MIT: Human Dynamics Lab

More Connected Teams = More Productive Teams

Patterns of communication are proven to be the most crucial factor in determining a team’s success. At MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory, they concluded the best way to build a team is to learn how they communicate and guide them so that they follow successful communication patterns. These patterns “are as significant as all the other factors—individual intelligence, personality, skill, and the substance of discussions—combined.” 


35% of the variation in a team’s performance can be accounted for simply by the number of face-to-face exchanges among team members.


Successful teams share a number of social characteristics: equal speaking time, energetic face-to-face conversations, and connecting directly with one another— not just the team leader. By studying this specific sociometric data, MIT was able to foretell which teams could win a business plan contest. Patterns of communication are the single most important thing to measure when gauging the effectiveness of a group.