Can Team Chemistry be Measured?

This is a very good question. And the answer is: well…maybe…eventually, as is very interestingly suggested in this blog article in Harvard Business Review.

I can understand that this is not very straightforward, and it if would have been, someone would have found this measurement already. No, I think we can safely say that an exact formula or measurement for chemistry between people is not easily identified. There are so many factors that have (or can have) an impact of human interaction. How about:

  • Personality types
  • Moods
  • Cultures
  • Time of day
  • Agendas/Goals
  • Communication style
  • The environment we’re in
  • History/memory
  • Hierarchy

The list could be close to endless. There are so many factors that influence the dynamics of teams. So while we wait for someone to crack that measurement code (if they can), what can we do?  Well, here are a few thoughts:

  • Make sure the team shares a purpose, a goal, a “reason to be”. And if it’s not immediately obvious what that is, then go find out what it is or could be. There is something very compelling about being “on the same team”, fighting for the same thing, being dependent on each other
  • Get the team talking and spending time together, get them to know each other – and like each other
  • Focus on HOW people do things, not just WHAT they do. An example could be how team members give each other feedback – do they do it in such a way that the other person gets angry/suspicious/guarded – or do they do it in such a way that the person is grateful and feels valued? This can be influenced and learnt
  • Agree how to work together. Talk about what’s acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in order for the team to function at its best

For more tangible, applicable ideas check out the actual Team Formula in our book. It goes a very long way towards building a high performing team. And it can be done TODAY.

Thanks for reading,

Elisabet and Mandy

Author: sfuest

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