The real secret to developing High Performing Teams

Overtime, there has been much written about how to develop high performing teams. Most of the literature focuses on the Tuckman Model, which outlines that teams develop through from forming, norming, storming and performing. Once the team can perform, and with some adjourning, they can further develop, and grow from performing into high performing.

Furthermore, if the leader is willing to take a team on that journey through the highs and lows, and is willing to provide clear vision, exceptional engagement and high levels of empowerment, the result could be a high performing team. Winner. Leadership is the key word, here. And with strong leadership comes an understanding of both the measurable outcomes required of the team, as well as how well the team members are connecting with the vision, communicating with themselves and others, and caring for their fellow team members (3 C’s of high performing teams).

Let’s dig deeper.

There are two elements of any team, the outputs, and the relationships required to achieve those outputs.

Note the The Guinea Group’s High Performing Teams (HPT) Model:

Activity based
Difficult to measure
People based
Measured through...KPIs
Harm factor
Leadership opportunities...Goals
Systems Leadership
No harm
Behaviour charter

Let’s not try and fill a blog post up with the stuff that you have heard before about goals, visions, and values.

Let’s be smart and let’s give you some tools that you can use to understand and improve team performance.

Here is the strategy … one, be able to clearly articulate what you team does. What do you measure them on as a leader? What are their outputs? Some leaders struggle with this one, and if you refer to the model, outputs are about KPIs, targets, goals (sales targets for example) and anything else that your team does, that you can measure. They are very specific, they are very data driven, and they are based on objective measure. So, if I was to measure your team’s performance, how would I measure it?

Two, and this is the kicker, how does your team work together? How are the relationships in the team? And, yes, this is a tough one to measure. You really have to be thinking about how team members impact on each other, here, and what behaviours you want to see and what behaviours are unacceptable. If outputs are what you do, relationships are how you do it! How does your team achieve what they need to, and more importantly, how do they get on?

As a leader, you don’t have a high performing team, if your team is in turmoil, your team members are hurting, or the team relationships are suboptimal.

I can tell you, from experience, that teams that have high outputs and low relationships are not high performing teams. They are teams ready to fail, once the key person leaves, because they have been gossiped about, or not valued one time too many. Or the 2IC goes off on stress leave, due to a relationship issue that he can’t deal with.

Here are my three top tips for creating high performing teams, based on my model:

  1. Do no harm – as a leader, you need to model behaviour that cares for people (have robust conversations, though have them professionally, and don’t be abusive, aggressive, or abrupt)
  2. Find a way to set relationship expectations – like a team charter, or similar, that creates the ‘ground rules’ and the accountability framework
  3. Systematise your leadership – create systems that help you lead, like schedule team and individual meetings, team charter reviews, or any other relationship based activity that shows your team you are serious about them, and the fact that high relationship levels equal high performance

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

UPGRADE your Mindset
UPSKILL your Leadership
UPLIFT your Teams

About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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