How to make Group Work More Effective?

Most of you are members of some groups and communities, dear readers and subscribers. Majority of people, reading these lines are participants of LEENjoy project, Levelnaut community and members of our groups and chats on internet.

Moreover, some of you own online groups or moderate them too. Now, the question is – How to make Group Work More Effective?

The right answer could be found at GetSmarter online multi training platform. We are glad to share it with you now.

What Makes Groups More Intelligent?

I’d like to tell you about some of our research, in which we used the same statistical techniques used to measure the individual intelligence of people on IQ tests – but here we used the techniques to measure the collective intelligence of groups.

We call this factor ‘collective intelligence’. We found that it was correlated, but only moderately correlated, with the average individual intelligence of the people in the groups. In other words, just having a bunch of smart people in a group doesn’t necessarily make a smart group.

But if having smart people isn’t enough to make a smart group, what is?

The first was the average social perceptiveness. Now, we measured this by giving people a test called ‘Reading the mind in the eyes’. In this test, people see pictures of other people’s eyes and try to guess what emotion the person in the picture is feeling. When you’ve got a bunch of people in a group who are good at this, then, on average, the group is more collectively intelligent.

The second factor we found was the degree to which people participated about equally in the group’s conversation. When one or two people dominated the group discussion, then, on average, the group was less collectively intelligent than when everyone participated more equally.

Finally, we found that the group’s collective intelligence was significantly correlated with the proportion of women in the group. This last result was primarily explained statistically by the result about social perceptiveness. In other words, it was already known before our research that women, on average, score higher on this measure of social perceptiveness than men.

So, one interpretation of our results is that what you need for a group to be collectively intelligent is to have enough people in the group who are high on this measure of social perceptiveness, or social intelligence. And if you have that, it may not matter much whether those people are men or women. But if all you know about a person is their gender, you’re a little more likely to get that with a woman than with a man.

So, what do these experiments mean?

For people, that means they need interpersonal skills. And for computers, that means we need to design computers that can work well with people. And this may also be critical for creating more intelligent organizations.

If an IQ test can tell you how smart one person is, how do you measure the collective intelligence of a group? According to Thomas Malone, the Patrick J. McGovern (1959) Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, it takes three factors: social perceptiveness, participation, and diversity.

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