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How do you develop a high performing team?

Are you in a team where you feel you belong? you loved getting out of bed every day and connecting with your peers, they inspired you, you felt safe to share your vulnerabilities, felt safe to challenge the norm and together you delivered outstanding results?

Patrick Lecioni’s story of the Five dysfunctions of a team, is about the foundations that have to be in place to be a high performing team. As a leader your role is to create a safe environment for the team to express themselves without judgement and actively encourage the team to challenge, so the team can develop and remain highly engaged.

Here are the seven steps for you as the leader to build a high performing team:

  1. Build the strategy for the year ahead together with the team. Why is this important? buy in, engagement, influence, debate and ownership. https://angelalovegrove.com/2019/11/25/how-do-you-construct-and-deliver-strategy/
  2. Once the strategy is in place. Reviewing progress(monthly/quarterly): what’s working and not working, is essential with the team. Celebrate every success along the way, as the motivation for the team is critical. When parts are not working; Ask the team why they think it’s not working? what should we do? Amend the strategy and don’t forget to share the learning. At the back of the book 5 dysfunctions of a team, there is a survey and action plans on each of the 5 dysfunctions, use this with your team quarterly to see which area of the 5 dysfunctions need attention.
  3. On the bus/off the bus. If the commitment of an individual or individuals is not there, tackle the situation head on. What is the issue? Is it behavioral? Get on top of this quickly as having a detractor in the team can slow the whole team, even if they are outstanding performers. Toxic individuals can bring a whole team down.
  4. During Covid19 my business coach delivered a 6 week team coaching session on resilience. The lessons from these sessions was it created psychological safety for the team, we all shared more that we had done in the last 6 months, the result was more trust than you can ever imagine. https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/06/03/just-completed-a-6-week-resilience-team-coaching-during-the-pandemic/ Highly recommend running or getting an external facilitator to run team coaching on resilience.
  5. Another lesson during Covid19, the importance of regular 30 minute check ins without an agenda. Time to catch up and share, more recently the challenges for the team in Melbourne.
  6. Personal development plans for each team member. Tailoring to the ability and need of the individual. This is critical for motivation and development. Being able to clearly articulate the difference between average, above average and excellent with clear examples of what they need to deliver helps them understand how they can be more successful.
  7. Work with your team members to find internal and external mentors. This is so powerful, there are many times I have had individuals looking to move into different areas of the business and I have found them a mentor in that area and within 12 months they have secured a role.

Diversity is key to the above being successful. If you have inherited a team with poor diversity, here are some additional steps that you will need to take:

1. If you are in a corporate with a graduate program, go and introduce yourself to the Graduate talent manager, find out why graduates would find coming to your part of the business interesting and become a “destination for graduates”. They really know how to shake up a culture with their drive and curiosity.

2. Find talent in other parts of the business looking for a challenge and secure them on a secondment to deliver key components of the strategy. This is a true win/win in business for the individual and for the company.

3. Ensure the minorities are well supported and take time to understand any poor behavior. In my experience where you have low diversity of age, culture, gender and LBGT, you will have behaviors that will not be acceptable.

4. Expect to take 12-24 months to fix.

There are many leaders who believe the term “high performing teams” is overused. For me it is absolutely essential as a leader to create the environment that people can thrive and deliver outstanding results and that by definition is High performing teams.

I wish you all the best with building a high performance team.

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Coaching High Performing Teams Leadership Legacy Personal development Resilience

Just completed a 6 week resilience team coaching during the pandemic

Building TeamResilienceJust completed a 6 week resilience training with Phil Crenigan a leading executive coach and my team. I have personally worked with Phil for many years as a business coach, so the opportunity for team coaching during covid19 on resilience was a unique opportunity.  There were many learning’s from our journey.  

Three weeks into working from home the team were overwhelmed by workload due to covid19 and the many challenges Covid19 posed. The resilience team coaching was timely as they faced new challenges working from home, concerned for family overseas, financial challenges and motivational issues.  The team shared vulnerabilities, what they were implementing from their leanings on the resilience g training, they supported each other and trust was built.  Patrick Lecioni would have been proud of us. 5 Dysfunctions of a team

Personally there were many reflections, honest conversations with myself and recognition of what was needed to move forward. 

  1. Developing resilience means I can move on quicker from situations that challenge me, spend less emotional energy on catastrophizing, and move to action swiftly.
  2. Building trust in the team is critical for people feeling comfortable talking about something that is so personal. The team have been amazing at sharing and supporting each other
  3. Doing the self-assessment on resilience, I started by putting top marks in all the boxes. That is not being honest with myself. When I revisited I realized I need to ask for Support more.
  4. Tools that I learned or re learnt:
    1. When catastrophizing, what is the worst that can happen?
    2. Asking for help more, working with peers and people outside the team
    3. Greeting people in the lift, supermarket, waiting for a coffee: Lighting up their day
    4. Revisit the team feedback about what I do well, keep doing it

Team coaching is critical to bringing the team together and during Covid having a forum to learn together really makes the difference.  Resilience is critical during these uncertain times. Even if you think you can handle uncertainty well, there is always room for improvement. 

I can recommend Phil’s Resilience team coaching as a way to build trust, accountability and most of all Resilience in the team.  https://www.execturningpoint.com/

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High Performing Teams Laughter Leadership Personal development

Lessons in leadership with Covid 19

My team are spread across multiple regions Queensland, Victoria and NSW. Since working from home, I have set up 30 minute coffee catch ups over Microsoft Team daily. We have been joined by the pets and children and the chat has been varied, but nothing to do with work.

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The team are closer, have more fun and know each other far better than any team I have ever led. In the past I would get the team together weekly and discuss business and quarterly to review the plans and progress, with a dinner to socialise once a quarter.  Fortnightly I would have 1;1’s where I would get to know the individual and what motivates them and how to challenge them to achieve new things. 

These daily coffee catch up sessions takes “norming”  to a whole new level.

five stages of team development

30 minutes daily allows the team to connect on a whole new level and more importantly I have learnt so much more about the team, personal situations and what makes them tick. I look forward to the call as the banter and connection is like nothing I have experience before.

When you have remote team members, they miss out on the office conversations and the relationship building with other team members is more challenging. These 30 minute daily sessions has created stronger rapport and the team work is now at a whole new level. 

There is a silver lining in every situation and for me I have learnt more about the people I work with than I would of done in the way I operated previously. If there is a silver lining with COVID 19 its about how to lead in more connected way. 

This way of working will continue beyond COVID19.