The group succeeds not because they are smarter but because they are safer

51p0mziztfl._sx329_bo1204203200_Today I finished reading “The Culture Code” by Daniel Coyle. This is the third book I’ve read about prioritizing psychological safety to create a team that outperforms all others.

The other two books are “Radical Candor” and “The One Minute Manager.”

This book was well written and very easy to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who is leading a team that needs some feedback on how to successfully collaborate.

Coyle starts the book with this wonderful quote:

We are solidly connected. The group succeeds not because they are smarter but because they are safer. – Coyle

So how do you know if your team is safe? Luckily Coyle provides a list:

Team performance is driven by five measurable factors:

– Everyone in the group talks and listens in roughly equal measure, keeping contributions short.
– Members maintain high levels of eye contact, and their conversations and gesture are energetic
– Members communicate directly with one another, not just with the team leader
– Members carry on back-channel or side conversations within the team
– Members periodically break, go exploring outside the team, and bring information back to share with others

– Coyle

When I read this checklist I mentally checked my groups against it. Was I doing everything I could to make sure that everyone in my band talks and listens in equal measure? Was I making sure that the members in the Hawaii App Developers meetup communicate directly with one another? Can they carry back-channel or side conversations in the team?

I can say yes to a few items on this list but there’s a lot I need to work on. Going full circle, the only way to achieve this kind of idealized communication framework is to ensure the safety of the group.

As the leader, it is your responsibility to make your members feel safe. Only once they feel safe can you begin to expect the frequency and quality of communication required to establish the culture your team deserves.

Contact me if you have any questions!

Author: David Neely

Professional Software Developer. Technology and Web Coordinator at the University of Hawaii's Manoa Career Center.