When choosing teammates, friendliness and trustworthiness may trumps skill abilities

Key points

  • In a team, friendliness and credibility are more valued than skills.
  • When forming a team, you most need capable and trustworthy people.
  • Understanding these dynamics may help guide the team effectively in the workplace.

For many people, teamwork is related to the experience of others.This may explain why a recently published study Journal of Management Found that being friendly and trustworthy may be more valuable than skills when working in a team.

Through two studies of full-time first-year MBA students at a large American university, researchers found that when forming a team, individuals are more likely to rely on social capital rather than human capital.

Especially when many workplaces are turning to remote operations due to pandemic restrictions, this research can better provide suggestions for team building practices in online collaboration.

Understand the research

In Study 1, the researchers regarded challenging voices as “improvement-oriented communication” for developing new ideas and questioning the status quo, and supporting voices as “affirmative communication” for strengthening social connections and maintaining harmony, in order to explore human capital approaches .

Students are divided into two 7-week teams, and then they need to assess the quality of work and personal reputation of up to three people, and then form their own teams during the third 7-week period.

This research supports the hypothesis that challenging voices are positively correlated with personal reputation, while perceptions of work quality moderate this effect to a certain extent with statistical significance, and individuals are more likely to be formed based on personal reputation team.

In the case that Research 1 supports the human capital approach (ie, challenging voice → high-quality job recognition → personal reputation), Research 2 explores the social capital approach along with the human capital approach by copying its design (ie, Supportive voice → friendship → trust) use a larger sample.

Researchers have found that individuals with challenging voices are seen as producing high-quality jobs, but when social capital approaches are introduced, this perception does not affect personal reputation, because individuals are related to people they consider trustworthy rather than capable Form a team.

This research also shows that individuals may seek multiple positive attributes when forming teams with people they believe have human and social capital (ie, trust and skills).

One limitation of this study is that it only focuses on the positivity of voices, so its results may be biased by the possibility that challenging voices are “shaky” or supportive voices may contribute to group thinking.

Success may depend on relationships

Silvi Saxena, MBA, LCSW, CCTP, OSW-C said: “I have seen this situation play a role in the workforce. I have seen people actively avoid experts in a certain field because they are rude or difficult to talk to or Ask other people nearby who might be classified as low-level experts.”

Saxena explained that people spend at least a third of their lives at work. “Being able to build relationships with our colleagues and cultivate these relationships into trusting relationships is really important to success,” she said.

Based on this, Saxena suggested: “Even if you are not an expert, being friendly and able to join the team looking for this will expand your scope and knowledge, which will make you an expert.”

Silvi Saxena, MBA, LCSW, CCTP, OSW-C

I have seen people actively avoid experts in a certain field because they are rude or difficult to talk to or around, and ask other people who might be classified as lower-level experts.

— Silvi Saxena, MBA, LCSW, CCTP, OSW-C

Saxena points out, “The conclusion is that friendliness should not be underestimated because you may need to get more from someone, and just because someone is very capable does not mean they will help you or make it enjoyable.”

Although these findings are applicable to labor, Saxena emphasizes that additional research on specific examples may be helpful. “It’s great to see that this study explores more of high school or college students, when individuals become more selfish and are exploring these two areas,” she said.

Saxena further explained, “It seems that there is no discussion about job satisfaction, but happier teams are more satisfied, have a better understanding of each other, and have a better chance of building true friendships.”

Security may be worth considering

Julian Lagoy, a psychiatrist and MD of the Community Psychiatry + MindPath Care Center, said: “Although these are good things, in most cases, being a friendly and kind person who supports others is better than being very capable and good at yours. Work.”

Dr. Lagoy explained: “When your workplace has excellent people who support others, the overall productivity, happiness and happiness of the workplace will be higher, instead of having very capable and smart people, but they are harmful and harmful to others. A workplace that does not support others. Partners.”

Nonetheless, Dr. Lagoy pointed out that ability may outweigh the friendliness and support of certain occupations, especially when it comes to safety. “For example, I would rather have a surgeon who is capable and smart than a surgeon who is friendly but not as skilled as the surgeon,” he said.

Dr. Lagoy explained: “This supports our overall way of recruiting employees. When we look at someone’s resume-it’s a preliminary reflection of someone’s intelligence and abilities-it helps them get an interview.”

Although the final hiring decision was made when talking to them after the interview or meeting them in person, Dr. Lagoy said, “According to my experience, when I interview a psychiatric resident, I prefer to hire someone to get along with me. People who are better than smarter people.”

Julian Lagoy, MD

For example, I would rather have a surgeon who is capable and smart than a surgeon who is friendly but not as skilled as a surgeon.

— Julian Lagoy, MD

What this means to you

As this research shows, when forming a team, individuals may value friendliness and credibility more than skills. Considering that according to the body they live in, some people tend to be more negative than others, so it is worth considering how oppressive and power factors affect these dynamics.