Productive teams are the lifeblood of many organizations. How a team functions and behaves can have a direct impact on everything from sales and customer service, to operational costs and share prices. For this reason, it is imperative that team members are able to work together effectively and efficiently.

Working on a team—especially a high-performance team—requires specific behaviors and attitudes that might not come naturally to a lot of people. Unfortunately, despite the important role that teams play in organizations, the value of team development is often underestimated.

In order for a group of people to come together as a high-performing team, there must be a culture of trust, respect, and accountability. The team leader and each team member needs to commit to team objectives and show that commitment through their behaviors, attitudes, and actions.

Each person should be willing to invest in the team in the following ways:

  • Use his or her energy, talents, and efforts to achieve the team’s goals
  • Fulfill his or her individual roles and responsibilities
  • Use defined processes and mechanisms that enable the team to function at peak performance
  • Support each other, follow-through on commitments, and take ownership of the team’s success

The value—evident in the results—of this level of team performance to the business can’t be understated. That is why it is so important for an organization to provide development opportunities for intact and new teams. Any team development initiative should target three primary characteristics of teamwork that, when combined, can make a team unstoppable.

1.   Understanding Roles

Individual contribution is a key facet of exceptional teamwork. Each individual needs to know what his or her role is on the team, how they fit and why they matter. Every person on the team should know every other person’s role as well.

When a team understands the value and purpose of each team member, and how they all fit together, it helps team members work cohesively and support each other as the team works toward the ultimate goal. Individual attributes and contributions that the entire team needs to be aware of include:

  • Talents, skills, and experience
  • Personality and style
  • Preferences and needs
  • Values and beliefs
  • Goals and interests
  • Roles and assignments

2. Working Together

Team working togetherWorking together may seem like an obvious component of teamwork, yet many teams struggle to join forces and function as an integrated unit.

Teams that work at peak performance have the ability to work together in the following ways:

  • Negotiating overarching agreements and commitments
  • Increasing synergy and creativity within the group
  • Coordinating the completion of tasks and processes
  • Collaborating to solve problems and make decisions
  • Communicating and sharing information
  • Building camaraderie and cohesiveness
  • Celebrating milestones and successes
  • Modifying plans when appropriate

3. Sharing Clarity of Purpose

For a team to be effective it is necessary to make sure that the goals are clear. Clarifying expectations of team members and insuring everyone’s ability to add value to and drive results is also important.

Each member of the team needs to agree on and be clear on these aspects of the team’s purpose:

  • Shared goals and mission (What?)
  • Shared processes (How?)
  • Customer and user satisfaction
  • Relationships with key partners and allies
  • Challenges and obstacles to resolve

When all three of these key characteristics of teamwork are combined and balanced, a team is better equipped to work at peak performance.

Ensuring that each of these facets is part of an impactful team development program can be a challenge. CMOE understands exactly what it takes to develop strong, effective teams.

Our High-Performance Teamwork workshop provides teams and team leaders with the opportunity to learn and implement the skills and behaviors that support these three areas. High-Performance Teamwork is designed to give teams the foundation and tools they need to address and overcome common team challenges and work together to achieve desired results.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your organization’s teams meet their full potential and function at peak performance.

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About the Author
CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.

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