Monthly Archives: September 2010

A colleague of mine mentioned a curious and “unscientific” observation today regarding the organisational effectiveness of team members “liking” each other.
The example he used was a meeting that recently took place where two mid-level managers from different departments who obviously knew each other fairly well, coming in to take their seat at the conference table. One said to the other, “you should sit right there so I can throw darts at you all meeting”.
This struck my colleague as not only an odd statement, but certainly the wrong foot to start the meeting on. Even though the comment may have been thinly veiled in humour there was an uncomfortable air in the room among the other attendees.
This got us to thinking… Is it possible for team members to subconsciously affect the outcome of a project, activity or task based on how much they “like” the other team members?
My colleague mentioned another “unscientific” observation: His son plays on a fairly competitive baseball team and he has noticed that the number of errors that the team committed when the pitcher is well liked by his fielders is dramatically less than the number of errors committed when the pitcher is less popular.
We’re now thinking about how we can measure how much team members “like” each other (which may consist of anything from trust level, attractiveness, affability and other factors) and how that may impact overall outcomes and performance.
Any thoughts?