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Building High Performing Teams

A high performing team is not just a group of people who have learned to cooperate with one another.  True teams have a shared sense of commitment, a compelling mission, and strong values and culture by which they lead and perform. These organizational philosophies vary from place to place, but working toward a common purpose is critical to the team’s success. 

Ask any manager what they look for most when hiring on a candidate and they will tell you it is the ability to be an effective team player.  High performing teams hold themselves accountable at both the individual and team level. Team members count on each other to complete assigned tasks with an appropriate level of quality and within the time frame agreed upon.

Individual team members are the key to team success. In order to become a high performing team, each team player must participate fully by committing to the following guiding principles: 

Define clarity of purpose and set expectations. When all members of the team have one common goal, it is much easier to assign tasks and establish time frames and deadlines. Also, clear and direct expectations sharpen the focus and lessen the chance for division.

Commit to cooperation and thoughtful consideration of other members. Strong and successful teams are not only cooperative, but considerate.  It is perfectly fine for a team member to make an alternate suggestion provided it is presented in a way that is constructive and positive. 

Embrace the collective. Highly effective teams understand that every member brings specific technical and interpersonal skills to a task or project and what may be the best role for them on one project, may not be the most optimum role in another.   

Build camaraderie. The best way to tighten the bonds of the team is to lift its members.  If there is a common respect among all team members, these differences can be used as advantages. 

Celebrate success and commemorate the journey. When a great project has been successfully completed, it is important for all members to celebrate. Even a casual get together can strengthen the bonds of the team members and gives them even more motivation to successfully complete their next task!

This article was published in The Training Connection, Inc.'s January 2016 Newsletter.

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