Magazine article Online

Developing High Performance Teams

Magazine article Online

Developing High Performance Teams

Article excerpt

A high performance team may be characterized as follows:

* It has a common focus, including a clear mission (purpose), vision (picture of success), goals, action plans, and success measures.

* It has clearly defined roles and responsibilities for team members.

* Members have clearly defined expectations of one another.

* It utilizes all its resources, both within the team and externally.

* Members value their diversity and deal with differences in a healthy and productive way.

* Members are able to effectively give, receive, and solicit feedback.

* The team manages meetings efficiently and effectively

* It achieves results.

High performance teams don't just happen--they are developed and nurtured. Visionary leaders alone cannot ensure the development of such a team. Nor can high performance teams be established by members who desire to be part of such a group (although the desire to be high performance is essential to achieving that result). The development of a high performance team takes the combined efforts of a visionary leader, willing and competent team members, and a facilitator with expertise in team building.

GETTING HELP

The facilitator should not be a member of the team. Each team member has his or her own unique perspective, style, hopes, and fears--all of which should be shared and discussed. But these unique characteristics make it nearly impossible for any one team member to be an unbiased meeting leader. As an external resource, a facilitator can be objective. This objectivity is critical in ensuring that discussions can be open, differences can be resolved in ways that are healthy and productive, and consensus can be reached collaboratively.

A facilitator works with the team to:

* Define the desired outcomes.

* Assess the current situation. …

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