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10 characteristics of high-performing teams

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According to Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese, authors of the book, The Collaboration Imperative, high-performing teams have the following characteristics:

  • People have solid and deep trust in each other and in the team's purpose--they feel free to express feelings and ideas.
  • Everybody is working toward the same goals.
  • Team members are clear on how to work together and how to accomplish tasks.
  • Everyone understands both team and individual performance goals and knows what is expected.
  • Team members actively diffuse tension and friction in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
  • The team engages in extensive discussion, and everyone gets a chance to contribute--even the introverts.
  • Disagreement is viewed as a good thing and conflicts are managed. Criticism is constructive and is oriented toward problem solving and removing obstacles.
  • The team makes decisions when there is natural agreement--in the cases where agreement is elusive, a decision is made by the team lead or executive sponsor, after which little second-guessing occurs.
  • Each team member carries his or her own weight and respects the team processes and other members.
  • The leadership of the team shirts from time to time, as appropriate, to drive results. No individual members are more important than the team.
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