high performing team
Does your team check these boxes? 10 characteristics of high-performing teams

Understanding how your team stacks up against the best teams can help you target training accordingly.

A team working in sync is a beautiful thing. Work gets done. Problems get solved. Teammates respect and support one another. While this is ideal, many of us have experienced being part of a team that doesn’t function this well. (And it’s no fun!)

When we understand what characterizes teams that DO achieve high performance, we can better manage ourselves and the team as a whole. We can also target meaningful training and development at the individual and team levels.

Here are 10 things high-performing teams have in common.
Each team member has a place.

Team members know where they stand, but aren’t afraid to step in or step up when and where needed.

1. They set clear roles and responsibilities. Team members know how to contribute to the team’s goals, and understand how all the roles fit together. They leverage their individual strengths.

2. They share leadership. Roles aren’t limited by titles, so team members feel empowered to make decisions and support different roles throughout the organization.

Team members stay on the same page.

Individual members don’t operate in a vacuum. Neither does the team as a whole. They understand how the team supports the organization, and their team’s specific mandate and goals.

3. They ensure alignment and sense of purpose. The team has a clear understanding of the mission, vision, values, strategy and goals, and everyone is focused on achieving them.

4. They communicate frequently and effectively. Everyone works hard to ensure that the plan—and progress toward the plan—is clearly understood. Team members keep each other informed and share information. They use the most effective method to communicate based on the message being delivered.

5. They focus on results. The team consistently measures activities and outcomes that are purposeful and linked to goals and team success.

Team members are in it together.

They rely on each other, and value what each brings to the table, as well as what they can accomplish together.

6. They exhibit trust and mutual respect. Building relationships and earning trust is a priority. Team members have each other’s backs and communicate openly, with transparency.

7. They motivate and appreciate. The team recognizes the efforts of each member and celebrates successes, big and small.

8. They encourage diversity. Differing perspectives and opinions are welcome because they create opportunities for new ways of thinking and new ideas.


Team members strive to be their best.

9. They practice resourcefulness. The team effectively maximizes time, money, talent and opportunities. It encourages creativity and doesn’t stop at “good,” but rather aims for “best.”

10. They invest in continuous learning. Team members pursue excellence through learning and development. They embrace a growth mindset and are never satisfied with the status quo. They’re always curious, ask questions, and challenge each other’s thinking.

Thinking about your own team, do you see areas where you excel in these characteristics? What about areas that may be lacking?

One of the best ways to understand team dynamics and performance strengths and opportunities is through assessment. We’ll explore this in our next post.

How can we help your leaders and business excel?