What High Performing Teams Do Differently

What High Performing Teams Do Differently

Researchers have discovered that high performing teams do things differently. From the way that they connect, to how they communicate, along with how psychologically safe they feel in the workplace. We examine what high performing teams do differently and how leaders can develop those key traits.

Why high performing teams?

Navigating an ever changing global landscape requires effective leadership and high performing teams. The rate of change in our VUCA world is unparalleled. High performance is critical in today’s environment. But what is a high performing team?

What is a high performing team?

A high performing team works towards the same goal. They’re committed collaborators with a shared vision and values. They bring their skills, knowledge and behaviours to the working arena to create alignment. They’re engaged. Together they work towards a shared objective. Problem solving is part of their journey. Then they reach their goals. So what sets high performing teams apart?

Characteristics of high performing teams

You’re probably wondering what makes an outstanding team. Great question. At Koru we’ve been working with exceptional teams around the world for over 15 years (you can see some of them here). What we’ve learned is that high performing teams have some pretty exceptional characteristics.

  • Growth mindset
  • Shared values
  • Collaboration
  • Psychological safety
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Social awareness
  • They manage conflict creatively

Studies examining outstanding teams looked at what they were doing differently. What they found was pretty consistent. What they all have in common are;

  • relatedness
  • autonomy
  • competence

As a leader, how do you work with this to build an incredible team?

How to create high performing teams

Inspirational leaders recognise that coaching a team to achieve exceptional results takes time and effort. Getting to know the ingredients that make up effective teams is a crucial starting point for developing and sustaining high performance. In fact, the way you build your team can make or break performance. So, what do you need to consider?

  • Firstly, mindset is key. Creating a growth mindset culture is the foundation of high performance. Mindset begins with an organisation’s leaders.
  • Secondly, you have a clear purpose.
  • Communication. Keep it open, transparent and clear.
  • Civility. Respect is a key component of effective teams. The way you communicate as a team is critical. Civility is the cornerstone to sustainable, high performance. Researchers found that mastering civility is critical. Researcher Christine Porath notes,  “Civility pays. Those who are seen as civil are more likely to be viewed as leaders, and generally are more likely to perform well and succeed.” Accordingly, you have no bandwidth for leading by humiliation.
  • You recognise diversity in all its forms is crucial for a high performing team.
  • After that, you’ll want to make sure that there’s psychological safety.
  • Moreover, conflict is managed constructively. You see it as an opportunity to learn. You don’t fear it.
  • Next, consider creating a shared vision that the team feels motivated to achieve.
  • Embracing failure as the route to success. Specifically, you don’t micro manage.
  • Another key point is fostering creativity along with allowing space to experiment.
  • As a leader, you nurture a culture of continuous learning. Furthermore, you use feedback as a learning vehicle. Blame culture is eschewed. Instead, you learn from mistakes.
  • Lastly, you celebrate success.

Want to discover more about how to create a high performing team? Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you and share what we’ve learned.

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