The essential ingredient for building high performing teams

The essential ingredient for building high performing teams

Each organization needs teams able to deliver results in a predictable, repeatable, scalable way. The generation of such results will bring a sense of fulfillment to team members. If the first three requirements (predictability, repeatability, and scalability) can be put into practice through managers, the third requirement passes into the leaders’ territory.

Even if both management and leadership are done by means of communication, there is an ingredient that makes the difference in both situations and which is essential for building up high performing teams. What is it?

Before naming this essential ingredient, it’s good to list the features that high performing teams have in common, as described by numerous studies by large consulting firms:

  • The team has a clear mission, and the specialist skills of team members are complementary. The cognitive diversity matters a lot.
  • The team members focus on 3-5 skills that are already very high in the team and create excellent results.
  • Each member of the team contributes to the best of his/her abilities of the projects.
  • Feedback is given in real-time and has the role of generating performance, not frustration.
  • Team members act with a growth mindset, for the team and each of team member altogether.

So, what is the essential ingredient to building up a highly performing team? The clear answer is TRUST.

Trust is a value. For it be present in the everyday life of the organization, it needs to be „translated” into actions that then become part of the work ethics of each team member. It is leadership’s mission to make it happen.

Here are the actions that a leader can take to bring to life this TRUST mission.

1)     Be a role model: Trust needs champions, team members who constantly express this value in everything they do. Be the first to build confidence in the team, demonstrating that it is an important value that you hold and appreciate. Do not surround yourself with „yes-men”. Accept diversity even if it is difficult to work with people with cognitive preferences other than personal ones.

2)     Be precise: People will follow you in building trust if they see you executing and delivering this promise. In time and with precision. Be careful not to use double standards.

3)     Get involved: As a leader, you can build trust by cultivating a collaborative and open-minded way of working. Engage all your colleagues and generate results-oriented consultation with them to build confidence. Also consider the opinions that seem peripheral. Bring the opposite ideas to the same space. Ideas debate has two enemies: avoiding tensions and different perspectives, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, personalizing the conflict. By being involved, listen to different opinions and arguments, and direct the debate to ideas. After the debate, it is necessary to support the conclusion; the team needs an accepted direction.

Read also Creating a new organizational culture based on self-leadership