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How To Boost your Team’s Performance | Business Tips for Insurance Agents

Published on March 30, 2017

business tips for insurance agents CA | Abram Interstate

Several years ago, Google set out to find the secret to building more productive teams. As an Insurance Agent, whether you have a team you work with in your agency, or whether your only “team” aspect is the work you do through your relationships with carriers and MGA’s like us, we can all gain something by learning how to be a better team player.

Google assigned the project, called Project Aristotle, to a team which over the course of the next several years dove in to investigate. They conducted interviews with hundreds of employees, and they analyzed data from more than 100 active teams within Google’s own company.

They were trying to find that one key ingredient, a magical formula of x+y+f+g= the perfect team. Instead, after all of their intensive research, analysis, and observation, the team found something very different.

Erin Siegal of quartz.com reports that, “Google’s data-driven approach ended up highlighting what leaders in the business world have known for a while; the best teams respect one another’s emotions and are mindful that all members should contribute to the conversation equally. It has less to do with who is in a team, and more with how a team’s members interact with one another.”

So the dream team doesn’t have to be made up of the perfect players, just players who react and respond to one another in healthy, safe ways above all else.

Stephen Covey, author of the highly influential book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, found something similar in his research before the book came out in 1989. Productive teams are composed of members who take the pains to understand one another, relate to each other, and to try to make themselves understood.

Siegal write about what Google leaders did with these findings:

Matt Sakaguchi, a midlevel manager at Google, was keen to put Project Aristotle’s findings into practice. He told Charles Duhigg of The New York Times how he took his team off-site to open up about his cancer diagnosis. His colleagues were initially silent, but then began sharing their own personal stories.
At the heart of Sakaguchi’s strategy, and Google’s findings, is the concept of “psychological safety,” a model of teamwork in which members have a shared belief that it is safe to take risks and share a range of ideas without the fear of being humiliated.

The findings are in line with those of a Harvard Business school professor, Amy Edmondson, who did a study on the topic in 1999. She found conclusive evidence that “psychological safety” made teams perform better.

Google now deems psychological safety as the most important factor in creating a successful team.

So in your insurance offices, and any coordinated effort teams your participate in, be nice, be open, and create a safe place for people to show up and do good work.


Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc. is a California wholesale insurance broker (CMGA) that has licensing and expertise to place business in both admitted and non-admitted markets for personal lines insurance and commercial lines insurance in California and surrounding areas.

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