3 Reasons Why a Supportive Team Is Better Than Working Alone

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Law of Success" by Napoleon Hill. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are the benefits of working in a team? How can being in a supportive team prime everyone for success?

You’re more likely to achieve success when you work with a team than when you work on your own. When a group of people collectively work toward a goal, their combined knowledge, expertise, and resources allow them to achieve much more than they could on their own.

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of supportive teams.

1) Supportive Teams Create a Hive Mind

Sharing a purpose with others aligns the conscious thoughts of each mind, creating a telepathic link between the subconscious minds of everyone involved. This telepathic link enables each individual within the group to access and leverage the knowledge and expertise of every other member of the group.

(Shortform note: While Hill’s idea about a hive mind might sound like something from a science fiction movie, there is some evidence to support it. Some cognitive psychologists have created virtual reality experiments to examine a phenomenon known as social cognition. The idea behind social cognition is that each individual mind gains a certain amount of information about a social situation. However, when two minds meet and interact with each other, they can gain more information than the sum of their parts. So, it turns out that two heads actually are better than one.)

2) Supportive Teams Provide Social Reinforcement

Hill claims that sharing progress with others invites positive feedback and support. This positive attention inspires feelings of enthusiasm that boost the self-confidence and motivation of everyone within the team.

(Shortform note: While social reinforcement can provide support and useful feedback, it can also reduce your motivation to achieve your goal. Psychological studies find that social reinforcement can make you feel like you’re making progress even when you’re not. This feeling of progress feels good but it’s based on a false sense of achievement that causes you to lose sight of what you need to do to move forward. For example, receiving positive feedback about your plan to achieve your goal makes you feel like you’ve made progress even though you haven’t completed a single constructive task toward it. This false feeling of progress ends up diminishing your drive to achieve your goal.)

3) Supportive Teams Generate Better Ideas and Decisions

According to Hill, sharing ideas with others invites objective and constructive feedback that drives continual improvement. It also stimulates the imagination of each individual in the group—inspiring new, potentially successful ideas.

(Shortform note: Be aware that not all teams will meet your needs: Research shows that a team’s size influences its ideas and decisions. According to studies, smaller teams are more likely to generate better ideas and decisions than larger ones. This is because large teams of seven or more members are more susceptible to groupthink (the tendency to conform to the opinions of the group) and confirmation bias (the tendency to interpret information in a way that reinforces existing preconceptions). On the other hand, small teams of three to five members are more likely to seek out diverse opinions and challenge preconceived notions. This prevents groupthink and confirmation bias from taking hold, resulting in more creative ideas and objective decisions.)

Hill suggests that you’ll benefit most from a supportive team with diverse experiences and perspectives. Include people who will offer you encouragement and support, as well as successful mentors who will offer you constructive advice. Don’t include anyone who might discourage you from achieving your goal.

(Shortform note: It’s true that collaboration offers many benefits: With the right team, it provides support and diverse perspectives that inspire new ideas and encourages accountability. In particular, having a mentor on the team can offer numerous benefits for both mentors and mentees—the relationship encourages strong communication skills that increase self-confidence and self-awareness. However, to be effective, collaboration of any sort needs to be mutually beneficial. In Goals!, Brian Tracy suggests evaluating what you can offer to your team—developing relationship skills such as patience and attentiveness ensures that you benefit your team as much as they benefit you.)

3 Reasons Why a Supportive Team Is Better Than Working Alone

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  • How your subconscious mind creates your life experiences
  • Why the only way to achieve success is to realign your habitual thoughts
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Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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