Time and time again, when you read articles in any business magazine or pick up any business book focused on leadership, management, or starting a company there is always a theme around talent. Some of the biggest lessons learned of leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs are the mistakes they made in managing their talent. At the end of the day it is the people we work with or employ that can make or break our companies.

There is a wide spectrum of how organizations approach the concept of building high performing teams. However, so many companies fall short due to the managers that are in the middle building and leading these teams. Most mistakes in building high performing teams can be boiled down to simply human nature: We all want see the good in people; for the most part we choose to avoid conflict; and finally the status quo is always an easier path.

High performing teams have several key components that are required. They start with the quality of empathy. Which is the ability for each member of the team being able to understand the perspective of other team members. The willingness to explore an opinion is important. You don’t want team members that are dismissive. The second quality is listening. In order to be empathetic, you first have to listen to others points of view. In this day and age of sound bites and 140 characters, listening is becoming a lost art. It requires focus, which means putting down your devices and tuning into the conversation. The third quality is a bias for action. Each member of the team must be wiling to act. The willingness to act requires teams to compromise and be willing to test and learn from their actions. The fourth quality is willingness to fail, but more important a willingness to learn from that failure. No team will take perfect actions, but action is always preferred over inaction. One way to drive towards a bias for action is having an willingness to fail. Learning’s from those failures will often bring the teams closer and enable better decision making in the future. Now lets dig into each of these qualities a bit more to understand how they work.

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2 Comments

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  1. Krishna N

    Thanks for sharing very good article on developing high performance team.

    I would defer on fourth Point. The fourth point would “willing to be successful”. Most of the team members leave or become passive when project is in  critical / finishing stage.

    High performance team has  capability  to hang around and push the things to make it successful. Hope you agree with me

    Regards,

    Krishna

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  2. Marc Kermisch Post author

    Krishna, you bring up a great point. A high performing team is committed to seeing their initiatives through and have a high sense of loyalty to the team. The thought of leaving just prior to a go-live or during a critical stage, would not cross their minds. A goal of a leader to ensure that the team feels this level of commitment, to talk about it openly and share what the impacts would be if a particular team member left.

    Regards,

    Marc

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