5 Distinguishing Features of High Performing Teams

by Kylee Stone Jun 27,2019

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Putting together a high-performing team isn’t just about tossing together a bunch of fantastic individual contributors and then hoping for the best.

You might as well throw together a few sticks of dynamite, pour oil on it, and then light it. The end result is an explosion. Good or bad, is anyone’s guess.

High performing teams are rare for a reason. They are composed of a number of good qualities, all of which work well together. Like the cogs in a well-oiled machine. High-performing teams require little outside interference and instead set their own team dynamics. When managers chance upon high-performing teams, it’s important to continue to nurture them, without overstepping boundaries, but also without giving them full reign.

Here are 5 characteristics of high performing team characteristics that distinguish them from normal teams.

Also read: 5 Common Teamwork Challenges Every Team Encounters

Diverse Skill Sets

Everyone within a high-performing team does not share the exact same skillsets. Instead, a high-performance team consists of individuals who all bring something different to the table. This is what helps them act like a well-oiled machine. Their skills complement each other and they are able to divvy up tasks between them to ensure it’s a success.

Additionally, one more skill members in a high-performing team share, are that they are quick to absorb knowledge and skills. In case, the ball drops amongst the team, for whatever reason, there are few members who can step up to the plate at short notice and pick up the pace.

Shared Vision

Vision can be a uniting factor. A good team shares the same vision and all the team members commit to working towards and achieving the same goal. High performing teams don’t have space for individual contributors who focus on individual goals at the expense of other organizational goals.

And on the off-chance that they do have individual goals, you will notice that even their individual goals align to the organization’s goals. High-performing teams realize that goal alignment is key to success. They view themselves as an important part of the organization’s rubric.

Also read: 5 Ways To Build Better Teams

Commitment to Quality

High performing teams are committed to delivering excellent results time and time again. They consistently ensure that their work output maintains a certain standard of excellence and they often figure how to achieve through equal task distribution. Also, high performing teams have a fair idea of what they can accomplish and what they cannot. They approach challenges with enthusiasm and also tend to be intuitive problem solvers.

On the rare occasion, they aren’t able to deliver expected results, they will break down the entire process to ensure they do not make the same mistake again.

Open to Feedback

Just because a team is high performing, does not mean they shield themselves against any and all criticism or show a marked reluctance in accepting feedback. In fact, high performing teams keenly listen to criticism and feedback. They take time to digest what is said to them before choosing to apply it or even reject it.

Openness to feedback is a quality that all managers value. When you are open to feedback, you are open to new possibilities and you are open to change.

Also Read: Dump Your Disconnected Reskilling Strategy

Trust and Respect

Members of a high-performing team all have two qualities that make working within a team a breeze. They have a high amount of trust and respect for each other. Trust and respect both go a long way towards helping a team work together better. Team members know they can count on each other, especially in times of distress or crisis. They respect their team member’s abilities and skills and do not believe one skill is superior to the other and believe that skills within a team are ranked on the basis of most to least important.

The qualities of mutual trust and respect create a warm and comfortable working environment where team members feel secure about themselves and the work they are doing.

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Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.

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