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Most of us have had some experience of working within a team where we felt unappreciated, where conflict and discord reigned and where work was protracted, painful and exhausting. This team was most likely underproductive and poorly managed with a high turnover of staff.

If however, you’ve been lucky enough to find yourself part of a team that is the exact opposite to the one above; where you are encouraged to succeed, filled with excitement at the prospect of work, and have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at the end of each day, then you are fortunate to have been part of a high-performance team that views all its participants as essential cogs in a well oiled wheel.

The difference between these two teams is principally due to leadership.
Leaders of high-performance teams tend to exhibit similar traits, no matter what sector or industry they work within, and these traits can be evaluated, learnt, put into practise and perfected in order to ensure successful working relationships that benefit everyone involved.

The following traits are considered to be the top five desirable characteristics displayed by leaders who’ve built a high-performance team:


Inspirational Leadership

A common factor among high-performance teams is the inspirational leadership which drives them.

Leaders of these teams know how to create energy, drive and focus within their members, making them feel motivated to go the extra mile for the success of their team.

Team members believe they are performing a vital role within the team and that their work is of value to those they work alongside.


Conflict Resolution and Cooperation

Unresolved conflict can quickly destroy teams, especially where some members are indifferent or feel insecure.

Leaders must work swiftly to resolve conflict and balance inequality so that members are confident in the abilities of their managers and have faith that the leadership will deliver what is required.

Likewise, if team members understand that they are supported and trusted, they are able more able to deal with minor disputes themselves, meaning they perform and function better.


Attainable ‘Stretch’ Goals

Leaders who know how to set attainable goals for their teams, but also how to stretch these goals to encompass the needs of individuals and the company, are able to create an internal drive within members, making the impossible seem achievable.

When we are working hard, we like to believe that we are doing something worthwhile, something that will make a difference, and will be noticed and appreciated. We don’t want to do what everyone else is doing, or that we feel could be achieved by anyone, we want to do extraordinary things!

When leaders are able to show their team that they have completed something amazing, that team receives a heightened sense of fulfilment and satisfaction, inspiring them to greater things and a higher work engagement.


Communication and Focus

Effective team leaders need to focus their team on the vision, both in the short term and long term.

High performance teams stay on-target under the guidance of a leader who can successfully communicate requirements, avoid diversions and distractions, while still being available to mentor and coach their team when required.

Communication may include both verbal and written skills, but also body language, and knowing when to listen or remain passive.

Keeping your team up-to-date with every stage or achievement is vital if they are to feel part of the whole and a valued team player.



Trust is the foundation block of any good relationship.

If your team can’t trust you to resolve issues as they arise, to understand their perspective, or to communicate goals and targets effectively, then they are unlikely to have much faith in your leadership abilities, or to trust you or your judgement.

Building trust between leadership and team is a priority for a high-performance.

Leadership trust is achieved over time through formulating friendships, sharing knowledge and expertise, helping others achieve their goals, and by being consistent.

Leaders and managers must be dependable and reliable – if you say you are going to do something or offer help to someone, always ensure you deliver what was promised.

Leading a high-performance team is demanding but rewarding. You will reap the benefits, alongside those that you support and lead, while your team will becomes more effective, productive and satisfied.

If you would like to find out more about leading a high-performance team, please contact us at Creative Word Training to discuss the training courses which will help you achieve your aims.