Career Guide

Top 10 things you should not do in a high performance team

When the mission of the team is unclear and not defined well, the team does not understand its purpose. Such a team will appear unmotivated and it will be difficult for members to reach consensus on any subject. When team members are clear about goals and priorities, plans are more easily executable and each can help in ways that support the teamís overall mission.

Time is money. Meetings that are unnecessary and inefficient result in lost time that can never be regained. Use meetings to make team decisions, solve problems and disseminate information. Voicing pertinent concerns during the meeting may also be encouraged.

When team members do not understand their responsibilities, there is no work ownership and consequently less than desirable work is produced. There should also be an understanding of the roles played by others so that everyone is clear about the connection between team goals and everyoneís day-to-day activities.

High-performance teams should be aware of each memberís strengths and weaknesses. Strengths should be leveraged and weaknesses improved upon. Be grateful for what you have but donít close yourself to change and possible improvement. Team members should also be open to constructive criticism. Development opportunities should be provided to ensure continuous growth.

Given the opportunity to lead, try your very best not to be horrible at it. Do not, under any circumstances, forego your responsibility in an attempt to win a fictitious popularity contest. Successful team leaders need to be able to set clear goals and priorities, manage performance and encourage team participation.

High-performance teams thrive on respect, cooperation, and trust. Donít be the troublemaker that ruins a good thing. You may enjoy a bit of juicy gossip every now and then, but remember that rumours can be damaging to team morale. Positive interaction with your team members will help bring about a supportive environment, essential to high quality work.

When team effort is required, a weak link may result in catastrophe. Constant communication is important to ensure timely completion of tasks and to avoid duplication of work. Poor communication also hinders the positive development of the team by obstructing constructive and honest feedback.

The team could have well-defined goals; the best plans could be laid out and a supportive environment provided, but all would be for naught if the team cannot operate efficiently and effectively. Team members must be able to work well together to produce high quality products or services.

Donít go looking for a fight! There is bound to be tension. Misunderstandings will crop up intermittently, but conflicts must be resolved in a timely and mutually beneficial fashion. Getting into a fist fight will only result in more paperwork and worse, possible loss of job.

Problems are bound to naturally occur while working. There will be enough for the team to deal with, so please try not to be the cause of further problems. Produce work by or before the agreed upon date, keep channels of communication open and stay away from the rumour mill.