In this article, I share 10 characteristics of a high-performing team. However, these team behaviours don't come by chance, but are the consequence of team building.
In 5 Steps to Forming a Team, I wrote about a new job and building a new team. After periods of conflict and polarization have passed, we begin to see some essential team behaviours emerge.
Stick with me and I will share 10 essential behaviours of a high-performance team.
10 Characteristics of a High-Performance Team
How fortunate I am to be surrounded by a great team. Here are the essential team behaviours I see when team cohesion is strong:
Awareness: understanding the big picture
Seeing what’s around us is important. But situational awareness—understanding the bigger picture—is even more significant, since it leads to better decision-making. Understand this. Understand the overall aims and interests of the business.
Belief: knowing what you can achieve together
The high-performance team believes it can meet commitments and deadline together. They believe in each other's ability, embrace diversity, and trust one another.
Challenge: not settling for the status quo
The high-performance team challenges things as they are and works collaboratively to transforms the business. We aim to be different!
Communicative: building relationships that work
The team spends time getting to know each other. It creates personal connections. The high performing team realizes that communication can make or break the team.
Focus: setting goals
Clear and measurable goals give direction to the team. The team works in unison to meet common goals. The high-performance team know where it is heading. And, it understands the difficulties ahead.
Honesty: creating an environment built on trust
Team members are open and honest with each other. The high-performance team aims to create an environment where people are comfortable to speak openly.
Motivation: succeeding together
A positive outlook and approach to team work makes for a more fulfilling and effective job. The high-performance team wants to succeed.
Responsibility: getting on with the job
Taking responsibility is crucial in any team. People take control because they are confident and realize their efforts influence decisions and outcomes.
Optimism: belief in the team
Positive thinking is quite possibly the most important behaviour of the high-performance team. It’s about having a can do attitude.
Enthusiasm: get stuck in
Enthusiastic people usually bring these behaviours together. The high-performance team takes responsibility for its actions and believes in what it is doing.
Lazy Leaders Recognize Great Teams
The world is divided into people who do things and people who get the credit. – Dwight Morrow
Dwight Morrow’s quotation is true to a point. Lousy leaders may take credit for the team’s work—and in turn, their manager all the way to the top. But the lazy leader always acknowledges and recognizes what the team has achieved.
Did Isambard Kingdom Brunel build bridges? Certainly, he was credited for building them. But the truth is he couldn’t have done it without the help of engineers, masons, smiths, and labourers.
Indeed, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which spans the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, is often credited to Brunel, but was built to a design by William Henry Barlow and John Hawkshaw after Brunel’s death.
Everyone's contribution is necessary, and every contribution to the team is important. The lazy leader never takes this for granted.
Great success comes from high-performance teams. And, great teams all boast these essential team behaviours.
What other essential team behaviours would you include in this list? You are welcome to share your experience in the comments.