What is the secret to a high performing team?

A team exists to produce results, and the main reason of this team`s existence is to deliver the expected outcome. We can choose the best people around for every position in the team and when they start working together they may or may not create the Dream Team.  Studies have shown that there are other factors that affect the team performance more than each individual`s expertise on the specific position.

A team is much more than the sum of its members, the team is a system that has its own energy and rules. What a group of people that work together for the same purpose create is much more than their individual contribution for the common goal. Every team is a system that has its written and unwritten rules, a certain communication pattern and “Their way” of doing things ( Phil Sandahl, www.teamcoachinginternational.com).

This understanding of a team considers it as a system where every part (individual) has an impact on the team (system) as a whole and vice versa. In the same way it is very important to mention that a team is nothing like a mechanical system, it is most of all a living system, flexible and changing over time. This living system has the ability to adapt to changes and generate its own solutions.

What happens in a mechanical system when a piece is not functioning well, is that we can replace it with another one and expect from this system to work again perfectly. Meanwhile in a living system, the problem is never isolated in one person (piece) but it also impacts the system as a whole, that`s why intervention in the system as a whole when trying to address a certain issue is more efficient and gets sustainable results in comparison to ready to go solutions directed to specific members only.

When it comes to definition of a high performing team, what we expect is a team that achieves its goals, in order for this team to maintain this status it takes them to create sustainable results over time while being proactive in generating new solutions for every challenge they may face.

"It takes more than PRODUCTIVITY for a team to be high performing, it also takes POSITIVITY"

( this term was first introduced by Daniel Goleman in his Emotional Intelligence studies, www.teamcoachinginternational.com).

Even the most high-performing teams, when working under stress and in an environment that lacks trust, respect and communication there comes an inevitable moment of burnout. It is crucial to identify the team energy with all of its factors such as : communication , respect, trust , a sense of belonging, diversity , optimism and good conflict management. A team that values its positivity the same way as it values the productivity is a team that is more likely to create sustainable results.

A high performing team is a team that asks the question:  How can we make it better?

It is proactive, always ready to adapt to changes and create better results.

There are no ready to go solutions for a team to become high performing, it all starts with the team as a system that reveals to itself.Everyone in the team should be aware of the system they have created with its written and unwritten rules, name it , read it and acknowledge it. Only after getting to know the system, the team will be ready to identify the peaks and the valleys, the team strength and use them to leverage the team weaknesses.  A high performing team is not a destination,it is more an approach to challenges and change, it is the way a team does things to produce results while keeping a high team positivity!


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