Just assembling a group of people together does not make a team. Generally, positive team experiences are a rarity. If you have been part of a high performing team, you are probably waiting to replicate the same team situation. The way to building a high performing, predictable team is to understand the common characteristics of teams that consistently achieve exceptional results.
Create a common vision and purpose
The purpose of the team should be clear, common, and compelling. If the purpose is vague and undefined, the team will be left trying to figure out what success is supposed to look like and are unlikely to be misaligned. A common purpose holds the team together even during turbulent times that are inevitable. A clear purpose gives people reason to commit and engage. Creating this alignment to the common purpose is one of the most important roles of leadership. There are four essential conditions for team alignment.
An effective leader will ensure the team are clear of:
- The benefits of alignment for the whole team
- Team purpose and goals are relevant to the needs of the team
- Team goals that are valuable for everyone and aligned to the business goals
- Team goals should be achievable and realistic
Clear roles: Every team member is clear of their own role as well as the role of other team members. Achieving clarity in goals is possible through discussion, effective communication and collaboration.
A Competent leader: To be a high performing team, as a competent leader needs to have a vision, commitment and effectively communicates with leadership presence that commands respect and trust from the team. Refer to our previous articles on the Qualities of a High Performing leader for further information.
Leadership mindset: There are five qualities that make up the mindset of good leaders.
- They appreciate the intelligence of other team members
- They use the diversity among team members as a strength
- They see team leadership as an opportunity to serve the team
- They see power as something to be shared
- They understand that teams are achieving a team goal
A leader will engage the team in effective processes: All teams effectively use processes in place for solving issues, making decisions and collaborating. High-performance teams can work together to identify, map, and then perfect their processes as they go. They constantly evaluate the effectiveness of key processes, asking questions such as:
- What are we doing?
- What are we learning?
- How can we do it better?
Strong relationships: A leader can foster building strong relationships with their team members through engaging in effective conversations that creates a collaborative work environment. A leader sets the scene as the environment that commands respect, understanding, courtesy and trust.
Communication: A leader also sets the scene to ensure rapid, clear, timely, accurate communication is a characteristic of his or her team. High-performance teams waste very little time on misunderstanding or confusion.
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