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Characteristics of High Performance Teams

Abstract: Based on significant research, Entelechy has defined characteristics of effective teams.

Entelechy reviewed over 50 studies on high performance teams and compiled a list of high performance team characteristics. We grouped characteristics into eight categories as indicated on the graphic below.

Participative Leadership

Aligned On Purpose And Vision

Task Focused
Shared Responsibility
Problem Solving
Strong Communication
Self Monitoring

See if your team shares characteristics of High Performance Teams. Circle the characteristics that describe your team; cross off those that don't describe your team.


Envisioning leadership and organizing leadership
Clear leadership role that is shared
Enables people to make choices
Shared norms
Shared values
Members drawn to the team
Team identity
Future focused


Common shared purpose
Clear shared vision
Self directing
High morale
Team goals align with personal goals and organization goals
Problem solving, not laying blame
Clear, shared understanding of team members' roles


Challenging tasks
Individual accountability/ownership
Equality in workload
Quality focus
Clear tasks and milestones
Mutual respect for ability


Shared decision making
Rewards linked to team performance
Recognize expertise/value added in individuals
Clear standards of acceptable performance
Celebrates success
Clear authority and responsibility
Members responsible for team success


Creative talents
May promote personal relationships
Respect for individuals
Empowered and empowering


Upfront and direct; confronts issues not people
Clear decision-making process
Conflicts managed well
Freedom to express ideas
Freedom to share opinions


Superb communication
Open communication
Clear communication channels
Share common language and terminology
External communications
Time managed well
Structure, purposeful meetings (facilitator, timekeeper, recorder, scribe)


Unite/partner with other teams
Outward focused
Focus on the customer
Allows risks and mistakes
Promotes group learning


Self correcting; evaluates its own performance
Individuals pleased with work results
Assigns opposing views

About The Author

Terence R. Traut is the president of Entelechy, Inc., a company that helps organizations unlock the potential of their people through customized training programs in the areas of sales, management, customer service, and training. Check out our 40 customizable modules, training tools, and eGuides at www.unlockit.com. Terence can be reached at 603-424-1237 or ttraut@unlockit.com

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