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Traits of High Performance Teams

One goal of performance management is to create high performance teams that are motivated and achieve far more than the people in the team could ever do on their own.

A high performance team displays certain traits that are common across whatever area you choose to look at.  They exist within sport, science, industry and business.  The traits demonstrate the power of ‘flow’ and pick out individual details about it.

Flow is the path of least resistance where actions and activities are almost effortless.  When in flow, barriers and obstacles fall away.  This can occur on an individual basis.  You’ve probably experienced it yourself at some point:

  • Time seems to stop.
  • Instead of draining you, whatever you’re doing energises you.
  • There is a sense of excitement.
  • You have incredible focus.

Yet when a team is in flow the effects increase.  This leads to a high performance team:

1. Leadership.

Instead of ‘I tell, you do’ the team members participate in the leadership of the team.  Each team member reflects the purpose and values of the team.  The team members use their skills and experience to solve problems.

2. Decision making.

We make decisions in two ways, reason and intuition.  Both have strengths and weaknesses.  Reason is detailed and slow.  Intuition is sketchy and fast.  Different circumstances require different decision making processes.  High performance teams not only display a balance of both but they also know when each is needed.

3. Communication.

Team communication needs to be open and transparent.  The goals of the team are regularly reflected upon, progress is fed back and problems addressed quickly.  High performance teams recognise that each member communicates differently and use the best communication channel for the information AND the team member.

4. Diversity.

High performance teams embrace the diversity and difference in the team’s collective background and experience.  This leads to many viewpoints and a greater understanding of problems.  High performance teams use this diversity to make better decisions and create solutions faster.

5. Trust.

If everyone in the team is looking over each other’s shoulder, progress is limited.  High performance teams trust in the team as a whole and trusts each team member to perform without fear of failure or accusations of irresponsible behaviour.  The Talent Dynamics Pathway fosters this trust by seeing the value that each team member brings and ensuring they are in the right place at the right time.

6. Conflict.

“It’s not about who is right, it’s about getting it right” is a mantra of Talent Dynamics.  High performance teams deal with any conflict as openly as possible, focusing on the underlying problems and working together to get to a solution as quickly as possible.  Grudges are prevented from building and team morale is strengthened by focusing on resolving the problem.

7. Goals.

High performance teams focus on setting the right targets and ensure that they resonate personally for each team member.  This helps create and reinforce the team identity.  This ‘why?’ question crosses personalities and skills to build commitment and engagement across the team.

8. Roles and Responsibilities.

Each team member understands what they should be doing to demonstrate their commitment to team.  High performance teams have the right skills, in the right place, at the right time.  The team members with the natural strengths take responsibility for what they are good at.  This ensures a natural flow through the team allowing a quick response.

9. Co-ordination.

Effective team members can anticipate what each team member can and will do.  This stems from identifying the strengths and weaknesses within the team and the bonds that exist between team members.  High performance teams can use this characteristic to achieve both efficiency and effectiveness.

10. Atmosphere.

High performance teams are created in and project a positive atmosphere.  This stems from the overall team culture of openness, transparency and trust.  Success is celebrated and failure is explored.  Overall the focus is on helping each team member stay in flow and improve on past results.

One Response to Traits of High Performance Teams

  1. Richard Abbott says:

    Very helpful

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