Creating High-Performing Teams

A few years ago, Google was interested in understanding what could predict an effective team. If they could figure that out, they would improve the likelihood of creating high-performing teams. Using team and manager evaluations, Google identified 180 teams to study, including a mix of previously identified high- and low-performing teams. Factors reviewed included personality traits, job skills, demographics, and team dynamics.

Leaders were interviewed about what they thought drove team effectiveness. Existing data from engagement surveys was carefully studied. Google ran multiple statistical analyses to determine the most important factors in team effectiveness.

After all this data was collected and analyzed, what do you think they found? While several factors emerged as important, far and away the most powerful determining factor was psychological safety.

According to Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson, PhD, “Psychological safety is the shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.” In teams with high psychological safety, members believe that no one will embarrass or punish them for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea. Team members feel safe to be themselves.

To build a sense of psychological safety on a team, it is important that team members get to know one another, trust each other, and that the team establishes team norms that support a culture of risk taking, accountability, and inclusion.

Using a psychological assessment with a team can be a great start to building psychological safety. The DRiV is a 20-minute assessment that measures an individual’s motives, values, and habits – their drivers. By understanding what drives and drains someone, you can better understand their behavioral tendencies. Using a combination of the DRiV Team Member and Team reports, you can help team members learn about each other (and themselves), while also enabling more effective and supportive team dynamics. This can accelerate the team integration process and establishment of team norms, while also reducing inaccurate assumptions and biases.

In addition to leveraging the Team Member and Teams reports, educational materials are available to facilitate turnkey virtual or in-person instructor-led training sessions, 3 to 4 hours in length, called DRiVen Teams workshops. The materials include PPT deck, facilitator guide, and participant materials.

For more information about how the DRiV can help create high-performing teams, contact us:


For more information about Google’s research, check out this link:

For a Harvard Business Review article about psychological safety, go to this link:

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