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Commitment. Motivation. Diversity. HIgh-performance. Trust and respect. A shared common purpose. These are just some of the characteristics of great, high-performance teams. 

And they’re essential for the growth and success of your business.

High-performing teams are made up of diverse personalities who use their different strengths, perspectives, and skills to be better, do better, and create better work. They have a different mindset to traditional teams, typically focused on innovation, collaboration, and achieving challenging goals. By using their collective talents and aligning their efforts, high-performing teams consistently beat benchmarks and set new standards of excellence for team performance.

Take a closer look at the four main differences between high-performing and regular teams. 

 

1. High-Performing Teams Value Differences

High-performing teams are diverse and made up of differing personalities. These differences force team members to broaden their views and take into account the alternative perspectives of others. Members rely on effective communication, want a strong feedback culture, and thrive on sharing new ideas and collaborating together on innovative solutions. 

Personality diversity helps provide the competitive advantage organizations need to succeed in today’s ever-changing world.

Traditional teams, on the other hand, are usually hired based on a cultural match and common characteristics, so it’s easier for people to fit in and feel comfortable. However, if it’s excellence you’re after, being too comfortable isn’t ideal because it doesn’t stimulate out-of-the-box thinking or creativity. Team members should feel comfortable being uncomfortable.

In addition, because of the lack of diversity, you’ll probably find yourself missing out on some of the important personality traits or key characteristics your team needs to be a successful team.

 

2. High-Performing Teams Know Their Driving Purpose

High-performing teams have a clear common goal and understand the important role they play in the bigger picture of their organization and team dynamic. They connect to their ‘why,’ with everyone believing in and working together to achieve team goals. 

Members are typically close-knit and driven to excel, outperform, and overcome barriers or challenges in achieving success at the team level rather than only focusing on individual performance.

Traditional teams often lack a unified mission that drives them to want to succeed. They can quickly turn dysfunctional without their North Star–or sense of purpose–guiding the way. 

Striving for better or the need to excel is often missing because just ‘being present’ is believed to be good enough.

 

3. High-Performing Teams Have Clear Expectations

Each person in a high-performing team has specific responsibilities, deliverables, and deadlines, which together help the team achieve its goals as well as organizational goals. 

While individual team members often have multiple skill sets and broader, more project-based job descriptions, everyone embraces accountability, alignment, and ownership. It’s critical there are clear processes and procedures in place for individuals to follow.

Regular teams often place blame on others or other departments when something goes wrong. This is usually because there are unclear business processes in place, leading to confusion and frustration. 

Added to this, job descriptions are often traditional and static and unable to keep up with the new technologies, advancements, and challenges of the modern workplace.

 

4. High-Performing Teams Have a Foundation of Psychological Safety

High-performance work teams take risks and feel empowered to push the boundaries and experiment with different solutions. They enjoy creating strong relationships with each other, built on the foundations of mutual trust, respect, and open and honest lines of communication via productive and constructive feedback loops.

Working together as a team is fun, leading to greater employee engagement, job satisfaction, and team morale.

The opposite is true for traditional type of teams, who are typically risk-averse and anxious about failing. Disruptive and unhealthy workplace conflict creates unstable working conditions and unhappy, demotivated employees.

 

Take Your Organization to the Next Level

High-performing teams take time and effort to develop, but it’s worth the sacrifice. Ultimately, they’re far more impactful and productive than traditional teams can ever be. 

And once they’re set up, it doesn’t stop there. Even after helping your team create a foundation of purpose, clarity, and psychological safety, continuous improvement and evaluation of how your team is functioning is critical for success. 

With our High-Performing Teams Program, we can help you prepare your team, build a foundational framework, and create an action plan to ensure the momentum continues. Connect with one of our experts to learn more.

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