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Five Characteristics of High-Performing Teams

What are the characteristics of high performing teams? This tool, drawn from the book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni, provides you a quick look at what high performing teams really do.

High Performing Teams

Here are the five characteristics of highly effective teams:

  1. Attention to results: Team members regularly monitor their progress toward achieving the results. They don’t gloss over their performance, but talk about it.
  2. Accountability: Team members hold each other accountable for their performance. When someone under-performs, the team tells them immediately and in direct, honest terms.
  3. Commitment: Everyone adopts a common goal or set of goals and commits to achieving them. Goals are defined simply enough to be easily grasped, specific enough to be actionable.
  4. Creative conflict: People ask tough questions of one another and challenge each others assumptions. They probe an argument until they are satisfied.
  5. Trust: Team members open up to each other. They admit their mistakes, weaknesses, concerns without fear of reprisal.

Dysfunctional Teams

Here are the five characteristics of dysfunctional teams:

  1. Status and ego: Individual team members seek out recognition and attention at the expense of results. They dismiss the monitoring process as “unimportant.”
  2. Low standards: When people fail to follow through on their commitments, people let it slide out of a feeling that they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings or “it’s not my job” to manage them.
  3. Ambiguity: People are ambiguous in their commitment. Ownership of common goals is not shared. People have conflicting goals.
  4. Artificial harmony: People don’t engage in tough questioning because they fear it will hurt people’s feelings and impede group harmony. The result is buried conflict.
  5. Absence of trust: People protect themselves. They stay quiet. They don’t bring “undiscussables” to the team. They appear to be invulnerable.

LRI’s consulting is designed to achieve real, meaningful change for our clients.

Eric Douglas

Eric Douglas

Eric Douglas is the senior partner and founder of Leading Resources Inc., a consulting firm that focuses on developing high-performing organizations. For more than 20 years, Eric has successfully helped a wide array of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and corporations achieve breakthroughs in performance. His new book The Leadership Equation helps leaders achieve strategic clarity, manage change effectively, and build a leadership culture.

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