When you think about the people on your high performing teams, what qualities should they have? If they don’t have these key qualities how does it impact their teams’ performance? For an organization to excel today it must leverage both team and individual contributions.
Here are several traits that I think are critical to high performing team members today. The first is they must be willing to lead or follow on a moment’s notice, as the occasion demands. Good team players are good at determining where they can have greatest impact on their team’s efforts. Sometimes it means leading the team, but for a team to work well together, leadership must be able to change on the fly.
The second trait a high performing team member must possess is superior communications skills. A good team may over communicate at times when they are learning each other’s strengths and capabilities. Over time their communication may be less, but they always work to make sure they are clear with their communications to others on the team. When dealing with other teams, they focus on providing critical information so other parts of the organization can seize opportunities.
The third trait a high performing team member must possess is they must be willing to help develop other individuals on the team. As we enter the age of multi-generational work teams, it requires mentorship and support because change is coming about so quickly. High performing team members understand they can learn something new from everyone on their teams. I think of several of my younger team members investing time to help an older leader with newer technologies. This helps both individuals feel more connected to their fellow team members.
The fourth trait for a high performing team member is the person must be willing to be loyal to their team members. They must be committed to the idea that we can only succeed if we work well together. Loyalty and trust provide the glue to successful teams and allows them to share growth experiences in a safe place. If people are unwilling to show loyalty, they don’t have a place on future teams.
The final trait for a high performing team member is the individual must courageous. When you start moving from a culture of individual performance to high performing teams, it requires the team members to have courage. Courage comes from knowing what to expect from themselves and others. This is why we invest time in developing ourselves and others. Without courage, when adversity comes, and you know it will, your team can splinter. Courage provides an individual with an opportunity to stand for what they believe. Because the other traits are honored on the team, courage is a natural byproduct of our team development efforts.
It’s critical that we begin sharing and educating our team members on what we expect. To make it even more of a success pattern, we need to determine ways of evaluating performance using these new, evolving leadership capabilities. Next week, we talk about how to monitor, develop, and improve these skills in your current teams. See you next week.