Characteristics of High Performance Teams

By: Terence R. Traut

Abstract: Based on significant research, Entelechy has defined characteristics of effective teams.

Entelechy reviewed over 50 studies on high performance teams and compiled a list of high performance team characteristics. We grouped characteristics into eight categories as indicated on the graphic below.

Participative Leadership


Aligned On Purpose And Vision


Task Focused


Shared Responsibility


Innovative


Problem Solving


Strong Communication


Responsive


Self Monitoring

See if your team shares characteristics of High Performance Teams. Circle the characteristics that describe your team; cross off those that don't describe your team.

PARTICIPATIVE LEADERSHIP


Envisioning leadership and organizing leadership


Clear leadership role that is shared


Enables people to make choices


Shared norms


Shared values


Members drawn to the team


Team identity


Belonging/membership


Synergism


Future focused

ALIGNED ON PURPOSE AND VISION


Common shared purpose


Clear shared vision


Self directing


High morale


Team goals align with personal goals and organization goals


Problem solving, not laying blame


Clear, shared understanding of team members' roles

TASK FOCUSED


Challenging tasks


Individual accountability/ownership


Equality in workload


Quality focus


Clear tasks and milestones


Mutual respect for ability


Commitment

SHARED RESPONSIBILITY


Shared decision making


Rewards linked to team performance


Recognize expertise/value added in individuals


Cooperation


Clear standards of acceptable performance


Celebrates success


Clear authority and responsibility


Contribution


Members responsible for team success

INNOVATIVE


Creative talents


May promote personal relationships


Respect for individuals


Empowered and empowering

PROBLEM SOLVING


Upfront and direct; confronts issues not people


Trust


Clear decision-making process


Conflicts managed well


Freedom to express ideas


Freedom to share opinions

STRONG COMMUNICATION


Superb communication


Open communication


Openness


Clear communication channels


Share common language and terminology


External communications


Time managed well


Structure, purposeful meetings (facilitator, timekeeper, recorder, scribe)

RESPONSIVE


Unite/partner with other teams


Flexible


Outward focused


Focus on the customer


Allows risks and mistakes


Promotes group learning

SELF MONITORING


Self correcting; evaluates its own performance


Individuals pleased with work results


Assigns opposing views

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