Teamwork… Getting to the
“high performance” kind

Superb teamwork is driven by a Management Team that models it. When employees see it, especially the results, they will embrace the required behavior. If your Management Team fails to serve as role model, you may get by, but you’ll never get to high performance.

When you see a high performance team at work, the characteristic that is most visible is the ease of communication and the obvious respect for what each member has to say. But this doesn’t mean polite chit-chat. They can challenge each other and table-pound and not one of them takes it personally. It’s all about business, and they’ve checked their egos at the door.

A High Performance Team Must Develop a Code of Ethics

• There is no “I” in the word team.

• Check your ego at the door.

• Ideas will not be criticized until fully explained, and then only in the presence of all team members.

• Once a consensus is reached, it will be supported by each and every team member.

• If an action is not going to be taken by a team member, that individual will notify the team.

• Team members in conflict will attempt to resolve their differences outside the team if at all possible.

Over the last 20 years, my clients have helped me develop a valuable list of ingredients required for high performance teamwork.

Ingredients for High Performance Teamwork

Over the last 20 years, my clients have helped me develop the list of ingredients required for high performance teamwork. Here is that list:

• Respect (Interestingly, team members do not have to like each other… it’s nice when they do… but not required).

• Commitment (Shared commitment is the key to achievement, paving the way for high performance).

• Mutual Values (Teams need to identify what these are… shared values create energy).

• Mutual Goals (Clearly articulated… this is a given).

• Capitalize on Each Other’s Strengths (We all have shortcomings… assignments should take advantage of strengths).

• Definition of Roles (Not only does each team member know his own role, but he also knows the role of each other team member).

• Access to All Relevant Information (Withholding information is a no-win situation).

• Develop an Esprit de Corps (Look for ways to promote team spirit).

• Lead by Example (If you’re a parent, you know what this means… same thing applies to adults… we need to walk our talk).

• Trust (A crucial ingredient… there are two parts:
(1) you bring competence to the table, and
(2) you honor all your commitments, be they big or small).

• Accountability (Members have to be able to count on each other… you deliver for your teammates).

• Pro-Active (Opposite of reactive… each member is looking for initiatives).

• Passion (This is the contagious energizer… being around passionate people is uplifting and stimulating).

• Humor (Allow it… make room for it… greases the skids when things get tense).