Instead, the smartest teams were distinguished by three characteristics.
First, their members contributed more equally to the team’s discussions, rather than letting one or two people dominate the group.
Second, their members scored higher on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes, which measures how well people can read complex emotional states from images of faces with only the eyes visible.
Finally, teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. Indeed, it appeared that it was not “diversity” (having equal numbers of men and women) that mattered for a team’s intelligence, but simply having more women. This last effect, however, was partly explained by the fact that women, on average, were better at “mindreading” than men.
Results from a study of what makes some teams smarter than others.
The first feels intuitive; one thing that distinguishes good leaders, it's been said, is getting the most from a team, drawing out dissenting views from those who might otherwise be silenced by group dynamics.
The other two elements are more intriguing. I wish the article spent more time discussing how and why those two contributed to a team's superior performance. Is it in maximizing effort from everyone involved? Improved teamwork? Increased comfort in dissent or just greater honesty in general?