Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How Google's research in Team Dynamics relates to your Game

Let me try to break this 5,000 word article to something easier. Note that I'm summarizing and simplifying its still worth checking out. As Game in the Brain - I can't help to always relate everything to TTRPGs lolz.

  • Group Norms - How the group is organized, everyone's roles, and how the members relate to each other. Like the brain, we can have very sophisticated and powerful processing parts but how they worked together determined the sum's competence. 
  • Everyone feels Valued: they can disagree, and genuinely care about what the other has to say and feels
    • "As long as everyone got a chance to talk, the team did well. But if only one person or a small group spoke all the time, the collective intelligence declined."  
    • In TRPGs its creating an engaged and feeling relevant and heard. Particularly being able to listen AND WANTING to know what your fellow players want to say and giving them equal time. 
    • That's why I recommend the spotlight counting method: regardless of everyone's powerlevel - everyone gets the same amount of attention. The guy who has a problem being more vocal and assertive is aided by the Facilitator: The GM. 
      • There are various techniques in Story telling that makes an underpowered PC, relative to the Party, as relevant. Particularly those found in Narrative Fallacy. Using sequences of events and our irrational need to make a causal narrative even if this causality is really just an illusion. 
    • My own flaw I failing to reign in some domineering players. I dont need to give just equal spotlight, if the player doesn't like the spotlight, but I can give him equal gravity = importance in the story. 
  • Sensitivity to how others Feel and their Needs.
    • I would go further and say "If you feel authentically curious and concerned" of the other people in the team and what they have to say then this is a good fit. If you can't make yourself just like someone or be at least curious of what they have to say and who they are, then maybe its time for an assessment of your relationship. 
    • Wanting to know what other people have to say and who  they are requires a lot of internal behavioural hacking. Steel-man-ing, Benefit of the Doubt, Suspending Judgement, and Various other cognitive techniques comes into play. For me its just curiosity.
      • - knowing I don't know makes me curious about other people and their own Point of Views. If you have something interests that may make you more interested in people, then maybe its worth hacking or framing the goal to include people and relationships in my interests. 
  • Awareness and Adaptation. Its going to be a constant exercise and self evaluation. So get ready to make this a way of life (as with any skill worth acquiring or goal). So I need:
    • a good attitude, 
    • a list of evaluations about myself and from friends trusted to give me their honest and perceptive advice, 
    • keep notes, and even record my games and how I act towards others.
    • Create a scope of work (on my weaknesses and flaws) that is realistic and achievable. 
    • Take the time to work to break the goals down to smaller achievable wins, 
    • and be able to be more consistent and practice constantly. 


Source: What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team New research reveals surprising truths about why some work groups thrive and others falter. By CHARLES DUHIGG
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