Who Knows What Makes Teams High Performing?

In Session Four of our leadership series, my participants in Bonita Springs, Florida focused on teamwork. Watching them do activities that take them through the stages of team growth is almost as much fun as participating! It’s amazing at how much we learn about our work teams just by reviewing Bruce Tuckman’s famous Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing model.

We started with an activity which really proves the value of teams. We stopped here to pay homage to Ken Blanchard’s great advice: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Then we moved on to discuss characteristics of high performing teams. The group I worked with this week did a fantastic job of listing the characteristics – they have a great understanding of what it takes to make high performing teams, high performing.

Though many great people have given us lists of characteristics that make teams perform at phenomenal levels, the folks in my class had their own opinions. Here are the highlights of their view of what makes teams successful in their work environment.

  1. Purpose – everyone on the team must understand the purpose and share common goals
  2. Great Leadership – the leader sets the example
  3. Encouragement – team members are supportive and respectful of one another
  4. Enthusiasm, passion, and positive attitudes – all leading to high morale
  5. Accountability – to each other and to the organization
  6. Focused, determined, hard-working – dedicated to their mission
  7. Clear roles but different skill sets that use the strengths of each person
  8. Trust – among team members and of leaders
  9. Flexible – open-minded, humble, objective and willing to take risks
  10. Equality – the needs of the team are more important than the needs of the individual

Wow. They blew me away with number ten – I seldom have participants that include synergy at the start of the session.

I think they did a great job! Do you agree?

Lorna Kibbey

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