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Characteristics of Effective Teams

Teams have been regarded as a major element in enabling institutions to improve business performance. They push individuals to innovate faster, exemplify higher productivity, see mistakes more quickly, and develop better solutions. However, some teams do not succeed in attaining the organizational objectives. Teams that succeed, as evidenced by the videos that are analyzed in this paper, are characterized by showing concern for one another by being sensitive to their concerns and good leadership.

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In the first video, Google launched a project called Aristotle to help identify attributes needed for an effective and best-performing team. The project involved tracking 187 different teams over three years. The main hypotheses of the study were that members in a high-performance team like each other or there, have a healthy mix of personality traits or team members interact closely outside work. None of these factors were found to be essential in promoting good team performance.

The Aristotle experiment revealed two main attributes of high-performing teams. First, it was observed that the equality of the team members allowed each participant an equal chance to speak despite a shift in leadership depending on the task. The second major attribute was a group’s high average social sensitivity. Members of a high-performance team were sensitive to each other’s feelings based on non-verbal cues, including expressions. High-performing teams could easily point out when one of their members was feeling upset or left out by looking at their eyes (Coding Tech, 2018). On the other hand, less-performing teams posted a below-average score due to their low sensitivity to their colleagues. In general, the Aristotle experiment showed that irrespective of who the members were, the most important factor was how they treated each other and showed respect, and everyone had a chance to speak. The members also listened to each other, creating a psychologically safe environment in the team that enhanced its capacity to succeed.

The second video is grounded on the wisdom of geese, mainly by observing their conduct. In the main, it has been observed that the birds fly in groups and form a v-shaped pattern. The v-formation improves the flying range of each goose by over 70 percent compared to the distance one bird would cover alone (AOEC, 2017). A bird that falls out of the formation quickly picks itself up and joins the other birds that spark its lifting power. If the lead goose tires, it falls back, allowing another bird to lead the formation (AOEC, 2017). Birds at the back encourage those at the front of the pack to keep up the speed. Should one of the birds be wounded or fall sick, two geese out of the pack remain behind to help and offer protection until the goose recovers or, sadly, dies. The birds then speed up to catch up with the other birds or join a different formation.

The outstanding similarity in the videos is that a successful team should work together. Every member should be allowed to lead at different turns without prejudice. Each person needs to be encouraged to participate freely in a group and offer help when required. It is also apparent that one member needs help, and the others can come together and provide support for the success of the team. The main difference between the videos is the object used; while the first video is based on a real human experiment, the second presentation features a mere observation of birds. Therefore, the outcome of the first video provides a more concrete feature of a team. Nonetheless, both videos indicate that every team must have a leader. The leader is expected to lead the others in performing better to meet the desired goal.


AOEC. (2017). The wisdom of geese – How to improve team performance [Video]. YouTube. Web.

Coding Tech (2018). Secrets of successful teamwork: Insights from Google [Video]. YouTube. Web.

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