Five habits for high-performing teams

High-performing teams are more important than ever in our challenging and rapidly changing world. This short blog sets out five key habits that can help develop and sustain them.

High-performing teams are essential for success

If we consider the evolutionary process, humans were never the biggest, strongest or fastest animal on the planet. The main reason we prospered in a ‘hostile environment’ is our unique ability to intelligently work together and outsmart competitor species.

This insight is valid for our modern lives and work. The ‘collective intelligence’ of a group can be greater than the sum of its parts i.e. the combined intelligence of the individuals in a team. Thankfully, we no longer need to compete against sabre-tooth tigers but working as a team will make it easier to innovate, learn from mistakes, succeed and thrive.

Team Power crisis – is it hard to create a high-performing team?

Our fast-changing world means that organisations need to be better than ever at innovating quickly if they want to say ahead of the competition. But the conditions of the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world make it difficult for individuals to function well, and teams to perform at their best.

Given this rapid state of flux in our societies, the question many businesses and organisations ask themselves is: ‘how can our people and teams succeed and thrive?’

I am going to help you answer that question by showing five simple and practical habits you can use to help your people and teams succeed and thrive. Let’s start by thinking about how teams work.

Team Power – create high-performing teams in five stages

Climbing a mountain is a great metaphor to help us understand how to create a powerful, effective and well-functioning team. Based on my research and work, there are five stages that high-performing, successful teams must go through to reach the top and achieve their collective goals.

Here is an overview of the five stages, starting from the bottom of the mountain. I have also shared a habit tip for each stage to make it easier to implement them.

high-performing teams

High-performing teams Stage 1 – Me Power Conditioning

Everyone deliberately choosing to work towards being at their best.

Habit 1: Encourage and support everyone in your team to regularly reflect on their helpful and unhelpful lifestyle habits (diet, exercise and sleep etc) and then equip them with knowledge and skills to build more helpful habits. We have created a free tool called the A.P.E. Test to help people with this.

High-performing teams Stage 2 – Community Base Camp

Creating big goals, a strategy and deciding your priorities.

Habit 2: If you are the designated leader of a team, develop a habit of regularly talking about:
– The team’s long-term goal and purpose
– The teams’ immediate priorities
– How individual team members roles and responsibilities are contributing to achieving those priorities

High-performing teams Stage 3 – Group Climbing Support

Everyone should be modelling good behaviour and communicating in a positive way that helps to get things done.

Habit 3: Everyone choosing to care for everyone else as if they were a member of their own family.

High-performing teams Stage 4 – Campfire Discussion

Coaching people and helping them to grow, improve and deliver results.

Habit 4: Team members should be supported weekly or bi-weekly on a one-to-one basis to build better habits for health, happiness and performance.

High-performing teams Stage 5 – Group Climbing Review

Planning to collectively step-back, reflect and adjust priorities accordingly – helping the team achieve its goals.

Habit 5: Build in time to the team calendar to collectively reflect on team performance (maybe monthly or every six weeks).

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