HOW TO BUILD A HIGH-PERFORMING TEAM?

"Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than the right idea." - Ed Catmull

A high-performing team has people on it that truly respect each other. They want to help each other, they’re not working against each other, they’re working with each other. At the end of the day, it all comes down to trust, safety, and respect. Here are a few things you can do as a leader to build this on your team:

1.  Build Trust On Your Team

Trust is earned and built over time, and you’ll only get trust from others if you give it first. There are three steps to building trust with your team.

  • Build a relationship with employees. Take a genuine interest in them and get to know them on a personal level through your one-on-ones and informal interactions.
  • Know what you’re talking about. We won’t trust anyone that doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
  • Keep your word. It’s hard to trust someone that goes back on their word or says one thing but does another.
     

2.  Build Psychological Safety On Your Team

Like Google found in their research, people need to feel safe on their team. It’s your job to remove that fear and make sure no one gets ridiculed, no one gets in trouble for trying, or no one gets blamed for mistakes. Failure should be encouraged at work. As a leader, open yourself up and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

In Google’s research, teams tried to increase psychological safety by starting their weekly meetings with each team member sharing a risk that they took the previous week. Of those teams that practiced sharing a risk, they improved their psychological safety scores by 6%.
 

3.  Set Ambitious Goals

A high-performing team will get excited by the possibilities of reaching an extraordinary goal. Work with your team to set an ambitious goal and motivate each other to hit those numbers.

Everyone should be clear about what role they play in achieving that goal, and no one should be punished if by some chance you don’t hit the goal. Everyone needs to be motivated, but no one should be scared or experience unnecessary stress. It’s all about finding that balance.
 

4.  Work On Communication Skills

Open and honest communication is an essential part of building trust. Everyone on the team needs to be able to communicate with each other in a polite, constructive way.

There are so many subtleties to communication that it can go wrong so easily. You need to work hard to train all employees on your team about good communication habits, words not to use, etc. But the key more than anything, is to be polite and communicate with respect.
 

5.  Help Employees Build Confidence

One important thing to keep in mind is about how personal responsibility plays a role in all of this.

As much as it’s a leader’s responsibility to help employees feel comfortable, all employees have a personal responsibility to get over any of their own fears. Help employees get comfortable with failure and the concept of being wrong.

  • Look at feedback as a positive thing
  • Turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts
  • Understand that everyone makes mistakes
     

6.  Listen To Your Employees

Employees need to feel listened to, and like their ideas and suggestions count. There’s no way that you can have a high-performing team if employees don’t have a voice and feel like they’re an equal part of the team.

 

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