Emotional Intelligence is Corporate Speak for “Be Nice”!

Be nice! If only we followed the manners rules that mother taught us…..Now we call it emotional intelligence!

Google office
Google workplace. Effective teams are nice to each other!

Many clients struggle with getting along in the workplace. People have forgotten how simple manners can reduce friction and invite greater cooperation among teams. Apparently, after much research, Google has found the answer! ~ Mary

Google wants to know the secret to building a more productive team.

The tech giant charged a team to find out. The project, known as Project Aristotle, took several years, and included interviews with hundreds of employees and analysis of data about the people on more than 100 active teams at the company. The Googlers looked hard to find a magic formula—the perfect mix of individuals necessary to form a stellar team—but it wasn’t that simple. “We were dead wrong,” the company said.

Google’s data-driven approach ended up highlighting what leaders in the business world have known for a while; the best teams respect one another’s emotions and are mindful that all members should contribute to the conversation equally. It has less to do with who is in a team, and more with how a team’s members interact with one another.

The findings echo Stephen Covey’s influential 1989 book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Members of productive teams take the effort to understand each other, find a way to relate to each other, and then try to make themselves understood.

Matt Sakaguchi, a midlevel manager at Google, was keen to put Project Aristotle’s findings into practice. He told Charles Duhigg of The New York Times how he took his team off-site to open up about his cancer diagnosis. His colleagues were initially silent, but then began sharing their own personal stories.

At the heart of Sakaguchi’s strategy, and Google’s findings, is the concept of “psychological safety,” a model of teamwork in which members have a shared belief that it is safe to take risks and share a range of ideas without the fear of being humiliated. As Google explains:

Did you feel like you could ask what the goal was without the risk of sounding like you’re the only one out of the loop? Or did you opt for continuing without clarifying anything, in order to avoid being perceived as someone who is unaware?

Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson explored the concept a 1999 study, which concluded that “psychological safety” boosted performance in teams.

Google now describes psychological safety as the most important factor to building a successful team.

In short, just be nice.

If  working on your EI or EQ skills is on your agenda, make some time to chat with me about how to get there! Get in touch with my through my contact page HERE

Mary T. O'Sullivan

Mary T. O’Sullivan, Master of Science, Organizational Leadership, Member, International Coaching Federation, Society of Human Resource Management. Candidate, Master’s Certificate in Executive and Professional Career Coaching, University of Texas at Dallas. Member Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society. Advanced Studies in Education from Montclair University, SUNY Oswego and Syracuse University. Mary is also a certified Six Sigma Specialist, Contract Specialist, IPT Leader and holds a Certificate in Essentials of Human Resource Management from SHRM. Mary O’Sullivan has over 30 years experience in the aerospace and defense industry. In each of her roles, she acted as a change agent, moving teams and individuals from status quo to new ways of thinking, through offering solutions focused on changing behaviors and fostering growth. In additional, Mary holds a permanent teaching certificate in the State of New York for secondary education, and taught high school English for 10 years in the Syracuse, NY area.