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Being part of a high performing team can feel special and unique. There is a positive energy of being physically, mentally and emotionally part of something larger than yourself.

High performing teams go above and beyond achieving results. Something magical happens when members rely and support one another; each with a vital role to play.

From the outside, we see the outcome; however, there is much more going on beneath the surface to get to the end result. It takes effort, focus and hard work on everyone’s part. It takes a group of people willing to trust one another, to work together and possibly move through some uncomfortable periods to emerge as a high performing team.

The development of the team goes faster with face to face interactions. However, in this global economy, more and more teams are required to operate virtually. Virtual teams lose the physical dimension that can quickly break down barriers. A virtual team has to make an extra effort to engage with one another beyond the conference calls and other formalities. Each member has to be committed to communicating and collaborating so that each voice is heard.

Here are seven practices to get your team on a path to high performance.

  1. Align around a compelling vision – Get people excited about what could be, why it’s important and how they can be a part of something special and specific. Aligning around a common vision helps people get engaged, committed and able to rally against a set of ambitious goals
  1. Craft a Plan that Creates Urgency to Move to Action – Plans provide teams a road map with the structure for the way forward. Milestones and targets help team members work on multiple aspects of the vision with the knowledge of how their efforts fit into the larger plan. A plan provides the structure so as new information becomes available, the team can make adjustments.
  2. Define Team Principles and Agreements and Clarify Roles – Team agreements and role definition actually provide boundaries for people to be empowered in the areas they can influence. With empowerment, members can hold themselves personally accountable for their actions.
  1. Build Mutual Trust and Respect – Mutual trust is earned with the consistency of actions over time and the willingness to make it work for the team. Trust is developed by sharing and exchanging information, and doing what you say you are going to do. Too often people jump into the work, without talking about what it will take for each member to feel there is high trust within the team.
  2. Open the Dialogue to Have Crucial Conversations – High performing teams are willing to take on uncomfortable conversations as they know these very conversations bring creative solutions. They give each other timely feedback that helps each member perform at their best. High performing teams also welcome differences of opinion and diversity of thought. This means an openness to sharing and listening to one another so the best ideas emerge.
  3. Foster Engagement and Top Performance – High performing teams value the work of each person on the team. It’s about both working hard, as well as working smart. People are encouraged to bring their “A” game. And when people get stuck, or find obstacles in the way, they reach out to others for ideas, and inspiration.
  1. Celebrate Successes Along the Way – High performing teams win and lose together. They learn from the experiences. It means celebrating the small stuff; those mundane advancements that tend to get ignored but are the small milestones when celebrated that get people jazzed to do more. While high performing teams work hard, they know the value of celebrating something every day.

Organizational success is driven by team performance. Results are achieved by how people work and collaborate with one another.

How can you help your team better perform?

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