An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Team Dynamics: The Theory and Science Behind What Works

  • Julie Fox
  • Slice of MIT

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Have you been part of a team that had trouble achieving goals or left you feeling deflated at the end of a meeting? There’s a science called social physics that can help change that, explains Fred Haubensak SM ’91, PhD ’94, technical and entrepreneurial leader.  

In this recent MIT Career Lunch & Learn webinar, Haubensak explains why psychological safety is the single most important predictor of a team’s success and how everyone on a team can help achieve it. He offers simple diagnostics and pro tips to improve team performance.

“We have to dispel this sense of fear of raising one’s voice or making a contribution,” says Haubensak. “If we fear being seen as ignorant, we won’t ask questions. If we fear being seen as incompetent, we’ll never admit mistakes.”

The talk was moderated by Naomi Davidson SM ’05, cofounder and CEO at

Watch more archived Career Lunch & Learn webinars, and learn about other upcoming MIT Alumni Association career programming.

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