The 8 Characteristics of High-Performance Teams

8 Characteristics of High Performance Teams

High performance teams out perform all other configurations of teams by up to 80%.  These teams share certain characteristics such as trust, respect, accountability and vulnerability. To achieve the kind of results that your team is capable of takes work. Having a facilitator get you on the right track is the first step to putting the following 8 characteristics into practice with your team.  To find out ways to bring this work to your team, in-office, on your schedule click here: 

  1. Purpose and Priorities
    There is a clear purpose for the team’s existence.  A mission for the team has been defined and is understood and accepted by everyone. A process for prioritizing objectives that are critical to the mission, has been defined.
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
    There are clear expectations about the roles played by each team member and how they fit into the larger picture. When action is needed, clear assignments are made, accepted, and carried out. Work is distributed fairly among team members. 
  3. Communication
    Team members feel free to express their feelings on the tasks and on the group’s operation. There are no hidden agendas. The members use power listening techniques such as questioning, paraphrasing, summarizing, and connecting to encourage and clarify ideas.  The team members feel free to give and receive both acknowledging feedback and requests for negotiated changes in behavior.
  4. Style Diversity
    The team has a broad spectrum of team-player types including members who emphasize such things as: attention to task, goal setting, group process, and team evaluations.
  5. Civilized Disagreement
    Disagreement exists and is observable, however the team is comfortable with this and shows no signs of avoiding, smoothing over, or suppressing conflict. The team has an identified model for managing conflict.
  6. Complex Decision-Making
    Teams know how to decide which decision-making model to use for the needs of each particular problem. Teams know how to use consensus decision-making for those important decisions that require support from all in order to be successful.
  7. External Relations
    The team spends time developing key outside relationships, mobilizing resources, and building credibility with important players in other parts of the organization. 
  8. Self-Assessment
    The team stops periodically to examine how well it is functioning and what may be interfering with its effectiveness. Team members are comfortable with assessing their individual performance and conducting peer evaluation.