider doing it in writing. Seligman suggests writing a full page with specific details, laminating it and setting a time to get together in person to present itl

Find ways to cultivate the habit of gratitude. Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance said, “You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.”

In honor of Veteran’s Day, be sure to let those serving in the Armed Forces and their families know how much you appreciate their sacrifices.

By lissalou66

Habit of Gratitude Part 2

Where do you stand?

If you’re curious about your general level of gratitude, go to www.authentichappiness.com and take the gratitude survey (these are also available in the book Authientic Happiness by Dr. Martin Seligman). It’s free, as are all the assessments at that site. They are based on research in positive psychology being conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions.

Instead of focusing only on mental illness, positive psychology research has been looking to see if traits that make some happier or more optimistic than others can be developed. While it appears that there is a natural leaning toward optimism or pessimism for each individual, experiences also play a role and people can learn more optimistic behaviors. Several studies suggest that optimistic people liver longer and more satisfying lives.

One study was of nuns living very similar lives in a convent. They wrote essays during their early 20s and sixty years later, researchers found that those who expressed the most positive emotions in their essays lived up to ten years longer than those who expressed more negative emotions. Study abstract

You may also want to have a look at researcher Barbara Fredrickson’s findings on the 3:1 positivity ratio and take the Positivity Ratio assessment.

The series continues later this week. Follow this link for more beautiful expressions of gratitude. Pringle Hill’s gratitude journal

Gratitude Journal by Pringle Hill

The Habit of Gratitude Part 1

Thanksgiving is a great time to think about and feel gratitude but let’s not stop there. There are many benefits to the habit of gratitude. Current research has shown that people who feel and show their gratitude are living happier lives. In this series of blog posts we’ll explore ways that you can develop the habit.

The Gratitude List   

Thanks in many languages by woodleywonderworks

Take a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day to write down at least five things for which you are grateful. Imagine a world where the newspapers and news shows focused on all the good things that happen instead of the “newsworthy” bad events. It’s not hard to imagine that it would have a dramatically different impact on the people reading and watching. Changing your personal focus from the things that are going wrong to the things that are going right has a similar effect.

Robert A. Emmons, University of California, Davis and Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami are conducting a research project on gratitude and thankfulness. They found that those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week. They also were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals. The control groups in the experiment kept journals of neutral life events or of the hassles they experienced (Emmons & McCullough, 2003). See http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/labs/emmons/ for additional research results on gratitude and thankfulness.

Let us know your experiences with a gratitude journal or list and check back this week for additional ideas.

Empowered Collaboration – Part 3

For our third post by this title, we present the last 4 practices that enabled Michelle Chung and Nancy Donahue to have a successful collaboration while creating the tool mPWR10.

7. Be flexible and go with the flow

While Nancy and Michelle had educated guesses and did their homework, they weren’t attached to a particular outcome and they didn’t start with the idea of creating a business together. Their ability to test and be open to others’ ideas and to allow the next steps to unfold, led them to an outcome that exceeded their original expectations.

8. Commit to regular time together

Initially Michelle and Nancy met just once a week after work, discussing what they were reading and learning. They increased the time as they began to focus exclusively on mPWR10. Their regularly scheduled time enabled them to stay flexible and responsive to the input they were receiving. Currently, with an evolving, more mature business, they talk every day to keep on track with their goals.

9. Value and leverage each other’s differences

As Michelle and Nancy learned about each other’s strengths and differences, the way they structured their work evolved. Initially they went to every client meeting together. Later, they learned to brainstorm and plan together and then divide the work. They checked in frequently, reviewed what was working and what could be improved, and learned from each other rather than do everything together.

10. Keep the target goal in line with your values

Their core value is Create the results you want. It is the guiding principle behind the mPWR10 tool and Nancy and Michelle used it to weigh their decisions. They used the mPWR10 habits to create mPWR10!
Are these the definitive practices for a great collaborator? Michelle and Nancy would say no. They need to evolve, be tested and refined with the input of many others. So, these practices are a work in progress. Join us in considering them.

What do you think?

For more information about mPWR10 see http://www.mpwr10.com
Debbie

Empowered Collaboration – Part 2

We interviewed Michelle Chung and Nancy Donahue about what practices they used to collaborate when creating the tool, mPWR10. Our previous blog post listed 3 practices. Here are 3 more.

4. Take no criticism personally – everything is fodder for learning; get egos out of the way.

When Nancy and Michelle first began to share their tools with others, they needed to work at not personalizing criticisms from those who didn’t share their enthusiasm for their “baby.” They discovered the usefulness of adopting a learning attitude, where all input is received in the spirit of expanding, broadening or refining their ideas. Learning to set aside any defensiveness or sensitivity helped the duo to continue to improve their tool.

5. Combine focus with blue sky thinking; consider new options and put some on the shelf to pull out later

Michelle and Nancy learned that they brought different strengths to their collaboration. Nancy preferred to focus and jump into action. Michelle liked to sleep on an idea and deliberate before executing. Michelle also was more of a blue sky thinker, envisioning what might be possible long-term. Nancy favored operating in the present. Along with becoming accustomed to one another’s styles, they realized the benefit of stepping back to think and being action-oriented. When Michelle started blue sky thinking, Nancy imagined how to execute those future plans.

6. Trust one another

In order for collaborations to be successful, participants need to be in synch with the vision, goals and intention for the project. The glue for this type of alignment is a high level of trust. Michelle and Nancy had many years of working together before launching the mPWR10 project. They built a sense of familiarity and uncovered common core values. Both women had each other’s best interests at heart and admired each other’s successes. Trust enabled them to work independently and then to make accelerated progress when they met for updates.

Please read the next blog post entitled, “Empowered Collaboration – Part 3”, to uncover the 4 remaining recommendations Nancy and Michelle have to contribute to your collaborations.

Maddie