What Google Learned from its Quest to Build the Perfect Team


“First, on the good teams, members spoke in roughly the same proportion”
“Second, the good teams all had high ‘‘average social sensitivity’’ — a fancy way of saying they were skilled at intuiting how others felt based on their tone of voice, their expressions and other nonverbal cues.”
‘‘shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.’’
‘‘a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up,’’
‘‘a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.’’

However, establishing psychological safety is, by its very nature, somewhat messy and difficult to implement. You can tell people to take turns during a conversation and to listen to one another more. You can instruct employees to be sensitive to how their colleagues feel and to notice when someone seems upset. But the kinds of people who work at Google are often the ones who became software engineers because they wanted to avoid talking about feelings in the first place.