Google researched what makes successful teams work well and the findings can have benefits both at work and at home.
Google released the study in 2015 re:Work website here but they are making the rounds in this post on Inc. on social media now. The study spanned two years and examined 180+ teams at Google. Researchers found that the most successful teams consistently had similar dynamics.
These are the give things that set them apart from the rest:
- Psychological safety - People felt secure and didn't fear embarrassment.
- Dependability - Teammates felt they could count on each other to do what they said when they said they were going to do it.
- Structure and clarity - Goals, roles, and execution plans on the team were clear.
- Meaning of work - Team members believed the work they were doing was important to them.
- Impact - They also felt the work they were doing mattered to others.
While work and home are two very different arenas, it's reasonable to see that those key factors would be key to success anywhere. Those traits can help your family function as successfully as possible, too.
Family should be a place where everyone feels safe and supported.
It may be impossible for parents of teens to not embarrass their children, but I think reminding them that they are loved and embraced for who they are is hugely important.
Teasing is often part of a family dynamic and it can be great fun. It's important for kids (and parents) to not take themselves too seriously, but it's also valuable to remind kids to not take it too far or let it turn mean.
Secure family bonds are important at any age. Tell your kids that you appreciate knowing that they support you, too.
Family members should be people you can count on.
Parents of adolescents work hard to help them become responsible adults. Show them the study. Explain why being responsible and being someone that others can count on matters - it's crucial their future success. While we all fall down from time and time and life invariably happens, being dependable is hugely important in almost any setting.
Catch your kids being good. Offer positive reinforcement and/or appreciation when your kids follow through. If you see them being someone who walks the walk and talks the talk, let them know what that means to you.
Define roles in the house
To say that family life is fluid could be a the understatement of the century (especially in the summer), but making it clear who is responsible for what can go a long way when it comes to getting things done. Also, kids can't claim they didn't know what was expected of them if roles and expectations are clearly defined spelled out for everyone. (I'm a big fan of putting it in writing and posting it in a place where the family can easily refer back to it.)
Meaning of work
Being part of a family is a great thing, even if teens don't always act that way. One way to help them remember is to have fun together. Laughing together is one of the best parts of being a family.
Talk about the practical value of work done around the house by different family members. For example, taking the garbage out may not be anyone's idea of a good time, but it has value in terms of health and comfort.
Another way to find meaning is to talk about ways that the family has been there during rough times and when you've helped each other.
Your family matters to others
Dr. Michele Borba recommends having a family mission statement in her book UnSelfie. Some examples she offers are along the lines of "We are a family that is kind to others" and "We are a family of helpers."
Teens may seem self-centered, and in fact such behavior is developmentally appropriate. But doing good deeds as a family can help kids get out of their bubbles and see that they and their family can make a positive impact on the world around them. That deeds act not only as the glue that can hold families close, doing them feels really good.
Those are just my takes on the five factors. Talk with your family to see how they see the five factors of successful teams at work in your family unit. See if they interpret them differently and what ways they think this Google research on successful teams can help your family. Ask what ideas the study gives them have for improving how your family functions.
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Filed under: Parenting