Three steps to a high performance team

skyeteam leadership development

In our experience working with teams across industries, high performance isn’t often about new things, new ideas or new team models.  In many cases, high performance can be boiled down to three fundamental elements.  The high performing teams we work with all do the following:

  1. Apply common sense. Being a high performance team doesn’t have to be rocket science, it is about getting very good at the fundamentals. Don’t over engineer it! Share your experiences of high performing teams and distill the characteristics that made them special. Then apply step 2:

2. Work with focus and discipline.  High performing teams don’t just create a list of characteristics, they  apply the discipline to take an idea and see it through to completion.  To take the time to learn and apply a new habit or skill. In a team environment, high performing teams DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE GOING TO DO.  They hold effective meetings (that start and finish on time) that have a clear purpose (to discuss, to decide etc.) and have the right people in the room (and by that we don’t mean EVERYONE).  They create action plans that ensure that they execute against their goals and hold each other accountable for expectations and standards.  The REGULARLY reflect on what is working and what is not, both processes and team dynamics.

3. Talk to each other, not about each other.  The high performing teams we work with operate with a level of candor that removes the potential barriers to performance.  The team members can talk about the elephants in the room or gorillas in the corner, those sensitive issues that get in the way of success (even when the stakes are high!).  Candor is the modus operandi, and doesn’t mean they always agree, high performing teams learn to ‘fight well’, they disagree (and can do so quite vociferously) and when a decision is made they are all behind it.  Dissent happens in private, the team presents one voice to the rest of the organization.  And more importantly… even after a ‘stand up fight’ relationships remain intact, if not strengthened by the candor and debate.

There you have it, three steps to high performance. What is your next step?