Seven characteristics of a high performing team

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Nowadays, it’s not enough to build teams in organization that are more or less efficient. They need to meet the task. For that reason, as Ken Blanchard says in his book Leading at a Higher Level, we need to have high performing teams. A lot of this has to do with coaching as a methodology, as according to Blanchard the first thing that a high performing team needs to have is a clear goal. Once the goal is clear, seven essential characteristics have been identified. They create the acronym PERFORM:

1. Purpose and values

A high performing team shares common values and goals. What’s more, they have a clear view of their vision and mission. Without these shared values, the link that brings all members together in harmony, like a well conducted orchestra, is missing. The lack of shared values makes the team go off key.

2. Empowerment

We’ve already talked about the idea that to lead, you need to empower. A high performing team is made up of empowered individuals, who are confident about their abilities, who feel they can work independently, who share information with others without fear, who operate horizontally leaving the person with the best skills to lead in each moment of the project.

3. Relationships and communication

In a high performing team, communication flows freely, individuals listen more than they speak and share thoughts and emotions. Members don’t have to be “friends”, but true colleagues who support, know and respect one another. Difference is valued as a source of creativity and new options.

4. Flexibility

As I’ve said before in the previous points, a team of these characteristics is flexible; they exchange roles, they respect opinions. They are people with a wide and flexible mental map, which enables them to exchange roles when necessary and incorporate the vision of others without their ego feeling hurt.

5. Optimum productivity

A team of these characteristics wouldn’t make sense if it didn’t give extraordinary results. They are people who are immersed in a process of continuous improvement, who comply with deadlines and objectives, and don’t settle for doing “just enough.”

6. Recognition and appreciation

Feedback is essential in order for a high performing team to work. We cannot progress in a project if we don’t have any feedback on what is happening and recognition for our efforts and contributions. This feedback must come from both colleagues themselves, the leader or manager, as well as the organization.

7. Morale

When the six previous points are in place, the morale of the team climbs naturally. People feel motivated and encouraged in their daily tasks. Each member feels part of something more, but at the same time, their role is an essential cog in making that machine operate.

A leader who operates with coaching skills will encourage his/her colleagues to work like this and will accompany them on the process to make sure this is possible.

What type of leader are you? Or what is your team like?