04 Jul 6 out of 8 High-Performing Team Characteristics Turn Up Accidentally
I didn’t design this, it’s a happy accident. This applies to any team that wishes to function better, and that includes families.
When I read the recent LinkedIn post, where Tim Baker put forward his eight characteristics of high-performing teams, I thought hold on! Six of these characteristics can be found in my best-selling book Emotional Judo®: Communication Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations and Boost Emotional Intelligence. (Grab it on Amazon)
To me, numbers one and eight are ethics fostered by the leader or founder of the team. The other six are skill-sets/behaviours. While it’s nice to know what the characteristics are, it’s even better to know how to develop them.
In my experience of working with tens of thousands of people on communication and leadership over the last 16 years, many people struggle with some of these skills/behaviours.
Here are Tim Baker’s eight characteristics with some of my notes on how you can develop the skills. The take-away is in bold at the end of each one.
- Sense of Purpose – Ethic and vision.
- Open Communication – Certainly there is more to open communication than having a difficult conversation. But most people find difficult conversations tough because of the emotion that usually exists. Being able to openly disagree with the leader and other team members and come to satisfactory resolutions is a very important component of open communication. It ultimately has people feeling their views are respected and they are valued. Having communication structures to support this process and giving people the confidence to have open communication without recrimination is what Emotional Judo® seeks to achieve. Use structures to aid your open communication.
- Trust and Mutual Respect – Trust is a feeling as well as a logical conclusion drawn from various variables. It is the cornerstone of open communication. We also need to be able trust that people will fulfil what they have committed to. The five ingredients A, B, C, D, E of trust are outlined in the book:
Respect is a “behaviour” and included in this ingredient. Absence of respect, generally prompts defensiveness or apathy and that is a disaster for high performing teams. A stepped process on how to get more trust is included in Emotional Judo®. Examine your existing relationships and see where they can improve within the five ingredients.
- Shared Leadership – this characteristic is not discussed as “leadership” in Emotional Judo®, however, most of the ten communication tools seek win/win outcomes and as Tim Baker points out, this is about being consultative. The significance scaffold is the crucial tool to use in these circumstances. Your ability to step down from significance and not feel at threat when someone you lead takes it, is an important leadership skill. There is an online assessment accessible from the book. Don’t monopolize significance; pass it around.
- Effective Working Procedures – in Emotional Judo® Rules, I mention that, like regular martial arts, if you do not have established rules and norms, people will generally “make stuff up” to advantage themselves. It is important to have explicit norms and procedures.
- Building on Differences – differences are an important component that make teams more robust. Embracing and building on differences is important. Differences can also bring up frustration and intolerance for some people. Having tools with structures to help work through differences is vital for team performance. That’s what Emotional Judo® does. Use structures to work through difference and create better outcomes.
- Flexibility and Adaptability – being able to work with others to find best outcomes and allowing yourself to relinquish “being right” and fixed in your views for the sake of best outcomes is important in a high performing team. Again, Emotional Judo® provides structures to do this. Entertain that there may be better ways than “your way” and use structure to invite discussion.
- Continuous Learning – Ethic
If you haven’t done so already, grab Emotional Judo®: Communication Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations and Boost Emotional Intelligence on Amazon. You can read it on any device as an eBook and it’s available as a paperback.