For most of us, life is based on team work in one form or another. Whether it’s within our family, community, classroom, sport or work, we are often a member of a collective of individuals working together. The concept of team even comes down to the simplest unit, the husband and wife team. And our experience of life, work and play therefore depends on our performance not just as individuals, but more often, as a team member.
As leaders, our primary task is to ensure that the team is performing at it’s best. That way, the results are achieved for the team members and for the club, household or business. Simple right!? Of course not, as most leaders know, this is a challenging journey that requires the combination of technical, emotional, logical and spiritual skills in order to achieve high performance.
Before I continue further, let’s define the main term here, High Performing Teams (HPT). What does that look like? To keep it simple, let me bullet point some of the characteristics of a HPT, and you can then gauge whether your team is ticking the boxes;
- Communication flows easily and openly
- Goals and targets are clear and often met
- Values and beliefs are shared, and commonly agreed
- Trust and support is felt by all
- Conflict is accepted and resolved without toxicity or damage
- Acceptable behaviour is agreed and respected
- Non negotiable deliverables are set and respected
- Self-regulating and autonomous behaviour is the norm
- A strong feeling of energy, creativity and positivity is present
- Everyone is accessing their strengths, and getting training to overcome their weaknesses
- There is an excellent balance between technical and emotional intelligence
- Leadership traits are based on mutual encouragement rather than dominance
As you read this list, your either thinking “great, we’ve got this” or your now calling someone to get some help. Because without these characteristics, the goals and outcomes you desire as a leader, business owner or parent, are going to be very hard to achieve.
And here’s the interesting part readers, most business owners and leaders focus on targets, skills, tasks and processes. Many companies fail to train their leaders on this subject matter, and choose instead to focus on training which relates to product output, rather than human behaviour. A 2016 Gallup poll found a shocking 82% of executives aren’t very good at leading people. Gallup estimated that this lack of leadership capability costs corporations up to $550 billion annually. The good news is, the solution is simple. Focus on having a training program within your organisation or even for yourself which teaches you about leadership and how to create high performing team members.
To give you a little head start, here are some of the techniques I train the leaders that work with me or how to create a HPT culture. Through workshops I run, and through the one on one Effortless Leadership Program ™, I teach them the following;
- Understand how people create reality and interpret events differently
- Learn the different ways people communicate
- Learn about emotional intelligence
- Master influential body language
- Be aware of what rapport actually means
- Create a coaching culture within your organisation
- Have several simple goal setting and decision making models that you use consistently with your team
- Communicate in a manner which is Towards goals rather than Away from issues
- Implement systems and techniques for conflict resolution and trust creation
- Getting buy-in for your ideas and strategies
- Building relationships based on helping others grow and develop
- How to get consensus on targets and non-negotiable deliverables
Quite often, when they begin, the leaders feel anxious and often fearful of their role. Even experienced business owners and managers will express that they hate being the boss or leader. They feel it’s lonely, unappreciated and grinding work. Once they learn, implement and master these behaviours, they find that achieving goals and targets becomes easy and enjoyable. They become energised because they are no longer trying to get people to do something. Instead they are helping those around them find their strengths and develop fuller and happier lives at work and at home. Let’s face it, we all perform at our peak when we can see how it makes our lives better right?