The Gift of Connection and its Impact on Team Accountability

Ryan Buell and colleagues from Harvard Business School did a fascinating experiment in a restaurant to test the effect of cameras on food quality.

In one situation, customers were able to see the cooks as they prepared their food.

In the other instance, it was the reverse—cooks were provided with video screens showing the diners receiving and eating their food.

Which intervention would you guess made the biggest difference in food quality?

Surprisingly, it was the second!

You might think allowing customers to view and inspect their work would result in better quality…

It didn’t.

What made a difference was not inspection but connection.

When cooks could see those eating their food, they cooked better (as judged by customers) and faster (as judged by a stopwatch)!

All the cooks needed in order to care more about taking care of customers was to feel connected to them.

You need to humanize the consequence of the actions your people are taking on a daily basis.

Empathy is the key to accountability!

Think of your team.

Often times, in working with organizations, I find that one of the MAIN ISSSUES that leads to poor efficiency or mishandled projects is the LACK OF SEEING THIGNS FROM OTHERS PERSPECTIVES!

If Fred is focused on HIS job and responsibilities and challenges only, he won’t give much thought to when he finishes the report and gets it to Julie…

But if Fred knows MORE about Julie – if he cares more about her needs and challenges, he is FAR MORE LIKELY to give priority to the report if he knows that it will affect her performance and ability to succeed.

The key to accountability is empathy!

And the more you allow your people to CONNECT with each other – to learn about their desires and needs and roles and responsibilities – the more likely each person is to HELP OUT and become a bit more concerned about the ripples that their own behaviors create.

Just like in the restaurant example with the cooks – YOUR people will produce HIGHER QUALITY work and effort when they become more aware of the impact it has on others.

When you help your people grow their awareness, you automatically help them improve their behaviors as an unexpected but unmistakable result.

Want to improve your team culture?

You have to understand this:

CULTURE is nothing more than repeated behaviors…

And BEHAVIORS only change when beliefs change…

And BELIEFS only change when awareness improves….

And AWARENES only improves through experiences.

Want a better culture?

Give your people an EXPERIENCE that will allow them to see the impact that their behaviors has on other people – coworkers and clients.

Your people need better connections – that is what inspires better behaviors…

A team building event may be just the thing you need to inspire some of the empathy and understanding and communication that your team needs.

You will be amazed at the great results that will follow.