Chat icons designed by Joe Harrison from The Noun Project

Chat icons designed by Joe Harrison from The Noun Project

At The Guardian, Tim Adams delves into the research of Alistair Shepherd of Southampton University to explain why regular communication within and outside a group improves success. Adams writes:

The data suggested that the success of teams had much less to do with experience, education, gender balance, or even personality types; it was closely correlated with a single factor: “Does everybody talk to each other?”

Ideally this talk was in animated short bursts indicating listening, involvement and trust – long speeches generally correlated with unsuccessful outcomes. For creative groups…the other overwhelming factor determining success was: do they also talk to a lot of people outside their group? “What we call ‘engagement’ and ‘exploration’ appeared to be about 40% of the explanation of the difference between a low-performing group and a high-performing group across all the studies,” [Alex Pentland, professor of media arts and sciences at MIT] says.

It was important that a good deal of engagement happened outside formal meetings.

In an office setting, short interactions with co-workers, bosses, and clients can propel important ideas forward while avoiding nearly useless, hour-long meetings. While freelancing workers who communicate often with customers in similarly short bursts reap the same reward of attentive engagement. The study also suggests regularly communicating outside your industry or group to open yourself to third-party perspective. The theory goes: if you can’t say what you need to say in a few words, you don’t fully understand it.

Read the full write-up of why regular communication can lead you to success (and help land a new job, if that’s what you’re looking for), right here.

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