One of the easiest exercises is to scan the web for methods or explanations of what is the right thing to do or to have.
It seems to be an endless treasure trove of methods that will ensure that things will work out perfectly.
Searching for the characteristics of high-performing teams I could choose between 205.000.000 results. The results talked about the most important characteristics, a variable number of key characteristics, or the top attributes. No doubt, many of the results will be very interesting and useful to know. The number of results may also help to see that there is more than one way to help teams become or be highly performant. At the same time, the number of approaches may make it sound more daunting than it probably is.
Investigating one of these I found myself reading that “high-performing teams have a clear shared purpose with a focus on building the right conditions and creating the inclusive developmental culture to succeed.” It divided itself into eight characteristics:
- Purpose driven strategy
- Meaning and impact
- Structure and clarity
- Culture of continuous improvement
- Psychological safety
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Looking a bit closer, all of these characteristics have one thing in common. They all can move out of sight within a second. And none of them can be constantly available for all the team members.
Whatever the situation is, some team members will lose sight of these characteristics at one moment or another. They will experience one of them as not given or as not within their experience.
This will be just as true for the team itself when they experience how some team members react to the situation or when the situation they are in transforms how they experience the characteristics.
For a leader and the team, this means that the most important work they can do is to accept that what is important to be a high-performing team also are volatile characteristics they all continuously have to attend to. It doesn’t work to expect them to exist. It helps to seek to contribute to all of them and pay attention to how they all are experienced in the moment.