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imgresGoogle does a lot of research.

One of the most ongoing and intensive studies has been about teams. What makes a good team?

This is important to Google because they work in teams.

I was very pleased to read their conclusions that were released recently.

Before I tell you what they discovered is the key ingredient to a good team, I want to share with you what they found out was not a key ingredient.

It wasn’t the perfect mix of individual traits and skills. There was no such thing as assembling a dream team of carefully selected experts.

They assumed this might be the case going into the study. But after hundreds of interviews with individuals as well as teams, it slowly dawned on them what made a team effective.

Here it is: psychological safety.

In other words, “Can we be vulnerable and take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?”

I was so happy to read this because, having worked with teams for many years in the church, and now with TLS for the past four, I’ve come to the same conclusion.

It’s not who’s on the team, it’s how the team interacts.

As one researcher put it, “In short, just be nice.”

I loved this research because it sheds light on why TLS works as well as it does. TLS is the kind of place where you can be vulnerable and take risks, and where you will not be ridiculed, humiliated, or silenced. Of course, slip ups have occurred in the past and we do our best to prevent that and to repair it if it happens. But I can say with confidence that TLS is a great team… because you guys show mutual respect and provide a safe space for us to express ourselves authentically and honestly.

So, kudos! I’m proud of you. I’m proud of us. I’m so thankful to be on this team. I’m so thankful that we have this space where we are safe to be ourselves.

With love,