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Why do so many teams fail to create solutions, achieve goals, and adapt to change? We find that team performance breaks down because they fail to build a proper foundation. But with the right framework, your team can ensure success. Whether you’re forming a new team or looking to improve an existing team, consider where you stand in each of these characteristics of high-performing teams.


Leading a team without a purpose is like driving a car without understanding where you are going. At some point, you (and your passengers) will end up somewhere, but it might not be in a good place. And, you might eventually crash. High-performing team members know exactly how they connect to the team and understand the team’s reason for existing.

“How do I and my team fit into the organization’s larger purpose?”

They can also quickly describe the importance and function of their role and the team to outsiders. Many times, having a clear sense of purpose boils down to the team leader’s ability to motivate and unite the team with a “we’re in this together” culture. More importantly, an effective leader articulates a future vision that inspires everyone to rally toward that vision. She/he helps each person understand why what they do is important. If you’re thinking about improving your abilities as a leader, check out our blog earlier this month. We dive into the benefits of hiring an executive coach (one of them being effective team leadership).


High-performing team members know their roles and how they align with others in order to accomplish their assigned tasks.

“Do I understand what I need to do and the people and projects that I am responsible for in order to achieve the desired purpose?”

Sometimes, responsibilities get tangled together and lines are unclear, leading to ambiguity, miscommunication and even frustration. In a team environment, clarity and alignment play a huge role in optimizing productivity. All plans, ideas, and metrics must be organized to ensure that goals are achieved and work gets done in a way that people feel empowered to do what they do best. Similarly, each member must solve problems on the fly by clearly communicating to the right people at the right time in the right way. Transparency regarding the team’s results allows the creation of free-flowing ideas and strategies.

Physiological Safety

This boils down to trust.

“Can I be authentic, make mistakes, speak up when I see problems and innovate?”

This final characteristic of a high-performing team often gets overlooked. High-performing teams foster an environment where people feel safe and heard. We call this physiological safety, and we find that it elevates a team with purpose and clarity to the next level. Imagine a team where everyone takes responsibility, celebrates differences in opinion, and resolves conflict properly. Some teams naturally navigate through these challenges, but most don’t. Your corporate guidelines may touch on physiological safety, but Crosworks’ career strategists make it a critical part of your team’s health by leveraging The Birkman Method.

If your team thrives in all three areas, you will undoubtedly increase profitability, productivity, and output. Our team engagement workshops focus on these pillars to build high-performing teams. Contact us to learn more about our High-Performing Team workshops.

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