Dr Will Thomas
Why do teams matter to you?
Teams are at the forefront of our accomplishments and the bedrock of our society. Yet, they are often misunderstood and neglected – leading to conflict, stress and poor performance. My aim is to work with teams, and their leaders, to ensure that more teams become a source of pride, passion and joy.
From your experience what makes a team great?
During my PhD, I investigated 528 individuals in 52 amateur and elite teams across 14 different sports in three countries. This culminated in a breakthrough in our understanding of differences between high and low performing teams. We found that there are certain fundamental beliefs needed in teams to become high performing. This now forms the basis of our TRIBE methodology.
- I love doing research. Not just as an academic exercise, but to make a real impact on the world and people lives. Following the completion of my PhD, and with a focus on providing practical solutions for leaders, I continue to research and apply a scientifically driven approach to team and leadership development as an honorary research fellow at Sussex University. Prior to my PhD, I was a business psychologist and gained a distinction for my MSc in Social and Organisational Psychology with Exeter University.
Most enjoyable career moments (in no particular order)
- Being a big sports fan, one of my most enjoyable moments was seeing the GB Women’s Hockey team lift gold in Rio – knowing that I had worked with them to apply my research. Having worked with them to develop the psychological beliefs that lead to improved performance and resilience, it was no surprise to see these qualities play out in that incredible final.
- One of my favourite projects in one that I am currently working on with the Royal Marines. This large scale cultural reboot involved visiting their training base in Lympstone, interviewing Marines at all levels and proposing interventions that can ultimately make a real difference to Royal Marines in the field.
- One of my proudest moments was to have a publication as lead author. This research forms a body of work (there are 2 other publications in the review process) that underpins our TRIBE methodology. You can read more about the publication here
- PhD in high performing teams from University of Sussex
- MSc in Social and Organisational Psychology from University of Exeter
- BSc in Psychology with Economics from University of Exeter
- Test user Personality and Ability (formally known as Level A & B)
- Fully qualified tennis coach