The Dynamics of High Performing Teams

We enhance the performance of individuals and teams. Most know us in pharma and biotechnology; however, our work has allowed us to engage teams within a diverse group of industries, professions, and functions. We can’t tell you how often we have heard that leaders hire team members that “clique” or fit in that will be the basis for a high performing team. In our experience, “clique” is defined as personality, intelligence, and skill set. While this is true, we believe two factors are missing.


The French have a term “esprit de corps,” which translates to “the spirit of the body.” Esprit de corps is the ultimate in team dynamics. In our example, we will substitute the body with a team.


In reality, a team is a group of individuals. With any group of individuals, it is communication and competent execution that determines high performance. Socialization within the organization is paramount. Team members are part of something bigger than themselves. An effective strategy of the leader is to maintain this climate. The leader can achieve this by merely having the team socialize over a cup of coffee or having a regular lunch together or just touching base with remote workers. The idea is not to have a meeting but to socialize away from your doing work. Socialization is most effective when it is the entire team. Inevitably, work enters the conversation, but this team dynamic is greater than the sum of its parts.


Observe the team that demonstrates the following, and you will see the clues and ques of high performing teams and those with high potential.
It’s all about face time, with energy. Energy can be body language and conversation. Everyone participates equally, and communication is concise and short. Everyone connects, not just the leader. Team members carry on conversations with each other, whether they “sidebar” or “backchannel.” They seek information and may go outside the team for further knowledge. Interestingly, we have discovered that you can assemble the smartest, most experienced, highly accomplished individuals. Without trust, understanding of communication styles, and effective strategies, they often do not perform at a high level or even fail.


Communication is always the most effective face to face, and the smaller the group, the better. Next is a video or conference call. The more people involved, the less effective it is. Ever been in a virtual company meeting that people put their phones on mute and cover their cameras on their laptops. Have you ever been to that meeting, and the leaders are not in the room? Email and texting are generally the least effective. There is a lot more to this, but I trust you get the gist, wanna grab a cup of coffee?


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