Working In Teams

By | February 14, 2017

“After all is said and done, more is usually said than done.”

The New York Times published a very interesting article by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charles Duhigg about working in teams. Whether in school or at work, you have probably all worked on a team at some point, but most people never really think much about what makes up a good team. Duhigg talks about how Google has researched this topic extensively to make their teams more productive. Their results show that conventional wisdom, such as combining the best people to build a team, is wrong. And, teams of all friends, all introverts, or all strangers do not seem to perform any better or worse than normal. There are other potential factors also, like should everybody talk freely and share their ideas? Should people openly disagree with each other? Should people decide what tasks they are best suited to, or should a strong leader take charge and run everything?

It turns out the two best predictors of a team’s success are how teammates treat one another. Basically, it boils down to giving everybody an equal voice, and team members having a high social sensitivity (such as knowing when someone is feeling upset or left out). A team is best when there is a high level of interpersonal trust, mutual respect, and people feel comfortable being themselves. Sometimes a team made up of smart, serious, superstars work great on their own, but do not get additional benefit from the collective intelligence of working in a group.

Most domainers tend to be lone wolves. A few start domain companies and have employees, but they still usually run things themselves. It is hard to decide what domains to invest in by committee. Yet, studies show that people working in teams get better results (and higher profitability) and are more satisfied with their jobs. I have run everything myself for over 20 years, and it is exhausting. But, when I have other people do important things for me, they tend to make mistakes and don’t do things how I want them, and that is aggravating and mentally exhausting. Having employees is not the same as working in a group of course, but it shares some similarities. The times I have worked in groups, it is stressful, but also liberating in some ways. As a group leader, people actually do things for me and help out. Or, as a group member, I just need to do my part and not worry about the big picture and all the other aspects of the project.

Domain investors do like to be part of groups, though. Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, domain forums, domain associations, domain conferences, and more. I think this is because we work alone so much of the time. We may not work together on group projects, but domaining is a community, and we provide support, advice, and information to each other. I benefit from being a part of all of this, and I think it has made me a better business person.

3 thoughts on “Working In Teams

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